Sidharth Malhotra-Katrina Kaif's "Baar Baar Dekho" and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Amy Jackson-starrer "Freaky Ali" were apparently leaked online just hours within they opened in theatres on Sept. 9. The feature films are available for download on a few websites.
This means internet users can watch "Baar Baar Dekho" and "Freaky Ali" online for free and even download them from certain sites. Even though they weren't up on the web before the release date, the online leak could be an explanation for the films' near-average box office performance.
"Baar Baar Dekho" was expected to post Rs. 9-10 crore on day 1, whereas it could only manage Rs. 6.81 crore at the domestic box office. "Freaky Ali" raked in just Rs. 2.55 crore in its opening day at the Indian box office.
Online leaks impact movie business terribly and, therefore, the film industry has been taking precautions against it. Unfortunately, these days illegally downloading content from the web has become an accepted malpractice.
Rumours have it that the leaked versions of "Baar Baar Dekho" and "Freaky Ali" are mostly hall prints and therefore the audio and video quality is poor. "Akira," "A Flying Jatt," "Mohenjo Daro" and "Rustom" are some of the films that were made available for download on the day they arrived in theatres. "Udta Punjab," "Sultan" and "Great Grand Masti" created quite a stir when they were leaked online ahead of their release.
Will the illegal downloads affect "Baar Baar Dekho" and "Freaky Ali" box office figures?
Both of these films are not sci-fi projects loaded with action sequences, which is why some may choose to sit and watch in the comforts of their living rooms. So, yes, the online leak is likely to affect "Baar Baar Dekho" and "Freaky Ali," but then there's always a section that prefers a 70 mm screen, surround sound and a tub of popcorn.