In 2012, when Walt Disney collaborated with UTV to form UTV Disney, UTV Motion Pictures was already a big player in the movie producing business.
It had films like Swades, Rang De Basanti, Jodha Akbar, Peepli Live in its repertoire. With a Disney collaboration, UTV went on to co-produce more successful films, such as Chennai Express, Haider, Dishoom, and Kick.
However, Disney is gearing up to pull out of this partnership with UTV, citing loses and an unviable partnership.
According to this Economic Times report, Disney is going to focus only on Hollywood films distribution and TV licensing and merchandising by pulling the plus on the Hindi film business.
Siddharth Roy Kapur, the managing director of Disney UTV has also decided to quit.
This will definitely be an end of a legacy. Founder Ronnie Screwvala is already set to start his own film production company, titled RSVP, as the announcement comes.
Firstpost reached out to UTV to confirm the news but the company refused to comment on the matter, stating that it was mere speculation at the moment. If rumours are to be believed, an official announcement is expected around first week of September, and Kapur’s succesor as head of UTV will be Abhishek Maheshwari, who is currently the head of corporate strategy and business development.
Livemint reports that Kapur is likely to make an official announcement after the release on Aamir Khan starrer Dangal, which is in December this year. He may be joining Screwvala in his new venture.
This year, Disney UTV has released four films, of which only one has been a successful venture. Saala Khadoos, Fitoorand Mohenjo Daro have been flops, whereas Tiger Shroff-starrer Baaghi is the only profit making film for the studio.
They have Dangal and Jagga Jassoos coming up, but maybe that did not seem to be a viable reason to renew their partnership contract.
This brings us to the most crucial question: Could Mohenjo Daro have been the final nail in the coffin? While it certainly does not seem like it — as decisions such as these for a corporatised studio take time and planning to surface — the failure of a big film like Mohenjo Daro (UTV also produced Jodha Akhbar and Lagaan with Gowariker) has to have made an impact.
If we take a look at the films released in 2015, Tamasha, Phantom and ABCD 2, only ABCD 2 grossed a 100 crore at the box office, while the other two films failed.
2014 was a much better year for Disney UTV with films like Kick, Haider, PK, Two States, Highway to their credit.