In the midst of the nationwide lockdown, the entertainment industry has suffered a huge blow with many ventures either being postponed or canceled. It has been almost a month that India has been under lockdown and the cases of COVID-19 are rapidly rising. There are speculations that the lockdown might get extended. This will force the cinema halls to stay closed until the situation kicks back to normalcy.
Meanwhile, there has been a buzz that the much-awaited film ’83 based on the historic win of the Indian cricket team in 1983 World Cup, might skip its theatrical release in cinemas. According to the sources, a major OTT platform with worldwide reach has offered Rs. 143 crore to the makers of this film.
Reliance Entertainment Group CEO Shibashish Sarkar, however, has denied these speculations. In a recent interview, Sarkar said, “There is no truth to these reports. ’83 has been made for the big-screen experience. Right now, there’s no intention or interest of the directors or we as the producers of taking these films to the small screen. If the situation deteriorates rapidly or there is no visibility of normalcy even after six months, we will evaluate then. But right now, we are all quite positive and I foresee that between the next 4 to 6 months, cinema halls will start operating. So that’s the hope and mind-set which we currently have.”
A trade source insists that different outlets have also approached producers of small and medium-sized films. The sources say, “The OTT platforms have enough content as of now but sooner or later, they too won’t have anything new to offer as even their productions are paused. Also, their viewership will increase if they get an upcoming film, which was originally meant for cinemas. Hence, they are approaching makers of films like Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Khaali Peeli, Coolie No 1, Ginny Weds Sunny, Saina, Indoo Ki Jawaani, and Shershaah etc. They are offering them a handsome amount, based on their films worth, which will not just cover the films cost but also ensure profitability.”
The Kabir Khan directed film was slated to release on 10th April but amid the lockdown, the release date of the film got postponed.