IM­PACT ON THE­ATRES

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Time Out - Rishabh Suri rishabh.suri@htlive.com

Hol­ly­wood is look­ing at chang­ing the dy­namic of the movie busi­ness. In the lat­est de­vel­op­ment, a ma­jor US the­atre chain has signed a deal with a prom­i­nent film stu­dio, which states that their films can be made avail­able on Premium Video-on-De­mand (PVoD) af­ter min­i­mum 17 days of the­atri­cal re­lease. This re­duced win­dow has cer­tainly led to var­ied re­ac­tions from dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers.

Ex­plain­ing what this move ex­actly means, Shiba­sish Sarkar, CEO, Reliance En­ter­tain­ment, says, “The 90% rev­enue comes in the first three weeks, so who­ever wants to have big screen ex­pe­ri­ence may have that. And also, it’s not sub­scrip­tion VOD, like the OTT plat­forms in In­dia. In this, you buy a par­tic­u­lar film, and pay for that.”

He feels that this may im­pact the mind-set of the­atre-go­ing au­di­ence. “My per­sonal be­lief is that both plat­forms will flour­ish. Also, PVoD will be more ex­pen­sive than a cin­ema ticket,” says Sarkar.

Film ex­hibitor Ak­shaye Rathi, feels that even if PVoD is pricier, peo­ple might pre­fer that. “You can have 20 peo­ple at home through PVoD, it’s not per per­son. The ero­sion into the­atri­cal busi­ness can be pretty mas­sive,” he says.

Rathi feels the reper­cus­sions of such a model where films are avail­able in the com­fort of your home ‘can’t be cal­cu­lated’. “By the looks of it, it looks like a deal which will dras­ti­cally im­pact the­atres.,” he opines.

Trade an­a­lyst Taran Adarsh is sure that this news must have sent ‘shock­waves’ across US film in­dus­try. “When films are re­leas­ing di­rectly on OTT plat­forms, it has raised a lot of eye­brows in In­dia. If it’s come down to 17 days, God save the the­atres,” he says.

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