The OTT (Over the Top) platform is proving to be a boon for films with low budget and no star power. Films that were removed a few days after they were screened in multiplexes and theatres because it was difficult for them to find out the cost are now proving to be a win-win deal due to OTT.
There are more than 5 dozen films in the Corona period which have been released directly on one OTT platform. Interestingly, none of these films were tagged as flops. All the films have made profits above their cost. That is, it can be said that OTT is now a safe game for many filmmakers.
The big reason behind this is that OTT platforms never make public the data of the viewership of their films. Because of this it is difficult to say whether a film is a hit or a flop. Secondly, OTT platforms buy films at a higher price than cost, so the film never goes into losses. Like recently happened with Salman Khan’s ‘Radhe’. The film, which was made at a cost of about Rs 100 crore, was sold on the G-5 platform for Rs 170 crore.
Even though the reviews of ‘Radhe’ have been negative, critics also did not give the film much ratings, but the film did not prove to be a loss-making deal for the makers from anywhere. On the contrary, if the film had released in theatres, the film might have borne the brunt of negative publicity after the bumper collection of the first day.
Ott’s plight replaced by lockdown
When films started appearing on OTT in India, it was believed that only films with experimental topics or bold content would come here. It started with Netflix’s Lust Stories, Ghost Stories and Bombay Talkies, but the lockdown changed the whole scene. Theatres are not expected to open with 100% occupancy for a few months now. The list of exclusive OTT releases is getting longer.
It was a forced deal for them
The closure of the theatre also forced some films to come on OTT. Coming to big star films, Hotstar bought Akshay Kumar’s Lakshmi rights for Rs 150 crore. While the G-5 was scheduled to sell the rights for Radhe’s hybrid release for Rs 225 crore, sources say the film is not releasing in theatres, after it was decided that the final deal was signed at Rs 170 crore. These films could undoubtedly have earned more in theatre releases. The producers of both the films have not been in losses, but the fact is that theatre releases are better than OTT for big budget films. Both these films may have been labeled super hits or blockbusters.
These films were saved by OTT
Arjun Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh’s Sardar’s Grandson has just released on Netflix. All the reviews of the film show that if it had come to the theatre, it would have flopped badly, but now no one will be able to call the film a flop on OTT. Similarly, if Abhishek Bachchan’s Big Bull and Amitabh Bachchan’s Gulabo Sitabo had hit the big screen, she could not have done a big miracle at the box office anyway. The same applies to Abhishek’s ludo.
Not only Abhishek but there are many other stars whose box office record has not been much. OTT may not get a big offer for the rights to his film, but it is good to be labelled a flop so that the film can easily cost and profit here.
Sushant Singh Rajput’s ‘Dil Bechara’ had got record breaking views. The film also got a high rating, but could it have received a good collection in normal conditions at the box office? That is a big question.
Sanjay Dutt and Alia Bhatt’s Sadak-2 got a rating of 1.1 on IMDB. The film came on OTT so escaped the flop.
Many films are just technical releases
Trade analyst Rahul Dubey reveals the real truth of the film’s release. Talking to Bhaskar, he said that even in the normal period before Covid, only 30 per cent of the films were truly seen in theatre. The rest of the films were just technical releases. Releases were made for a week or a few days and were deleted.
Dubey says ott platforms doubled in the country at the time of lockdown, so now the producer has more options. OTT does not have the tension of marketing and promotion cast. They also avoid the fear of bad conditions in theatre.
Theatre release is risky, OTT Safe
In a conversation with Avinash Das Bhaskar, director of anarkali of Ara, a film She and theatre release, which is one of the top 10 films on Netflix, admits that the producer is safe in the OTT release. He makes the film and sells the OTT platform with profits.
Avinash points out that no one was ready to release Anarkali of Ara so the producer himself released the film in partnership with PVR. The theatrical release carries a risk of what will happen if people don’t come to watch the film. This risk is not in OTT.
Many movies were only because of OTT that people were able to watch
Talking to Bhaskar, actress Neena Gupta said that OTT has proved to be a boon not only for producers or audiences but also for many actors. Imagine what would have happened to so many films if it wasn’t for OTT? How many actors and others are getting work because of OTT. Many films have reached the audience due to OTT. It should increase and grow further.
News Source : Bhaskar.com