Amazon Prime Video Snags Bollywood Premieres as Coronavirus Pandemic Closes Theatres

The move to stream movies on platforms like Amazon Prime Video comes as the coronavirus-led lockdown has wreaked havoc with film launches.

Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
Amazon Prime Video Snags Bollywood Premieres as Coronavirus Pandemic Closes Theatres

Photo Credit: Amazon/ Rising Sun Films/ Kino Works

Streaming platforms have in the past signed deals with Bollywood studios for digital rights

Highlights
  • Gulabo Sitabo, a family comedy will release on Amazon Prime in June
  • Biopic on Indian mathematician Shakuntala Devi will also come in June
  • The coronavirus lockdown has left about 9,500 theatres shut

Amazon Prime Video, Amazon's streaming service, said it will screen several new Indian films that were originally meant for theatrical release on its platform, starting later this month.

The move marks a significant shift for the country's film industry, which relies heavily on box office revenue, and comes as lockdown measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus wreak havoc with film launches.

Seven films, including two Bollywood films starring A-listers such as Amitabh Bachchan and Vidya Balan will stream directly on Amazon Prime Video, the company said in a statement on Friday.

 

 

Gulabo Sitabo, a family comedy with Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, which was to release in April, will now stream directly on Amazon Prime Video in June, as will Shakuntala Devi, a biopic on the Indian mathematician of the same name. The other five are French Biryani, Law, Penguin, Ponmagal Vandhal, and Sufiyam Sujatayum.

India is in the middle of a strict lockdown as it battles a rising number of coronavirus cases, leaving about 9,500 theatres shut.

Business at multiplexes and single-screen cinemas is unlikely to bounce back for weeks or even months, as infection fears linger and discretionary spending plunges.

"There will be a reset in the way that producers and studios think about their portfolios," Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video, India told Reuters in an interview.

Subramaniam said Amazon, which competes in India with Netflix and Disney's Hotstar, did not see acquisition costs going up for the streaming platform.

"Content costs are what they are, and as the model evolves, values will get reset. It's an act of checks and balances," he said."

Bollywood is huge draw for India's burgeoning online audiences, who - driven by cheap data and smartphones - are spending more time watching content online than ever before.

Streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix have in the past signed deals with Bollywood studios for digital rights, but mainstream releases have always prioritised theatrical revenues first.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


Which is the bestselling Vivo smartphone in India? Why has Vivo not been making premium phones? We interviewed Vivo's director of brand strategy Nipun Marya to find out, and to talk about the company's strategy in India going forward. We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Motorola Edge+ India Launch Set for May 19, Flipkart Teaser Reveals
Five Best Racing Games for Android: May 2020

Related Stories

 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2020. All rights reserved.
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com