Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Gulabo Sitabo is the first big Bollywood film to premiere online. While the film’s digital release on Amazon Prime Video has left many film exhibitors and cinema owners disappointed, many are wondering if the digital release of movies would become a norm during these challenging times.
Analysing the situation, film trade analyst, Girish Johar said, “The digital release of Gulabo Sitabo will lure other producers, but that would be because of the financial stress. If they manage to withhold their films for some more time, nobody would want to get away with the theatrical release because watching movies in theaters is an anchor activity. People love to go to cinema halls.”
“OTT platforms are revenue earners, but nothing can take over cinema. Earlier, there was the advent of VCR, DVD player, satellite TV, but nothing could replace the big screen experience, so cinema won’t go away ever. Would you like to watch Avengers on your phone or TV? Even if you look at it now, the films releasing on OTT are not big canvas films. They are more story-based films,” he added.
Gulabo Sitabo director Shoojit Sircar echoed a similar sentiment when asked about his film’s digital release. He said, “Nothing can match the magic of cinema halls.”
In fact, makers releasing films on digital platforms will miss on the validation that comes from people who buy movie tickets. “There is no broad framework by which we can decide whether the film is a success or not. Definitely, the critics will review it, but the validation that films get from the ticket-buying audience will be missing,” Girish Johar said.
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