Recently, amidst the ongoing lockdown, it was announced that several movies, including Gulabo Sitabo, Shakuntala Devi, etc. will release directly on OTT platforms.
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Advance mein aapko book kar rahe hai! Gulabo Sitabo premieres this June 12 only on @primevideoin aa jaana fir, first day, first stream karne ☺️ #GiboSiboOnPrime #WorldPremiereOnPrime @amitabhbachchan @shoojitsircar @ronnie.lahiri #SheelKumar @juhic3 @filmsrisingsun @kinoworksllp
Consequently, one of India's largest multiplex chain, INOX, released a statement where it called out producers for 'skipping theatrical run' and not standing by, as partners, in troubled times.
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
INOX also stated that they would take 'retributive measures'. According to HuffPost India, Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of PVR Pictures, also shared that they were disappointed with direct-OTT releases.
We were hoping that the producers would accede to our request to hold back their film’s release till cinemas reopened.
Producers Guild of India responded to the statement and asked for 'collaborative dialogue' during these 'unprecedented times'.
Many people took to Twitter to comment on the situation:
'Retributive measures' matlab iss producer ki agli film mein popcorn 500 ki jagah 5000 ka bechoge?— वरुण 🇮🇳 (@varungrover) May 15, 2020
even with lower occupancies & limited theatrical market,the films can earn more than they will at OTT.u r concerned about ur loss which u may not incur once the cinema reopens— simmy (@simmy65406472) May 15, 2020
what about the distributors & exhibitors who’ve already suffered heavy losses.Want them to suffer more?
INOX hiding replies that say popcorn is costly.. I cant. Omg😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/kxjUENLDZA— Ashu (@tripu17) May 14, 2020
Sorry but 1-year subscription of OTT is cheaper than your caramel popcorn. https://t.co/OtqSIaEzhW— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) May 14, 2020
Gone will the times when people will go to theatres to watch movies. Everything will be now limited to our mobile devices. So online platform will be the future.— FighterSj (@Sjfighter2) May 15, 2020
It's a bigger risk for the OTT player to have paid equivalent of the life time earnings of the movie (India + Abroad) for a 2.5 hr content piece, hoping it gets them enough incremental subscribers, especially when it'll be pirated in 2 hrs of its release.— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) May 15, 2020
Poorly maintained theatres, overpriced snacks & bottled water, over priced tickets, unwanted advertising. Watching movies became a rich man’s dream. Where was your ethics then? Now movies are going for digital release you are worried and cribbing. As you sow so your reap #INOX— असुविधा के लिए खेद है 😜 (@shotti_bolchi) May 14, 2020
"Disney Hotstar subscription 1400/yr— Sunil 🇮🇳 (@sunilaralikatti) May 14, 2020
Netflix Subscription 6000/yr
Amazon prime Subscription 999/yr"
That's like 4 tubs of
Popcorn at @INOXMovies & @_PVRCinemas 😂
Now these theatre companies are playing victim card after looting people's hard earned money. #Inox #pvr
#Inox Experience— tejas tamhane (@BasantiLuvsDogs) May 14, 2020
Tickets = 300Rs (one person)
Popcorn = 450 Rs
Mug of Coffee = 150 Rs #AmazonPrime Experience
Membership = 130 Rs (month) x family
Act II Popcorn = 33 Rs
Coffee = as good as free
Sorry INOX, you were saying something ? pic.twitter.com/UHQUCHgMgH
As of now, the lockdown will be extending for a fourth time in India, but with a different set of rules.