Mumbai, May 15 (PTI) PVR Pictures, the largest theatre chain in India, on Friday said they are disappointed with producers directly releasing their movies on streaming services and bypassing the traditional theatrical route.
The multiplex stressed that theatrical experience remains the best medium for audiences to enjoy movies.
“As PVR, we believe that the theatrical release is the best way for audiences to experience the labour and creative genius of our filmmakers. This has been so for decades and not just in India but globally,” Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of PVR Pictures, told PTI.
The theatre chain joins its industry counterpart INOX is voicing concern about films going straight to streaming platforms.
In an apparent reference to the decision of the makers of “Gulabo Sitabo” to release the film on Amazon Prime Video on June 12, INOX had released a statement on Thursday, expressing its “extreme displeasure and disappointment” over the move.
On Friday, the makers of another film, Vidya Balan-starrer “Shakuntala Devi“, announced their decision to release their movie on Amazon Prime Video.
Gianchandani said the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has caused an unfortunate shutdown of cinemas but they are confident when the situation returns to normalcy, people will definitely go to theatres to watch movies.
“We are confident, once we get to the other side of this crisis, there will be enough and more pent up demand from cine goers who have been cooped up at homes for the last many weeks. We are likely to see demand by force on a sustained basis, once we reopen.”
He said the exhibitors have asked producers to “hold back their film’s release till cinemas reopened”.
“Needless to say, we are disappointed with some of our producers deciding to go straight to streaming platform/s, he said.
Gianchandani noted that cinema halls have faced competition from OTT platforms in the past as well.
“That said, this is not the first time films are being premiered on streaming platform/s. Cinema exhibition has regularly faced competition from new emerging distribution platforms over the last many years, and it has continued to enjoy cine goers patronage and affinity.
“I would also like to use this opportunity to express our appreciation for all the producers who have publicly voiced their support for the theatrical platform and have decided to reschedule their releases to accommodate the reopening of cinemas, he added.
Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video has unveiled its direct-to-service line-up spanning five Indian languages, including Hindi films Gulabo Sitabo and Shakuntala Devi .
The other projects are Tamil legal drama “Ponmagal Vandhal“, Tamil-Telugu bilingual movie “Penguin“, “Sufiyum Sujatayum” in Malayalam and Kannada features “Law”, “French Biryani”.
The movies will premiere exclusively on Prime Video over the next three months and will be available in 200 countries and territories worldwide.
Speculations are also rife about several films such as “Laxxmi Bomb”, “Gunjan Saxena”, “Indoo Ki Jawaanii”, “Coolie No 1” following the same route.