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Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex to release 7 Bollywood movies directly on its OTT platform between July and October 2020.

Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex to release 7 Bollywood movies directly on its OTT platform between July and October 2020.

Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex to release 7 Bollywood movies directly on its OTT platform between July and October 2020.

Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex to release 7 Bollywood movies directly on its OTT platform between July and October 2020.

Disney-owned video streaming service Disney+ Hotstar will premiere seven Hindi movies that were originally slated for a theatrical release, in a move that could intensify the tussle between multiplexes and movie producers.

These movies will be streamed between July to October this year, starting with late Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer ‘Dil Bechara’ on July 24. Other movies include Akshay Kumar-Kiara Advani’s ‘Laxmmi Bomb’, Alia Bhatt-Aditya Roy Kapur-starrer ‘Sadak 2’, Abhishek Bachchan’s ‘The Big Bull’, Vidyut Jammwal’s ‘Khuda Haafiz’, Ajay Devgn-Sanjay Dutt’s ‘Bhuj’ and Kunal Khemu’s ‘Lootcase’.

This comes after similar deals by rivals Amazon Prime Video that picked up seven Bollywood and regional films including Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana’s ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ and Vidya Balan-starrer ‘Shakuntala Devi’ last month for a direct-to-digital premiere and Netflix that picked up Janhvi Kapoor-starrer ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’ earlier this month.

Multiplexes have been miffed with movie producers for not holding back their movie releases to honor the exclusive theatrical window of eight weeks and instead directly going to streaming platforms. The theatrical window is the duration between a movie’s release in theatres and its debut on other platforms.

That said, there is still uncertainty over when movie theatres will be allowed to re-open across the country, after they were forced to shut down in March this year, due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown. While the government has eased restrictions for businesses across various sectors, it is yet to provide a specific date for reopening of cinema halls.

Even when they are given a go-ahead to reopen, footfalls will likely be capped to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Also, there will likely be a huge backlog of film releases, that will lead to sub-optimal showcasing of small and mid-budget films. Hence, movie producers with ready to release films are looking to offset carrying losses and protect their investments through these deals.

“Producers who have already invested heavily in their films with theatrical revenue assumptions that are no longer feasible will seek out all avenues available to recover their investment and to stay in business,” the Producers Guild of India had said in a statement last month.

While the actors from the other supposedly ‘big’ films Laxmmi Bomb, Sadak 2, Bhuj The Pride Of India and The Big Bull were prominently present at the event, Kunal Khemu and Vidyut Jammwal, the two leading men of Lootcase and Khuda Hafiz, respectively, were not even invited.

Both spoke up about this uninvited snub on Twitter and have drawn attention to the very sickening hierarchical protocol that is applied to the entertainment industry. While Akshay Kumar m, Ajay Devgan and Alia Bhatt were showered with attention Khemu and Jammwal were ignored as they do not have a box office clout, and never mind if they have as much right to be present at the event as the lead actors of the ‘big’ projects (and never mind if one of them has already ‘bombed’ in its title).

A source close to the development says Disney-Hotstar has exposed its own inadequacies by keeping Khemu and Jammwal out of the event. “By doing so, they are clearly saying that out of the seven films in the package the two starring Khemu and Jammwal are eminently skippable. So we might as well skip them,”

On a more serious note, Disney-Hotstar owes Kunal Khemu and Vidyut Jammwal an apology for openly humiliating them.

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GyanDarbar is a Social Informational Entertainment website where Authors write about topics related to their field of interest and also covers the updates from the field of Art, Cinema, Books, Sports and Music.
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