While digital viewers are suitably glad, not everyone is elated over the decision of Gulabo Sitabo’s makers to skip theatres and release their movie directly on an OTT platform. The early morning announcement on social media about the impending OTT premiere for Gulabo Sitabo shook things up in Tinseltown, and dropped like a bombshell on theatre owners.
Now Inox, one of the biggest players in the theatre and cinema business, has put their angst and anger at the sudden development into words. They have posted a strongly-worded statement on their social media, including Twitter, where they have denounced Shoojit Sircar’s decision to release his movie directly on OTT. Along with this, they have also threatened to take ‘retributive measures’ against the production house.
Without naming him or the movie directly, Inox said, “Inox would like to express extreme displeasure and disappointment on an announcement made by a production house today, to release their movie directly on an OTT platform by skipping the theatrical window run. The decision of the production house to deviate from the globally prevalent content windowing practice is alarming and disconcerting.”
“Cinemas and content creators have always been into mutually beneficial partnerships, where one’s actions provided fillip to another’s revenues.”
Inox further labelled such content producers who deviate from the standard practice as ‘fair-weather friends’, rather than ‘all-weather life-long partners’, who, “in these troubled times, are not interested in continuing the mutually beneficial relationship, especially when the need of the hour is to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and bring the film industry to its vibrant best”.
It added, “Such acts, though isolated, vitiate the atmosphere of mutual partnerships. Needless to say, INOX will be constrained to examine its options, and reserves all rights, including taking retributive measures, in dealing with such fair-weather friends.”
Rattled by the reports floating on social media about many big ticket movies bypassing theatres and planning to release straight on OTT, the various theatre-owners associations of India had just last week, on 4th May to be precise, appealed to movie makers and production houses to support the cinema exhibition sector by holding their films and releasing them in theatres once they’re opened again.
The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) had, in a statement, requested producers to “respect the exclusive theatrical window.”
It had requested, “MAI would like to urge all studio partners, producers, artistes and content creators to support the cinema exhibition sector, a vital part of the value chain, by holding and releasing their films in the theatres, once they open again.”
“To this end, we urge all studios, producers, artistes and other content creators, to kindly respect the exclusive theatrical window, which has been a time-tested industry practice, agreed to by all stakeholders, not just in India, but even globally, for several decades,” the statement added.
Now, with the announcement of Gulabo Sitabo’s direct OTT release, and Inox’s reaction to the news, let’s see what’s in store for other movies eyeing direct OTT releases.
Here is the full statement released by Inox –
STATEMENT BY INOX ON A PRODUCTION HOUSE’S ANNOUNCEMENT TO RELEASE THEIR MOVIE ON AN OTT PLATFORM BY SKIPPING THE THEATRICAL RUN pic.twitter.com/NfqoYV2QRx
— INOX Leisure Ltd. (@INOXMovies) May 14, 2020
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