The Hindi film industry has undergone a change ever since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. The new dynamics of business will continue for the foreseeable future, until the pandemic lasts. The most obvious change is producers choosing to release their films on OTT platforms instead of the big screens.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar shared his opinion on producers choosing digital over traditional theatres, and asked why producers should lose out on a good deal in these uncertain times.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Madhur said, "All these movies that have been officially announced to come on the web, were made for theatres. OTT is the second option for producers. Amid this coronavirus situation, everything is in a limbo. There are films that are ready for release, but theatres aren't open. The producers have to take a call now."
He asked, "So, why should the producers be deprived of a good deal," and continued, "There is so much of uncertainty and producers don't want their film to get stale. We also don't know when theatres will open, what percentage of occupancy will be allowed, whether people will be comfortable going to theatres or will have the same purchasing power as before."
Madhur further reasoned that the financial strain on producers is enormous, and therefore their decision to opt for one platform over another is justified. He said that we have to consider how much capacity a producer has, to hold the film. After calculating the risks, if they are getting a reasonable price, he thinks it's fine to opt for web.
At the same time, he understands theatre owners' point of view. He said, "They're bleeding as well, though there are those big films that are being held. But, some producers don't have holding power, so you've to look at holistic manner."
The Ayushmann Khurrana and Amitabh Bachchan starrer, Gulabo Sitabo, and the Vidya Balan starrer, Shakuntala Devi, were sold to Amazon Prime Video recently.