SAD NEWS: Maps and Nomzamo's Rom-com Film Dumped By 20 Cinemas

Planning to watch Tell Me Something Sweet and haven't gotten time to head to the cinema yet? well better wait for the DVD. The local rom-com directed by Akin Omotoso, starring Maps Maponyane and Nomzamo Mbatha, has been dumped by Ster-Kinekor and each side is crying fowl. 

Doug Place, Marketing Executive at Ster-Kinekor has expressed to the media that they were thrilled about the success of the film in its initial run but the film failed to sustain the first week momentum. 

Place noted that it’s a big deal for a South African film to gross almost R2m in the box office. He says that it’s something they haven’t seen from a film of the same quality in the last two to three years.

However, they have had remove the film from those cinemas where it hasn’t done well. He says this is in part due to the fact that they receive between 5-10 newly released films a week and removing non-performing films was one of the ways to make space for new releases.

The director, Akin Omotosa, is singing a different tune. Omotoso expressed in an email sent to the stakeholders in the film and was shared by David Tau, that the film has performed well. 

Omotoso claims that the film made R1million in its first 5 days of release and that it has now being removed from Gateway Durban and Sandton Johannesburg cinemas, which are the two cinemas it was performing well in. This statement is contradictory to Place's assertion that the film was only removed in territories it was performing well in. 
“Having made the economic case for films like TELL ME SWEET SOMETHING, we found ourselves reduced from 47 screens in our third week to 27 screens. Despite this drop in the number of screens TELL ME SWEET SOMETHING remained in the Top 10 at no. 10 and still performed better than some of the new titles,” wrote Omotoso
The director says they have been sabotaged, the exhibitor says the film was not bringing in the money. Who to believe?

Emotions aside, I tend to believe the exhibitor. Ster-Kinekor is a business and I doubt they would risk losing millions in revenue by pulling the film if it was performing well in all those cinemas. 

Granted, Mr Omotoso's words were shared privately with a selected people and perhaps he did not expect the information to be made public but his focus should be on promoting and pushing DVD sales now. 

Adopt a new business model and take the film to the people. Use the actors' star power, visit malls and do a promotional tour. TAKE THE POWER AWAY FROM THE SUITS!!

If the film has been well received by audiences, surely the huge number of South Africans who not cinema-goers but but DVDS will embrace it. That could be the film's pot of gold. 

When the big companies give you the finger, or if you just feel like they are not being fair then be proactive. Show them that you can build this industry without them. 

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