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Updated: January 5, 2013 17:25 IST

Kamal wants Vishwaroopam’s DTH release first

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A scene from Viswaroopam starring Kamal Haasan and Andrea Jermiah.
The Hindu
A scene from Viswaroopam starring Kamal Haasan and Andrea Jermiah.

The multi-lingual film kicks up controversy ahead of its release as his idea does not get down well with the theatre owners

Just a month ahead of its release, actor Kamal Haasan’s trilingual Vishwaroopam has generated much controversy over the actor’s proposal to release the movie also on Direct-to-Home (DTH) platforms with the move not going down well with theatre owners in Tamil Nadu.

The tech-savvy actor’s unique idea of having just one show eight hours ahead of the movie’s scheduled release on January 11 on DTH platform has found few takers among theatre owners, who believe the new trend could dent their business if more producers of the multi-crore Tamil cinema take a cue from him.

His argument that the show proposed for a fee would actually attract more audiences to theatres has failed to cut ice among theatre owners who on Friday sought the intervention of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in this matter.

Abirami Ramanathan, president of Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association, said his association had held talks with the actor where many things were discussed in relation to the controversy.

Expressing doubts over Kamal Haasan’s argument that the show on DTH will act like a teaser and attract more audiences, Mr. Ramanathan argued, “If the movie was shown in clubs and associations like IPL matches, would people visit the theatres.” The move would affect small budget films and the association has urged the actor to reconsider his decision, Mr. Ramanathan added.

He also requested the intervention of the Chief Minister to solve the ongoing issue. Kamal Haasan, who was in Madurai, was not available for comment.

Vishwaroopam, also starring Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapoor and Andrea Jermiah is a multi-million-rupee budget film directed and produced by Kamal Haasan and the trailer of the thriller has created a lot of buzz.

This is an interesting experiment worth considering. However, it needs to balance the interests of all - producers, artists, distributors, and the viewers. Quite possible that this can bring in more revenue but it needs to be carefully evaluated. Because, this experiment can exacerbate the pirated cds situation. When camera prints are obtained even from non-colluding theaters, a high quality DTH relay seen on a Plasma TV might be easy to copy. Perhaps the DTH release can happen along with 1st day 1st show. This way one can cash in on the the sentiment of: thrill of 1st day 1st show. Releasing 8 hours before can be considered as well.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Dec 10, 2012 at 13:32 IST

Kamal has to release vishwaroopam movie's songs(mp 4)on televisions
immediately ,which will attract the people to watch the movie in
theaters for its better audio technology .

from:  pooranan.k.r
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 18:05 IST

Way to go, Kamal. At last someone is talking some sense in India. In less than 24 hrs. pirated version of the movie appears in the torrent world. This is the first step to beat piracy. Theater owners will have their captive audience because not everyone has access to DTH feed. This will be an unique experiment in Indian cinema and Kamal is going to set the trend for future film releases.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 13:21 IST

Kill the middle agents everywhere.

from:  vel
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 08:56 IST

Also release the videos of songs (mp 4) immediately on televisions, that
will reach and induce people to come to Theaters.

from:  k.r.pooranan
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 08:27 IST

Kamal has extended his reputation of that of an innovator in acting into marketing! Fundamentally, the bottom line is collections and collections in the first week. The marketing strategy of late in Indian Cinema is release in all available theatres and get maximum mileage during the first week, even before word of mouth goes out on performance. Taking the DTH route as another marketing channel upfront can only distribute the risk of Kamal, the producer. Its kamal's money and he has all right to have his own marketing strategy. This is a classic chance to display "Originality", which even hollywood would not have thought of. Apple could not have looked at the interests of Nokia before it launched the i-phone 4 years back! Come on Kamal!

from:  Madhavan Srinivasan
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 06:03 IST

I think this is a bold initiative from Kamal in terms of Indian Cinema. More films should follow suit. The trouble is...DTH providers will soon start dictating terms on small budget movie makers unless otherwise it has a commercial star value.

In this era of home projector and surround system, any affordable upper middle class would prefer to watch it at home. It is a matter of choice!

from:  prasanna
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 04:19 IST

If this movie is anything like Kamal's Dashavatharam, DTH will definitely save viewers a trip to theatres and will put a big dent in theatre owners pockets!!!

from:  Priya S
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 01:10 IST

there can never be a Kamal movie without controversy

from:  bala
Posted on: Dec 7, 2012 at 23:06 IST

The theatres are already in a mess.Such foolish initiatives will definitely create severe impacts on the movie industry as a whole.Kamal has rose to such heights mainly because of the theatres screening his films,even after failing to create buzz at the box office on multiple occassions.This decision should be reversed by all means.

from:  Rugan
Posted on: Dec 7, 2012 at 19:25 IST

release on dth first is good for producers not for theater owners when see them on tv is not get the real satisfaction of see in theater audio and video effects

from:  marudu
Posted on: Dec 7, 2012 at 18:25 IST

That is daring initiative . Hope it happens and let the audience decide if the movie is worth to watch in cinemas. ON the other side, lots of overseas customer buy pirated versions in different formats as soon as a movie releases. Let these money go to the producers.

from:  sri
Posted on: Dec 7, 2012 at 17:29 IST
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