Will 'Coolie No 1' have shared digital-theatrical release?
Bollywood exhibitors and distributors started contemplating a shared release for big films, beginning with David Dhawan's Christmas pudding 'Coolie No 1' starring Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan in the lead roles.
As per sources, Dhawan's' film may be released in both movie theatres and on the digital platform simultaneously. However, the question arose as to who will get to release the product first.
"The digital partner insists that 'Coolie No 1' gets to go first on the digital platform, whereas the theatrical platform is of the opinion and rightly so, that once the film is out on OTT the incentive to brave it in the theatre would be zero for the audience. Hopefully, the stalemate would soon be resolved," said an informed source.
This could well be the way forward to make a move in the movie business. With movie theatres in India (barring those in West Bengal) showing no signs of re-opening in the near future, pending big-budget films like Rohit Shetty's 'Sooryavanshi' and Rajamouli's 'RRR' are also looking to follow the path of a shared release.
Shibashish Sarkar, CEO of 'Reliance Entertainment', who has two major potential blockbusters and awaiting releases - 'Sooryavanshi' and '83' - sees the wisdom of a shared release.
"Yes, if in a country where either that particular OTT platform is not available or if theatres chain in such country not objecting to a film releasing in OTT and theatres in the same time, then films can release on both mediums. We noticed the same for 'Mulan', 'Tenet', 'Troll World Tour' and many others. However, I do not foresee it as a stable route in normal times. Windowing for a different medium is necessary," said Sarkar.