Video streaming platform Disney+Hotstar made an announcement today of releasing seven films directly, including Akshay Kumar-starrer Laxmmi Bomb.
Along with Laxmmi Bomb, Alai Bhatt’s Sadak 2, Ajay Devgn’s Bhuj, Abhishek Bachchan’s The Big Bull will all stream on Disney+Hotstar between July and October.
In addition to direct-to-digital releases, Disney+Hotstar has also announced the launch of a new tab within the app called Multiplex from July 24, which will premiere films.
The platform last week had announced the release of Sushant Singh’s last film Dil Bechara, which will stream on Disney+Hotstar from July 24.
Along with films announced by platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+Hotstar that will take the direct OTT route, there are a few more films that will skip theatrical releases and have digital premieres.
According to Karan Taurani, Vice-President, Elara Capital, there are around five to seven more small and medium budget films which may directly go on digital.
These may include Amitabh Bachchan’s Jhund and Ludo, Ishan Khatter-starrer Khaali Peeli, Kiara Advani’s Indoo Ki Jawani and Tuesday & Friday directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Looks like both big stars and directors are currently preferring digital premieres, especially since theatres are showing no signs of reopening.
Taurani thinks that if uncertainty around cinema persists, there may be a situation of more big-budget films moving directly on digital. He added that currently Coolie No.1, Sooryavanshi and 83 The Biopic are the only films waiting for theatrical release.
In addition, whenever theatres reopen in India, there will be a shortfall of large-budget Hindi films as film production will be last to restart considering the large sets and crew it involves, he said.
Even internationally, release dates of big movies is getting pushed time and again.
Christopher Nolan’s Tenet’s release date has again been pushed to August 12 from July 31.
Even Disney’s big venture Mulan will now release on August 21, after its release date was pushed from July 24 looking at the rising cases of coronavirus across the globe.