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‘We sensed the need for a pay-per-view solution’

Mumbai | Updated on April 21, 2021

Salman Khan-starrer Radhe will become the first Indian movie to release simultaneously in the theatres as well as on a streaming platform amid the pandemic.

Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai will be releasing this Eid, simultaneously in theatres worldwide and on streaming service Zee5 - for its premium subscribers - along with Zee’s pay per view service ZeePlex, and DTH services.

‘Ensuríng viewership’

Shariq Patel, CBO, Zee Studios said: “While we all love to catch the latest movies at the nearest theatres, we realised we’d be doing a disservice to Salman’s fans nationwide if we aren’t able to release theatrically in all Indian states. We sensed the need for a pay per view solution along with theatres, which gives the consumers flexibility and convenience of viewing the film.” We are looking to release the film in over 40 countries including theatrical release in major overseas markets, he added.

“A simultaneous theatrical + OTT + PPV release strategy is the best option right now. Theaters in India aren’t going to operate in full capacity anytime soon and filmmakers who have held back their film release since past the one year cannot afford to delay the release further as it will lead to more and more financial losses,” Sumit Kadel, film trade analyst, told BusinessLine.

According to Kadel, Salman Khan Films have sold the digital, satellite and theatrical rights of the film to Zee studios for ₹240 crore, making it the highest deal for any film in the ‘post-covid era’. However, when contacted by BusinessLine, Zee did not confirm this deal amount.

Derisking

The filmmakers need to de-risk themselves, affirmed Shailesh Kapoor, Founder & CEO, Ormax Media, a media consulting firm. “A film like Radhe would have expected to clock a weekend of ₹70-100 crore in India. But given the Covid situation, this number may be much lower, or even be close to zero if the majority of State Governments mandate that theatres remain closed,” he said.

A spokesperson for Salman Khan Films said: “We will support the theatre owners by releasing the film in as many theatres as we can, keeping in line with the rules and protocols laid down by the government. But, considering the guidelines and safety measures, we also need to devise ways to ensure that the film reaches all of our audience..”

“This announcement definitely raises eyebrows and catches your attention. I’m sure it’s going to have a very mixed reaction within the industry. It is a wait and watch situation right now. The announcement has just come in. It’s going to take time to absorb the entire scenario. And it’s a big film,” said Taran Adarsh, a film trade analyst.

PVR Cinemas, Inox and Carnival Cinemas did not respond to BusinessLine’s queries on this matter.

Published on April 21, 2021

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