In an interview, the heads of T-Series and Reliance Entertainment said that the movies will be produced over the next two to three years, with the theatrical worldwide release of some of those set for 2022. (Representative image)
India’s two big film studios -- T-Series and Reliance Entertainment -- have partnered to make more than 10 films with a total investment of over Rs 1,000 crore ($135 million), eyeing box-officer recovery as cinema halls gradually open across the country after months of closures due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“Two of the nation’s top studios, T-Series & Reliance Entertainment are coming together to produce a slate of films at an investment of over ₹1,000 crore,” tweeted T-Series on September 13.
Under this deal, Bollywood major T-Series and Reliance Entertainment Ltd, owned by tycoon Anil Ambani, have agreed to jointly develop more than 10 feature films, according to a Bloomberg report.
The films will be across genres ranging from action thrillers, historic biopics, dramas, and comedies and will be a mix of big-budget as well as mid and small-budget films, said the report citing the heads of both production houses.
In an interview, they said that the slate will be produced over the next two to three years, with the theatrical worldwide release of some of those set for 2022, as per the report.
The deal is said to be one of the largest financing efforts in recent Indian film-making history.
It has come at a time when many film producers are turning to over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ Hotstar, etc to release their movies, abandoning theatrical releases amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, big producers say that lavish budgets can’t be recouped without cinemas. “We can’t make such big investments, such big films just keeping OTT in mind,” Bhushan Kumar, the chairman and managing director of T-Series was quoted as saying.
He hopes that all cinema halls across the country will restart by early November during Diwali time, one of the largest festivals in India, as per the report. However, it will depend on the country’s progress in containing the pandemic.
According to Shibasish Sarkar, the group chief executive officer of Reliance Entertainment, the vaccination drive in India has slowly picked up steam in recent weeks.
“That’s a big hope honestly,” he said.
More than 53.38 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on September 12, taking the total number of jabs to above 74.38 crore
, the Union Health Ministry's provisional report said on September 13.