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After theatres, Master coming on Amazon Prime Video; is release window getting shorter?

According to Karan Taurani, Vice-President, Elara Capital, the producers of Master have received big premium due to shorter release window.

January 27, 2021 / 08:51 PM IST
The Hindi version of Vijay's Master released on January 14.

The Hindi version of Vijay's Master released on January 14.

In just two weeks after releasing in theatres, south superstar Vijay's Master will start streaming on Amazon Prime Video from January 29.

According to Karan Taurani, Vice-President, Elara Capital, the producers of the film have received big premium due to shorter release window.

So, does this mean the release window is getting shorter?

Taurani said this is a one of case and that all future contracts with distributors will now have a proper clause mentioning about the window period which won’t be less than four weeks in the near term due to COVID-19 impact.

"Once the occupancy cap is revised upwards (theatres are operating at 50 percent capacity) release window will go back to six to eight weeks," he said.

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He also pointed out that other producers of large or medium budget ventures are not willing to forgo on the window period for less than four weeks as it is a loss to the distributors.

"Large studios/production houses in the Hindi movie production space are not in favour of lowering the current window period of six to eight weeks as India is already at half of what global averages are at with release window of around 120 days. There are only a few small production houses who have asked or are in favour of a lower window on a temporary basis," said Taurani.

In addition, top multiplex operators who command 70 percent of box office collections are not in favour of shorter release window. Plus, with many single screens shutting down last year due to coronavirus impact, the collection share of the top cinema chains is likely to go up.

He added that Master went to OTT in two weeks after theatrical release as all stakeholders have seen strong returns.

"Producer, exhibitors and distributors have all earned profits despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the 50 percent occupancy cap. Master has reported collection of over Rs 200 crore," he said.

Maryam Farooqui
first published: Jan 27, 2021 08:51 pm