Industry experts said OTT platforms were paying nearly 40%-50% more to the producers to acquire digital rights of the movies, compared to what they would have paid in case the movies had a theatrical launch.
Janhvi Kapoor-starrer Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl will premiere on Netflix, the video-streaming company said on Tuesday. The film, produced jointly by Dharma Productions and Zee Studios, will be released in 190 countries, the firm said in a statement. Netflix has, however, not announced the date of the premiere yet.
“We are focused on bringing the finest and most entertaining films to our members in India and around the world,” said Monika Shergill, VP, content, at Netflix. The announcement comes nearly a month after rival Amazon Prime Video said it had acquired Gulabo Sitabo, featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana. The movie is set to globally premiere on the platform on June 12. Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi will also premiere on Prime Video, although the date of release has not been revealed yet.
With theatres shut from mid-March and no clarity on the resumption of their operations, film producers have turned to OTT platforms to release their movies —primarily those that are built on a low- to medium- budget. Producers incur monthly holding cost for movies until these are released and monetised.
Industry experts said OTT platforms were paying nearly 40%-50% more to the producers to acquire digital rights of the movies, compared to what they would have paid in case the movies had a theatrical launch. Hence, small- and mid-sized movies can easily recover their costs if they opt for an OTT release.
More films can be expected to have OTT releases going ahead, industry sources said. Speaking of the film’s release on Netflix, on behalf of Dharma Productions, Karan Johar said, “We are excited to partner with Netflix and share this fearless story about following your heart and your dreams with millions around the world.”