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With Mumbai Theaters Closing, Will Bollywood Switch to OTT?

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Mumbai, April 6 (IANS) “Sooryavanshi” has been postponed. The police action drama starring Akshay Kumar-Katrina Kaif, which was supposed to be Bollywood’s first mega-release of the year on April 30, has been pushed back, with no new release date announced. The reason, of course, is the current Covid situation in Maharashtra.

The buzz is that the production houses backing the film – Reliance Entertainment, Dharma Productions, Rohit Shetty Picturez and Cape of Good Films – never wanted to set up Rohit Shetty’s extravagant artist “Sooryavanshi,” for a direct -to-OTT Release. According to sources, manufacturers are currently assessing the situation. They will make an official announcement around April 10 if they plan to drop the film directly to OTT, whether or not it hits theaters.

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“The Sooryavanshi team is postponing the film’s release. The Honorable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Uddhav Thackeray had a discussion with director Rohit Shetty yesterday. During the meeting, Mr. Uddhav Thackeray appreciated Rohit Shetty who made the courageous and difficult decision to postpone Sooryavanshi due to the current COVID situation in the state, “reads a statement released Monday evening by the directors. from tye film.

As Bollywood is in the throes of the current shutdown of film operations in Maharashtra, one of the most important markets for Hindi films, the fate of “Sooryavanshi” could have ramifications for trends in the film business well beyond. beyond the simple film. Being one of the biggest Bollywood biggies of the year, the decision on whether such a huge film goes straight to OTT could pave the way for other films in terms of future exposure trends (from less for now), in a fast-paced industry. to adapt the herd mentality.

When theaters opened after last year’s lockdown, Bollywood was quick to announce a rich lineup of films, from March of this year to the end of the year. “Mumbai Saga”, among the first major commercial films to hit theaters, fell short of expectations, with audiences maintaining a cautious stance on theatrical visits. Still, the big big-banner movies weren’t deterred and insisted they were moving forward with the release.

Some of the hottest movies with confirmed release dates in the coming months include Ranveer Singh’s cricket drama “83”, Salman Khan’s Eid 2021 release “Radhe”, “Bell Bottom” and “Prithviraj “from Akshay Kumar. , Ayushmann Khurrana’s lead role “Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui” and period drama “Shamshera” with Ranbir Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt.

While no announcements have yet been made on any of the above films, the release of the first batch of films, which were due to open in the next few weeks, have already been postponed even before the government of Maharashtra. officially decides to close the corridors because of the second. wave of Covid. These include Amitabh Bachchan-Emraan Hashmi’s star “Chehre”, Rani Mukerji-Saif Ali Khan’s star “Bunty Aur Babli 2” and Rana Daggubati’s “Haathi Mere Saathi”.

Today, rumors abound that the directors of many of these films are considering the option of direct release on OTT and that negotiations may be underway with digital platforms.

Film professionals would prefer to remain optimistic at this point, however. Most business experts prefer to take a wait-and-see attitude.

“This is speculation, we have to wait for official announcements. Theaters have closed and people tend to believe that great movies will be released on OTT. But let’s not speculate. These filmmakers could postpone and hit theaters,” The Analyst commercial Taran Adarsh ​​told IANS.

Filmmaker Atul Mohan believes that the current situation is definitely uncertain.

“We could have official announcements in a few days. Every time a project is delayed 10-15% of the budget is lost. You have to restructure the calendars, get dates. Plus, you have to pay interest on the budget. . For a 100 crore movie, 15 to 20 crore of interest is charged in a year, ”he says.

Mohan adds, “Theaters have been closed in Maharashtra and these represent over 40 percent of box office collections. It’s a huge market and cannot be ignored.”

Film experts are unanimous in admitting that, due to Covid, the film industry’s monetary suffering has only worsened over the months since the first lockdown in March of last year.

“In 2019, we made a profit of Rs 4,400 crore, but last year, in three months, we only made Rs 600 crore, and this year we only made Rs 55 crore. Profit was increasing but now most of it. We lost 3,500 to 4,000 crore rupees in 2020. I don’t see any movies making that kind of money in the near future, ”Mohan says.

The story was taken from a news agency



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