Theatre owners in Tamil Nadu displeased with decision to release Pon Magal Vandhal, Laxmmi Bomb on OTT platforms
This is not the first time that film distributors have protested against a film moving to the small screen before its theatrical release, fearing major revenue losses
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the makers of several films have decided to skip screening in cinemas and make the film available on OTT platforms.
Recently, Jyotika's Pon Magal Vandhal, which has been produced by Suriya under his banner 2D Entertainment, chose to directly arrive on Amazon Prime Video. It has also been reported by Mid-Day that Akshay Kumar's Laxmmi Bomb is likely to have a direct-to-web release on Disney+ Hotstar. This has resulted in a conflict between the producers of these films and the theatre owners in Tamil Nadu, who are not happy with the decision of taking big films directly to streaming platforms.
In Tamil Nadu, theatre owners are seeking a 100 day cap from producers, after which they can take their films to OTT platforms. But with theatres being shut, producers are unwilling to wait 100 days for their films to be make available to the public. Several sources have revealed that theatre owners in turn, have blamed producers for risking their projects by paying exorbitant salaries to actors. These owners are also liable to pay salaries to their employees. Producers on the other hand say, multiplexes and theatre owners haven't settled the share of movies released in February.
Meanwhile, the Midday report states that Kumar, along with director Raghava Lawrence and the producers are yet to make a decision. The film is expected to be completed by June as there is a lot of post-production work still left. With the team working from home, the process is taking longer than expected.
Despite the current lockdown declared till 3 May, theatres are likely to remain shut for longer to avoid large crowds gathering in one place, which may compel the team to digitally release the film instead.
The makers of Pon Magal Vandhal received backlash from Tamil Nadu theatre owners association, following its digital release announcement. The association said that henceforth, they will not screen films featuring Jyothika and Suriya.
Earlier in April, the Chennai Kanchipuram Tiruvallur District Film Distributors Association had passed a resolution that all Tamil films can make their streaming debut only after eight weeks and 100 days of being in cinemas, according to The New Indian Express.
The report notes that the release window of films has reduced from three months to a month. Makers have chosen the digital route as it guarantees better returns as compared to the traditional theatrical presentation.
This is not the first time that film distributors have protested against a film moving to the small screen before its theatrical release, fearing major revenue losses. Back in 2013, Kamal Haasan had planned to give his magnum opus Vishwaroopam a Direct-To-Home (DTH) premiere but eventually had to pull back, and showcase the film in cinemas in fear of a complete boycott by the exhibitors.
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