There is no question of pulling the film out of theatres. That’s a grave allegation to make against a studio that has invested so much on mounting and marketing the film. We put money into Striker because we believed in it and no studio would willingly jeopardise an opportunity to recover its investment,” says a spokesperson for Studio 18.
The studio head insists that if Chandan Arora believes that they played dirty, he should name at least one theatre or exhibitor who got a call instructing them to pull out the film. “Collections were down to 5 per cent on the first weekend and it dropped to 2 per cent over the week,” the spokesperson points out. “If a film does not perform, it does not survive. Period. If we had not wanted to give the film a decent theatrical release, we would not have invested money in it, which incidentally was almost 50 per cent of the production cost.”
The spokesperson maintains that programming is the exhibitor’s decision and never the distributor or the producer’s call. The decision to release the film on YouTube was made based on the fact that the lack of big names would mean no theatrical release in the overseas market otherwise. She adds, “That’s the reason we opened simultaneously on YouTube, blocking India, and promoted it aggressively online. It was a first-of-its-kind initiative taken by any studio to give an Indian film a day and date worldwide release on YouTube.”Serena Menon