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Rajinikanth solves Lingaa issue with 10 crore rupees

In a major relief to Superstar Rajinikanth, the infamously long battle between the distributors and Lingaa's producer Rockline Venkatesh...

Rajinikanth solves Lingaa issue with 10 crore rupees
In a major relief to Superstar Rajinikanth, the infamously long battle between the distributors and Lingaa's producer Rockline Venkatesh has come to an end.

Tamil Film Producers Council has issued a press note stating that the producer has finally agreed to reimburse an amount of 10 crores to compensate the loss.

Sources close to the actor said that Rajinikanth decided to pay Rs. 10 crores ‘on a humanitarian basis’ to the distributors and exhibitors, who have been demanding a full refund and had threatened a ‘begging protest’ in front of his residence in Poes Garden.

Actor Rajinikanth has refunded one-third of the Rs. 33-crore loss reportedly incurred by distributors and exhibitors of his recent release, Lingaa .

After the announcement, it is learnt that the distributors have dropped the idea. While the original demand was Rs. 33 crore, sources close to the actor say he felt Rs. 10 crore was a fair amount. A distributor admitted that they are ‘unhappy’ with the actor’s decision to repay only one-third of the money, but said that they have no other go. “A businessman can plan and factor in a loss of 20-30%, but in this case, we have lost our entire investment. We expected Rajinikanth to refund a substantial amount, but it has not happened,” he said.

Actor Sarath Kumar, who has been involved in the negotiations between Rajinikanth, the film’s producer Rockline Venkatesh and distributors, made it clear that Rajinikanth had paid back a part of the losses purely on compassionate grounds. “It has been made very clear that he (Rajinikanth) has no obligation to repay the money. After all, distributors don’t pay back when they make profits,” he said. One of the distributors said that a deal amongst themselves is yet to be reached. “We are yet to arrive at a consensus on who would get how much,” he said.

On Thursday morning, the warring distributors were called in for a meeting chaired by Kalaipuli S Thanu, the TFPC’s new chief.

“There was some discussion on how to divide it but we finally managed to reach an agreement. He showed us the cheque and assured us that the promised amount had been given. Since we have lost a lot of time and money already, we agreed and have withdrawn the protest,” said R Singaravadivelan, distributor of the Tirunelveli circle.

After Lingaa was declared a loss in late December, distributors and producers have been agitating and demanding compensation for their losses since. After a round of accounting was done, the loss suffered by the producers was set at Rs 38.5 crore for Tamil Nadu. A round of discussions resulted in a reduced compensation of Rs 10 crore, but there was a prolonged delay in handing that amount over. “Part of the delay was because theatre owners and distributors have been fighting about how much share each of them will get. So finally, it has been decided that Rs 6.5 crore will go to the theatre owners and Rs 3.5 crore will be given to the distributors. It is a fraction of what we lost, but it is the best we can hope for,” he added.

In a late development, a statement from the TFPC said in a very polished manner that the money had been received 10 days ago, and thanked the Superstar for having settled the money as promised. “That is merely eyewash, but the money has come so we don’t really care,” said a distributor from Salem.

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