A few days ago there was an announcement made by the makers of Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Gulabo Sitabo about the film releasing directly on OTT. Soon after the announcement, theatre chain INOX expressed their disappointment. “INOX would like to express extreme displeasure and disappointment on an announcement made by a production house today, to release their movie directly on an OTT platform by skipping the theatrical window run. The decision of the production house to deviate from the globally prevalent content windowing practice is alarming and disconcerting,” read an official statement from INOX. Also Read – Ghoomketu Teaser: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Anurag Kashyap provide the laughs while Ranveer Singh and Amitabh Bachchan’s cameos tease
Then on Friday, the makers of Vidya Balan starrer Shakuntala Devi, announced their decision to release their movie on OTT. Five more films — Tamil legal drama Ponmagal Vandhal , Tamil-Telugu bilingual movie Penguin, Sufiyum Sujatayum in Malayalam, Kannada features Law and French Biryani will also be releasing on OTT. Also Read – From Gulabo Sitabo to Shakuntala Devi biopic: Here are 7 anticipated films releasing exclusively on Amazon Prime
Now, PVR has also expressed their displeasure on the issue. “We are disappointed with some of our producers deciding to go straight to the streaming platform/s. We were hoping that the producers would accede to our request to hold back their film’s release till cinemas reopen.” Also Read – Mouni Roy praises Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt’s chemistry; says, ‘They look super-duper cute both on and off screen’
The statement further read, “This is not the first time when films are being premiered on a streaming platform/s. Cinema exhibition has regularly faced competition from new emerging distribution platforms over the last many years. Yet, it has continued to enjoy cine-goers patronage and affinity.”
PVR expects people to visit cinema halls after this crisis ends. “As PVR, we believe that the theatrical release is the best way for audiences to experience the labor and creative genius of our filmmakers. This has been so for decades and not just in India but globally. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has caused an unfortunate shutdown of cinemas. We are confident, once we get to the other side of this crisis, there would be enough and more pent up demand from cine-goers who have been cooped up at homes for the last many weeks.”
We’ll have to wait and watch if there be more films taking the OTT route directly.