Movies

No plans for Malayalam films to release directly on OTT platforms, say Kerala Film Producers’ Association

Mohanlal in ‘Marakkar: King of the Arabian Sea’

Mohanlal in ‘Marakkar: King of the Arabian Sea’  

‘Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham’, ‘Malik’ and ‘Kilometres and Kilometres’ are some of the big-name projects ready for release

The Malayalam film industry is likely to adopt a wait-and-watch approach before directly releasing new movies on the OTT (over-the-top) streaming platforms to overcome the lockdown blues.

The discussions on direct release on the digital platforms came after reports that actor Suriya’s production house, 2D Entertainment, was planning a similar release of the Jyothika-starrer Pon Magal Vandhal in the first week of May. With no clarity yet on the re-opening of cinema halls owing to the pandemic crisis, the entertainment industry remains clueless on how to tide over its biggest crisis ever.

“None of the producers of the movies that were ready for release in April and May had approached us requesting permission for a direct OTT release. The theatrical release would be impossible once the producers decide to go for a direct digital release,” said M. Renjith, president of the Kerala Film Producers’ Association.

Stating that the leading players in the OTT platforms would eye for movies having big stars and wider reach, Mr. Renjith pointed out that the sole release on digital platforms would not be a feasible revenue model for the producers.

“The average pricing for a Malayalam movie in the OTT platform is is the range of Rs 2 to 3 crore only and hence it would not match the returns from a theatrical release. However, the direct release of small movies can be explored if its producers consider it as an option to get out of the current crisis,” he said.

M. C. Bobby, general secretary of the Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala, said that theatres would not screen movies that opt for a direct OTT release.

“There would be nobody to watch those movies in theatres after being first released on the digital platform. We have not come across any such plans from the producers of Malayalam movies for a direct OTT release,” he said.

On the losses incurred by Malayalam film industry, Mr. Renjith said that nearly 40 percent of the business in a year was earned in the months of April and May. “Our preliminary estimates suggest that producers would have suffered a loss to the tune of 300 crore following the shut down,” he said.

Some of the Malayalam movies that were ready for release coinciding with the Vishu festival included Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham; One; Malik; Mohan Kumar Fans; Halal Love Story; Kilometres and Kilometres; and Keshu Ee Veedinte Nadhan.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 12:47:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/no-plans-for-malayalam-films-to-release-directly-on-ott-platforms-say-kerala-film-producers-association/article31452227.ece

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