Vijay's Pongal release Master is set for digital premiere in less than three weeks after its release. The movie will be out on Amazon Prime on 29 January, exactly 16 days after its theatrical release. The fans outside the country have welcomed the news, but is it a good decision to release a film on the OTT platform in less than three weeks after its theatrical release?
Why it is a Bad Decision!
The film industry and especially cinema halls have been waiting for a good movie to revive the business since the Covid-19 lockdown, last year. The industry pinned high hopes on Master and, as expected, the Lokesh Kanagaraj-directorial movie got a fantastic response from the audience. Not just in Tamil Nadu, Master has managed to pull the audience to theatres in Andhra, Telangana, Kerala and Karnataka.
Even as the movie started attracting cine-goers to cinema halls, Amazon Prime came up with the announcement of the OTT release.
The OTT Impact on Cinema Halls
Releasing a film on OTT in less than three weeks after its theatrical release means, exhibitors are going to lose the business. With no big films releasing in the next few months, Master could have easily had a longer run than usually eventually helping theatre owners to recover from the blow that they received due to Covid-19.
Master Makers Fail to See Big Picture
But now, the theatrical run will be directly impacted and exhibitors will not see a point in screening the film when the movie is out on the OTT. Yes, the makers of Master took a big risk to release a film in theatres when the producers of big movies were hesitant for theatrical release.
They took a chance but failed to see a big picture. The longer-run could have given a new lease of life to the Covid-hit film industry, thereby having a positive impact on the whole business chain.
The subscription for OTT during the lockdown has witnessed unprecedented growth and releasing Master on OTT in less than a month would not make much of a difference to its business, but it will now be boon for sites like Tamilrockers which are indulged in piracy.
The high-quality videos will be easily out on pirated sites which, in another way, is hurting the film business. Also, if this trend continues, the demand for satellite rights will also fall. Overall, the short-sighted decision could cause long-term damage to the film business.
Not Just Business
Leaving the business part aside, the long run of movies would have encouraged the audience to come to theatres in the post-Covid-era. It eventually might have given confidence to people that watching movies in theatres was safe. This in turn would have helped the film industry to bounce back soon.
The lack of solid content for the next few months means the theatres will remain empty for a few more months which is not a good sign for the film industry.