OTT platforms to Bollywood’s rescue

Big screen turns to small screen for help

Cinema

May 14, 2020

/ By / Chennai

OTT platforms

Gulabo Sitabo, a film by Shoojit Sircar will launch exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on June 12

Though there is fierce competition between traditional cinema or the silver screen and the Over The Top (OTT) platforms, the newest kid in the entertainment industry, the coronavirus lockdown has brought the two rivals to cooperate as many large films that have been ready for release will be shown on OTTs.

There is not one industry that has not been impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. And when it comes to multi-billion dollar Indian film industry the impact has been gigantic as cinema theatres were among the first to be closed down right at the beginning of the pandemic.

With the theatres remaining shuttered for over two months, all new releases have been put on hold and so has been the work on ongoing shoots and the launch of new films has been delayed. As per experts, the film industry might be looking at losses around INR 30 billion.

Having waited so long and without any clarity on when the government may allow the cinemas to reopen, the cinema producers have turned to their bete noire, the numerous OTT platforms for help. The last two years have seen an explosion in the OTT industry in the country, with over 40 OTT platforms to choose from, the Indian consumers can watch their favourite TV show or catch the latest movie on their mobile phones as long as they have an internet connection. Therefore production houses are now coming at the forefront with new releases on OTT platforms. Earlier, Irrfan Khan and Radhika Madan’s Angrezi Medium was premiered on Disney+Hotstar after cinema halls were shut soon after film released. And now there are many other releases lined up.

Gulabo Sitabo

The recent announcement of Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana’s comedy Gulabo Sitabo’s launch exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on June 12 has given a clear indication that now Bollywood is all set to go digital. With this film, Amazon Prime Video India has made its biggest direct-to-service movie acquisition. The movie marks the reunion of filmmaker Shoojit Sircar with actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Amitabh Bachchan. They have previously worked with the director in Vicky Donor and Piku, respectively. Directed by Shoojit Sircar, Bollywood royalty Bachchan and growing star Khurrana play two slimy scheming foxes who get caught up in a game of one upmanship, attracting other members to their clan and each one with an agenda of his own.

Ghoomketu

Featuring Anurag Kashyap and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Ghoomketu will be available for streaming on ZEE5 from May 22 onwards. Directed by Pushpendra Nath Misra, Ghoomketu will also feature cameos by the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Ranveer Singh and Huma Qureshi.

A few other movies like Anurag Basu’s Ludo (Netflix), Akshay Kumar starrer Laxmmi Bomb (Disney+Hotstar), Nagraj Manjule directorial Jhund, Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi biopic (Amazon Prime Video) and Ishaan Khatter-Ananya Panday film Khaali Peeli (Netflix) are considering a digital release, according to reports.

Further, discussions are rife for movies like Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Durgavati, Karan Johar’s Gunjan Saxena-The Kargil Girl, two more Amitabh Bachchan films, Jhund and Chehre.

It is reported that T-Series is in talks with Netflix for its entire 2020 slate, which includes Kiara Advani-starrer Indoo Ki Jawani and black comedy Chhalaang.

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