The Kerala theatre owners have called for a two-day strike on June 7 & 8 as a protest against the early OTT release of Malayalam films. The blockbuster Malayalam film 2018, which was still running with decent shares in theaters, was released on OTT less than five weeks after its theatrical release. The theater owners demand that no film should be released on OTT before 90 days after its theatrical release.
A few months ago, Tollywood also vowed to take steps against the early OTT release of theatrical films, but that isn’t coming to effect now as many theatrical releases are now going for early OTT release.
After extensive discussions and meetings with producers and stakeholders, the Telugu Film Chamber decided that a minimum eight-week theatrical window is a must for every film.
But that rule fell flat on its face because no producer who has lost money on a flop film will not get lured by streaming platforms’ offers for an early OTT premiere. Any producer would want to recover as much money by selling it on OTT and reducing some losses.
Even a big-budget film like Agent was supposed to release on OTT in just three weeks after its disastrous theatrical release. But the OTT premiere got delayed for some other reasons.
These protests in the Malayalam industry might grab some headlines, and even if a rule is passed for late OTT release, it won’t stand the test of time and money. It failed in Tollywood, and most probably, it will fail in Malayalam, also.