10,607.3555.65
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Disney+ Hotstar launching 'Multiplex' on July 24; 'Sadak 2', 'Laxmmi Bomb' among films to premier on platform

After Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar will have exclusive movie premieres on its platform for subscribers.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jun 29, 2020, 06.33 PM IST
0Comments
Agencies
ET's dualpane (49)
Disney+Hotstar will premiere films including Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Laxmmi Bomb’, Ajay Devgn’s ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’, Alia Bhatt’s ‘Sadak 2’, Abhishek Bachchan’s ‘The Big Bull’ and Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film, ‘Dil Bechara’.
MUMBAI: Star & Disney India is set to premiere at least seven Bollywood movies directly on the video streaming service Disney+Hotstar after giving the theatrical window a pass and further deepening the rift with the already vexed multiplex industry.

Disney+Hotstar will launch 'Multiplex' on July 24th, a new tab within the app, which will premiere films including Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Laxmmi Bomb’, Ajay Devgn’s ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’, Alia Bhatt’s ‘Sadak 2’, Abhishek Bachchan’s ‘The Big Bull’ and Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film, ‘Dil Bechara’.

Earlier, Amazon Prime Video had acquired rights of seven Bollywood and regional films for direct-to-digital release — including Amitabh Bachchan - Ayushmann Khurrana starrer ‘Gulabo Sitabo’— in a move that was heavily criticised by the multiplex industry, which has suffered major losses during the Covid-19 outbreak.
​Ajay Devgn's 'Bhuj' will also premiere on the streaming platform.
Ajay Devgn's 'Bhuj' will also premiere on the streaming platform.

However, Uday Shankar, president, The Walt Disney Company APAC and chairman, Star & Disney India said that movie premiers on OTT was something he was planning for a long time, and the decision was taken to relieve the choke on the distribution side of the value chain.

“As a producer of movies and a user of movies as content, I've been concerned about the choke point that's been building up,” Shankar told ET. “There have been only so many screens and because of that, whenever a big movie is released, the only way it can make money is to take all the screens (3,000-4,000 screens). And that meant that smaller movies couldn’t be released at that time,” he said.

According to Shankar, the other issue was that on an average, people go to movie theatres not more than twice in a year.

“The only way a multiplex player can make money is by making tickets more expensive, but it also limits the number of people that can visit and the number of times they can visit. So the problem is that the entire film community is hitting a ceiling. As a result of that, when you want to release a movie in theatre, by and large, it is all about the big stars. So, on the one hand we keep complaining about the dominance of big stars, but on the other hand, we have created a business model that is designed to lead to that situation.”

These issues made Star & Disney India think about releasing movies online.

“This crisis came in as a real opportunity because theatres are shut and movies are almost ready. There is also awareness that even when the theatres are ready, people are not likely to start rushing back to them in any way,” Shankar said.

However, multiplex players including PVR and Inox Leisure, who have repeatedly voiced their concerns and annoyance over producers’ not honouring the theatrical windows and going to over-the-top (OTT) streaming services, are not a happy bunch.

But Shankar terms the multiplex industry fear as “totally irrational”.

“It was the same when we went aggressive and launched movie channels on TV and started airing films,” Shankar said. “I used to hear that we will destroy the film industry and that nobody will go to theatres. But what we are creating is just one more channel and it will be great for everybody and nobody is going to get hurt.”

Quarantine And Chill: From ‘Money Heist’ to ‘Parasite’, Shows & Films You Can Watch During ...

of 13
Next
Prev
Play Slideshow

When In Quarantine, Binge-Watch!

2 May, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to a screeching halt. With a large chunk of the global population locked up indoors, a considerable number of people are turning to OTT platforms and streaming their favourite content to make the most of their quarantine.We have prepared a comprehensive list of all the shows and films (both on OTT platforms and television) that you can watch during the lockdown to keep yourself entertained.
Next

Also Read

Disney+ Hotstar India appoints Sunil Rayan as president, head

Former Google executive Sunil Rayan to head Disney Hotstar India

Sushant Singh Rajput's ‘Dil Bechara' to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar, will also be available to non-subscribers

Reliance Jio offers 1-year complimentary Disney+ Hotstar VIP subscription to prepaid users

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Popular Categories


Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service