When innovation in different industries has become the means of survival in these difficult times, it seems Bollywood is not lagging behind. With cinemas yet to open, filmmakers are finding ways to gauge audience reaction while reaping financial rewards.
For starters, Maqbool Khan’s Khaali Peeli is ready to test the waters with the pay-per-view format on OTT. While the future will only tell whether this new viewing experience is here to last or not, industry experts are bringing their views to the table.
Business expert Komal Nahta is of the opinion that many big films such as 83 and Sooryavanshi could consider releasing in both theater and pay-per-view. “Hopefully theaters start to open soon, but in containment areas they could remain closed. Footsteps will also take time to return to normal. So in this scenario, the producers, who can’t risk their movies which cost 50-100-200 crore, will monetize things better and get maximum views as well. So that seems to be a feasible option at the moment, ”he adds.
Nahta continues: “This is a good opportunity for viewers to watch movies with their family without having to spend money on individual viewing… Probably all OTT platforms will also have this pay-per-view option and every movie can be released. all over. So while the producers will earn money, the OTT will receive a commission.
Welcoming the format, director Amar Kaushik says it will help understand how many people watched and enjoyed the film. “With the cinemas closed, that’s something we missed. In addition, in the absence of box office collection, this option will help us understand how a film behaved, ”he adds.
Filmmakers Kunal Kohli, Amar Kaushik and Anees Bazmee.
Producer Ramesh Taurani hopes this format will work a lot. “And that won’t affect the theater business, but rather open up another avenue. We can now go out to theaters, pay-per-view, OTT and then satellite. He could release his next film Bhoot Police starring Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez and Yami Gautam, in all formats, including pay-per-view if things go well.
Much depends on the price, says business expert Atul Mohan. “In India, people are very careful about the money they spend. The price must therefore be correct. How long, whether 6, 12 or 24 hours, one can watch a movie is also important. I think such a pay-per-view option would work well for a popular streaming platform like YouTube that many have in their phones and know how to use it, ”he adds.
Director Raj Singh Chaudhary, whose Web movie Shaadisthan is coming to the web soon, says, “This format is workable for big-star movies that people want to watch, but I’m not sure how it would work in small ones. movies. Films specially designed for the web may consider this option. ”
Bhool Bhulaiya 2 director Anees Bazmee believes this is another opportunity to release films. “But commercially how good that would be is something we’ll learn soon,” he says, adding that they plan to release their film in theaters in mid-2021. Neeraj Kothari, executive producer of the film, also adds that the focus is on theatrical release. “Nothing can match the experience of the big screen. How well that would work with our huge population, where most people cannot afford to enjoy such an experience, should also be taken into account. ,” he explains.
Filmmaker Kunal Kohli believes that if it works, we have more space to earn income. “From now on, the success of a film, just like in the cinema, will depend on the person who plays it. While some actors attract audiences, in the case of other films word of mouth helps them run their businesses. The right price is also essential. I also think movie theater owners shouldn’t keep movies that don’t perform well and let producers stream them on pay-per-view or other formats. But the only thing that worries me is piracy, ”he adds.
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