Salman Khan star Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is the first Bollywood movie with a big ticket to adopt a hybrid release model. The film will hit theaters and the ZEE5 ZeePlex platform simultaneously on May 13. Film analysts believe the move will be a “player” for the Indian film business and will mainly affect film exhibitors, who are already suffering losses due to blockades and the closure of cinemas.
Film producer and sales analyst Girish Johar believes that Radhe’s release on the OTT platform and in cinemas has affected exhibitors and film producers in different ways. “Film exhibitors are most hurt by this decision. They waited so many months for some big movies to come out, Rade was one of them. They are under tremendous pressure and Rade was the real oxygen for them. They thought it would help their sick business because the audience would return to the theaters. “Salman (Khan) is a star from all over India and his exhibitors relied on him,”
Johar also believes that this move could lead to a “weakening of the exhibition sector from top to bottom.” But if you look at it from the perspective of a film producer, “If the producer can’t stand it, he has every right to consider other options,” said Girish Johar, adding: “If cinema continues to be under pandemic pressure, more producers will take the route. “
Nitin Datar, president of the Association of Cinema Owners and Exhibitors in India, agrees that filmmakers have also invested a huge amount of money and that they also need a return with uncertainty about the future of cinema. However, he also hinted at the possibility for multiplex owners not to check versions directly to OTT when the situation improves.
“Now we have to see if the owners of cinemas will allow these OTT films to be released in their cinemas when things get a little better. As far as I know, the multiplexes will not cooperate with the producers on this issue. Some small cinema owners will allow it because they are desperate. But will this help them survive? No. Cinema owners have to distribute 60-70% of their profits to producers and distributors, what will be left for them? “Datar ore.
According to Datar, the release of a major film on the OTT platform does not affect the film business, as “the cinema business is like a white elephant. It takes at least one movie a week to survive. “
While expecting more films to be released at this time would be “stupid,” Datar suggests that what could save movie theater owners is a “strong government plan.” They have already asked the government for a property tax rebate and a reduction in electricity bills by the time the business reopens.
Akshaye Rathi, a film exhibitor and distributor with operations in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, believes that these are “exceptional times”, which is why producers, distributors and exhibitors must stick together.
In an interview with indianexpress.com, he said: “We realize that these are exceptional times, any producer or studio that has made a big investment would like their return to start coming soon enough. It is understandable in a sense, but of course, as exhibitors we are unhappy. Salman Khan’s film has the potential to bring life back to theaters. So this is unfortunate and a loss for all exhibitors. Radhe would help our revival and would not do it now, but I think they do too to survive. “
Given the uncertainty surrounding film revenues and the operation of theaters, Rati believes that producers and exhibitors and distributors must compromise, “but in the long run this is a solution that would not be delayed by any exhibitor in the country.”
Also, Girish Johar suggests that it is a little early for Indian cinema to adopt a hybrid release model. “India is no longer a well-tested country. We lost a lot of screens last year as well. For now, the model of the hybrid edition will limit the growth of the film business in the country, “said Johar.
Radhe will arrive at theaters in India, where they are working on Eid. It will also be released in 40 countries in West Asia, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Europe and the United Kingdom.