Film to release in theatres on Jan. 25; talks on with digital operators

Movie buffs will have to wait longer to catch Kamal Haasan’s latest, Vishwaroopam, in theatres or at home.

The film, which will release on the big screen on January 25, will premiere on TV via the direct-to-home (DTH) platform at a later date.

The national award-winning actor and filmmaker on Friday said he had dropped plans to premiere the film on DTH platform after taking into consideration the advice of his industry peers and also keeping in mind the ‘good health of the industry’.

“It will definitely release on the DTH platform but some time after the theatre release. I am working with my DTH partners on the exact dates and will announce that when we have decided,” he said on Friday.

Addressing the media after meeting members of the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association and Tamil Nadu Exhibitors Association at the film chamber in the city here, the actor thanked the associations for helping him release the movie’s Tamil version in over 500 screens in the State.

He said it was important for every stakeholder to understand DTH’s part in the future vision for the industry.

The association members thanked the actor for allaying their fears on the new technology and also for being considerable to their demands. They presented him with a gold ring ahead of the press briefing. The distributors’ association also held discussions with him.

Mr. Haasan had originally planned to release the movie on the DTH platform on January 10, a day ahead of its then-proposed theatre release. Subsequently, both releases were postponed as a controversy erupted over the novel move.

The theatre release was delayed because of misunderstanding over the move and parleys between various parties.

R. Paneerselvam, secretary, Tamil Nadu Film Theatre Owners’ Association, said they would soon be initiating talks with the Producers’ Council to enter into an agreement wherein any new theatre release would wait at least eight weeks before it came on other platforms like DTH.

“The arrangement being worked out now with Kamal Haasan is an exception,” he said.

A statement from the CEO of Airtel (DTH), Shashi Arora, said Airtel Digital TV had credited back the booking amount paid by subscribers for the intended DTH premiere of Vishwaroopam.

The company is now waiting for Mr. Haasan’s production house, Rajkamal Films, to communicate the date when it would release the movie on video-on-demand on DTH.

(With inputs from S.R. Ashok Kumar)