Gulabo Sitabo has been a highly-anticipated movie this year, directed by Shoojit Sircar, starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. The release of the film has been debated and with the lockdown imposed, most films have had to really change their release dates, and some have even changed the format of release. Now, Gulabo Sitabo will be releasing on Amazon Prime on June 12.
Amazon India has placed high bets on Gulabo Sitabo which happens to be their biggest movie acquisition yet. A lot has been said about OTT releases and OTT platforms as game-changers in the current world scenario. Cinema owners have been living in uncertainty ever since the lockdown has been in force, and OTT platforms have become a major threat in the game.
Amazon India acquires Gulabo Sitabo
Gulabo Sitabo has been on the cards for a while and has generated curiosity due to the interesting choice in cast. It will be the first time Ayushmann Khurrana and Amitabh Bachchan will be sharing the screen. Initially made for a wide cinematic release, now the Shoojit Sircar will get an OTT release.
This has created a huge buzz in the industry considering Amazon India made its biggest Indian movie acquisition yet with Gulabo Sitabo. This sets a major precedent and will also create huge doubts for future film releases and the industry's approach to films in general. The exclusive release on Prime on June 12 will ensure that the Hindi film streams in 200 countries worldwide. This makes it a bigger release than what they would get at the cinema, in one way.
This slice-of-life dramedy is also considering fitting for a family watch. With the viewing format of streaming platforms, laidback films with heart and watching at one's own pace is a huge plus point of a release online. Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head Content, Amazon India believed that Gulabo Sitabo will be, "the first step in our endeavour to bring superior cinematic experiences to our customer's doorstep."
Meanwhile, cinema owners in various states have been protesting OTT releases as this will be a huge hit to them. Gulabo Sitabo sporting big names in cinema-like Ayushmanna Khurrana and Amitabh Bachchan who draw huge audiences to the theatres with their releases means an even greater loss of first-mover advantage to the theatre and multiplex owners. Moreover, an online release will premiere at no extra cost for Prime subscribers, which makes it a losing battle for theatre owners.
The lockdown and pandemic have proven that business is suffering and even filmmakers and producers are doing their best to adapt and protect their films from losses. This means we'll get to see a huge change in approaches to both filmmaking and the releases. Theatres have also been working on guidelines to practice a safe viewing experience. But, as the lockdown continues, not much can be said on the matter.