- US theatres premiere ‘Army of the Dead’ while Indian cinemas shun ‘Radhe’
- Army of the Dead, directed by Zack Snyder, made $ 789,999 in its opening weekend
- Indian multiplex owners want exclusive theatrical releases
As there is no fresh content on the market, the movie theatres in the US are compelled to premier Netflix’s new movie, Armie of the Dead, just 7 days before it becomes available on the OTT platform.
Army of the Dead, directed by Zack Snyder, made $ 780,000 over the opening weekend as multiplex chains in India remained clear they would not play Salman Khan’s Radhe which released on Zee’s pay-per-view service ZeePlex for Eid last week.
The Indian multiplex owners have, for a long time, remained adamant on the exclusive theatrical releases for them and not have denied premiering movies that have either had an OTT (Over-The-Top streaming platform) release or would seek one on the same day.
The cinema owners as well as the film-makers across India were in a state of panic after the Hollywood studio, Warner Bros, announced a unique, hybrid distribution model for its 2021 movie releases last December, stating that all of its offerings shall hit the cinema screens on the same day as their premiere on the company’s video streaming platform HBO Max.
This move from one of the World’s biggest studio could prove to be a game changer for the movie business across the globe.
Industry and trade experts had pointed out the move could relegate theatricals to a secondary viewing medium and make recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic impossible.
As cinemas are struggling to stay in business after the disruptions caused by COVID-19, that is, if they have not shut down already, several media and entertainment industry experts say such moves sound like the final nail on the coffin for the theatre business in many ways.
Mint, quoting an anonymous executive of the Film Industry, said, “The national chains are clear they will not be treated as second fiddle to the streaming platforms and that they are the premier platform for movie release in the country. Accepting an OTT release is akin to shutting their own shop. What will the difference between the two screens be if they agree to this?”