Exhibitors can possibly exhale with relief once again with studios showing the willingness to delay OTT premieres after the theatrical release of their films. Veteran producer Anand Pandit whose film ‘Chehre’ enjoyed a theatrical release and an OTT premiere this year, says, “ Longer OTT premiere windows signal that theatres will bounce back sooner than later. Returning to a 6 to 8 week window will boost the business of cinema and I just hope that the sense of normalcy and good cheer we are beginning to see now will gain even more strength in the months to come.”
The festive season is usually a very lucrative time for the industry and a wave of hope has rippled across theatres with the success of recent releases and Pandit says, “There is no bigger high for a producer than to see his film showcased on the big screen and even for the audience, watching a film in the theatres is an unmatched experience. Production houses are hoping that the pandemic will be contained even more in time and things will go back to normal as when a film's premiere and its OTT unveiling were spaced sufficiently. This benefited everyone, including the producers, the exhibitors and the audiences who enjoyed a film in two different mediums.”
OTT platforms, he says, bailed out the industry during the critical phase of the lockdown and now they can play an equally important role by synergising with the industry creatively and commercially. He adds, “Both industries can help each other to showcase content in a productive way so that every stakeholder feels included. Ideally, a 6 to 8 week window is the best way forward for now.”
Anand Pandit's next production is 'Thank God,' a comedy headlined by Ajay Devgn, Sidharth Malhotra and Rakul Preet Singh. The film has been written and directed by Indra Kumar and will release in theatres on 29th July, 2022.