DIWALI CLASH ON OTT PLATFORMS | 24 October, 2020

Whether there will be fireworks at the cinemas this Diwali or not is not known. It all depends upon how soon people start congregating in cinemas for their dose of entertainment. For, that will decide if the films being planned to release in cinemas this Diwali will actually make it to the cinemas. The first week at the cinemas, after they reopened on 15th October in many parts of the country, has not been very good. Of course, there are reasons for that: (i) people are still wary of venturing out to the cinemas in view of the multitude of coronavirus cases; (ii) there’s also the additional point of spending power at the disposal of the public in view of the hard times people have gone through and are still going through due to the pandemic lockdown; (iii) absence of fresh content on display in cinemas. Films that have been released are repeat-runs, and it is well-known that such films usually manage to collect peanuts in even normal times. So to expect such repeat-run fare to pull people out of their homes in such frightening times is wishful thinking.

Films that have been released are repeat-runs, and it is well-known that such films usually manage to collect peanuts in even normal times.

Because the footfalls in cinemas are terribly low and also because cinemas haven’t reopend across the country, one cannot predict whether the films announced for Diwali release in the cinemas, will actually make it or not. Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, Indoo Ki Jawani, Bunty Aur Babli 2 were some of the films which were announced either officially or through grapevine sources for release in the Diwali week. But there’s still a big question mark on their release due to the dismally low box-office collections in the week gone by. If the aforementioned films do hit the screens on Diwali, there would be a clash of sorts. Of course, this would hardly compare with the clash seen in cinemas in normal times when big-budgeted and huge star cast films release on the occasion of the festival of lights.

Meanwhile, the various OTT platforms are all set for Diwali fireworks. Disney+ Hotstar is geared up to premiere Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani starrer Laxmmi Bomb from 9th November, a few days before the festival of lights. In cinemas, producers and distributors have always been wary of releasing films on pre-Diwali days because cinema attendance is known to take a beating during those days. But there seems to be no such apprehension in the minds of the decision-makers in streaming platforms.

In cinemas, producers and distributors have always been wary of releasing films on pre-Diwali days because cinema attendance is known to take a beating during those days.

Netflix has announced Ludo, starring Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkumar Rao, Aditya Roy Kapur, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra and Pankaj Tripathi, for the same festival week. Unlike Raghava Lawrence’s Laxmmi Bomb, Anurag Basu’s Ludo will hit the small screens on 12th November (Thursday).

As if not to be left behind, Amazon Prime Video will bring Chhalaang in your homes on the festive occasion. Hansal Mehta’s Chhalaang stars Rajkumar Rao and Nushrat Bharucha and will be premiered from 13th November (Friday). So even though there will be a clash of Diwali releases on streaming platforms, the dates are all different — 9th, 12th and 13th November.

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