The pandemic novel coronavirus has changed the way we watch films and many filmmakers opted for direct-to-OTT releases. The viewers also witnessed many big-budget film releases on the digital platform and they will continue to do so, even after the re-opening of theatres. The upcoming months will have many Bollywood releases in the theatres such as Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, Indoo Ki Jawani among others. Also Read - The Girl On The Train Remake Teaser Out: Parineeti Chopra Tries To Escape Entangled Murder Mystery
Talking in length about the OTT vs Theatrical releases and how viewers have got the habit of watching the films on the online streaming platforms, filmmaker Vikram Bhatt exclusively speaks with India.com. Also Read - Sunny Leone Poses in a Bathtub Wearing a Sparkly Jumpsuit With a Plunging Neckline - See Viral Pics
Speaking about films releasing on the OTT platforms and how it changed the viewing habit, the filmmaker said, “I’ve been doing a lot of work for OTT. The OTT platform has come into the spotlight in the past few months because there is no other source of entertainment other than Television. A lot of films have been released on the OTT. I do feel that something has changed forever and that is our viewing habit, there will be more and more films releasing on OTT specifically the small and medium budget films and the reason for that is pretty simple. If I would go to the theatre, I would risk myself to watch a film, which I want to watch right away. Even though these films are going to come on OTT in a few months anyway. Then am I ready to risk my money and my life by going to an enclosed place and watching a movie. Yes, I am going to do that. If the movie is sensational if the movie is a big-budgeted with big stars and ensures a huge kind of entertainment then… yeah. Otherwise, it’s going to be OTT, which means that the OTT has slowly, excerpted the medium and the small budget film from the theatre. That doesn’t mean small and medium budget films will not release on the big screen, they will release but a large number of them will see the change of going straight to OTT.” Also Read - How Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story Changed Pratik Gandhi's Life, Actor Says 'Could Never Dream of This'
Highlighting how filmmakers and theatres itself has a huge loss of money, he shared, “I think it’s wonderful that theatres are opening again. We have taken a big loss in terms of business with the theatres closing but I think it’s going to be a long wait to start audiences to come and watch films like they used to. There are lots of standards and practices. The theatres will have to take care of and I don’t know how many people will be willing to risk their lives to watch a movie. But I am very optimistic that people will go because the opening of the restaurants has given an indication that people have worn masks and gone into restaurants in large numbers. So I am feeling very Boyd by that and I do think that we will be up and run in fast than earlier I thought and the faster the better because we need to get back into circulation.”
When asked about the revenues generated from OTT releases and theatrical releases in the current scenario, he said, “I think the revenue that the theaters can give is very different from the revenue that the OTT gives. OTT has never been the main revenue, it is always been additional revenue, this pandemic has made it into the main revenue. And the big-budget makers want to release in the theaters and on the OTT as it used to be. And I think that’s what they will try to do. Right now, there is a rule of 50% occupancy. And so, a fund that’s going to collect 10 crores would collect 5 crores on day one. And if that happens, a lot of the economics would have to change in terms of the rent of the theaters and the publicity. And you know, a lot of economics is based on the ticket price. So, it will require a lot of thinking. So merely by the theatres opening. We should not expect all big-budget films to start releasing quickly.”