The OTT versus theatres debate continues. With makers divided on how to release their films, theatre owners are unhappy with the decision to release films via the digital route amid the uncertainty of the lockdown. Urging movie makers to wait for theatres to open, drastic steps are being taken.
PVR CEO Kamal Gyanchandani revealed to Bloomberg Quint that the move has come as a shock. He added that those films that will be releasing digitally will not be screened in their theatres. What does this mean for Bollywood?
PVR will not screen digitally released movies
Ever since certain Bollywood films were announced to be released digitally, a huge debate was sparked. Theatre owners around the country objected to the move as this would come as a huge hit to them. Movies like Gulabo Sitabo and Shakuntala Devi releasing on Amazon Prime came as a shock. Theatres like INOX and PVR were disappointed with the producers' decision.
However, the Producers' Guild of India stated that producers were free to choose the best way forward. As OTT platforms threaten theatres' business in the post-COVID situation, theatres are hitting back at the producers. This comes even as theatres remain firmly shut for now.
While some filmmakers are still waiting for crisis to storm out, theatres are trying to limit the hit they take once theatres resume working. PVR's CEO Kamal Gyanchandani had spoken to Bloomberg Quint, "We won't be playing a film which is already released on a streaming platform." The company had hoped that producers would delay their release dates.
To follow physical distancing, PVR will be reducing occupancy by 25% and to break-even once theatres reopen they will need 20% occupancy. Still, the company is hoping to get rentals lowered as well. While a lot remains uncertain, the burden now is on filmmakers to choose which option will benefit them as films sit on shelves for the time being.