Kamal Haasan’s novel move to leverage technology and create a new revenue stream for his film Vishwarooopam through a direct-to-home television premiere has been torpedoed by the traditional players — theatre owners and distributors keen on protecting their turf.
By Tuesday night, the actor-director, Tamil Nadu Film Theatres Owners’ Association and producer-director Keyar together decided that the film will hit the theatres first. “The day and date when it is expected to be released will be decided at the second round of meeting tomorrow [Wednesday],” said R Pannerselvam, general secretary of the association. In an age when the money a movie makes in the first few weeks of its release often determines its success, Mr. Haasan was hoping the DTH screening would be a big help.
An official statement from Airtel CEO for DTH/Media Shashi Arora said: “In line with the postponement of the release date of the movie Vishwaroopam across theatres and DTH platform by Rajkamal Films, we have stopped booking for the movie premiere that was scheduled for January 10 at 9.30 p.m.”
Ever since the actor announced his ambitious plan for DTH, it has been a match of bobbing and weaving with a section of theatre owners and distributors who view the move as being detrimental to the theatre business.
Last week, the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association and the Tamil Nadu Film Distributors Federation decided not to screen and distribute movies that are released on DTH platform. Subsequently, bookings were open only in a limited number of theatres for Vishwaroopam .
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