Friday jitters gone: OTT releases take off the box office pressure, finish the ‘rat race’
With films releasing directly on the web, experts share how the dynamics of box-office collections and stardom have changed.Updated: Aug 07, 2020 19:30 IST
It’s no longer about how much money a film will make on its release day or its weekend collections. The Covid-19 crisis led to a shutdown of movie theatres, and filmmakers found a relief in the form of OTT platforms. And now, it’ll be all about the film, rather than the money it earns or the rat race which makers and actors feel themselves to be a part of, feel experts.
Trade expert Atul Mohan says that the very barometer of measuring who’s a star, the box office, is gone. “If a star is one who draws fans to theatres and buy tickets, entirely on their stardom, now there’s nothing like that. Their pull is now abolished. Before a film releases, the marketing revolves around a star, unless there’s a filmmaker like Sanjay Leela Bhansali or Rajkumar Hirani,” he says.
Mohan explains that there’s always so much curiosity to see how much a film in theatre earns on the first day or weekend, as that’s compared with the actor’s past performances, too. “There’s a certain barometer which defines stardom, that’s the box office. There are predictions like 100-150 crores, all comes due to the marketing and buzz. That’ll be eliminated now when films release on OTT,” he adds.
Actor Sonakshi Sinha, who stars in the Bhuj: The Pride of India, agrees that the pressure of the number game is off due to the direct-to-OTT release.“As artistes, producers and directors, we’ve made projects that we want to showcase to the audiences. We want the world to see them. Right now, at this point of time, the only way we can do that is through OTT platforms, where people are safe in their houses, and can watch whatever they want to. Definitely, the pressure of the rat race and box office figures has been taken off, but it’s not like we don’t want to get back into theatres,” she tells us.
With a big film comes big pressure, and Laxmmi Bomb starring Akshay Kumar is perhaps the most interesting film with a lot riding on it. Director Raghava Lawrence say this is the first time everyone’s witnessing such a situation.
“I have zero knowledge about what’ll happen. What would the rating be, how would the business be, that you can only say after it releases. Talking about the pressure that comes with a release, we’re confident, and with that also comes the thrill of how much would the first day collections be. That’s interesting, and missing this time around. But you can’t wait for a theatrical release too, there’s interest climbing up. Whatever change comes in the world, you’ve to adapt to it,” he tells us.
However, he responds “50-50” when we ask him if he’s happy with an OTT release. “Everybody, including the producers, want to release on the big screen only. This will be the first time we will experience this,” adds Lawrence.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh, however feels this is just a “phase” which will pass in some time.
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