YOU ASKED IT | 17 September, 2021

Why has Hollywood studio Disney decided to release its balance 2021 slate exclusively in cinemas instead of hybrid (cinema and Disney+ Hotstar simultaneously)?

– The phenomenal box-office collections of SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS seem to have reinstated the studio’s faith in the big screen. The film collected $75.3 million in the three-day Labour Day weekend in North America. If one considers the four-day weekend, the gross was $94.6 million. These grosses were better than the most optimistic projections. In fact, the film broke the all-time Labour Day weekend box-office record which had been held for 22 years by THE SIXTH SENSE. Before this film, all of Disney’s titles in 2021 — RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, CRUELLA, BLACK WIDOW, JUNGLE CRUISE — had had hybrid releases.

Isn’t Reliance Entertainment foolish to hold back the release of Sooryavanshi and 83 for so long just because cinemas are not functional at more than 50% capacity in most of the states? Like many other producers, they should either premiere both the films on OTT platforms or release them in cinemas.

– Oh really? Why don’t you become the CEO of Reliance Entertainment if you think, you know it all? SOORYAVANSHI and 83 are both huge budget films. Besides, they are meant for the big screen. Reliance will hold the release for as long as it can — and that can be decided only and only by the company. So, it shouldn’t be anybody else’s concern. And no, Reliance is not foolish because it must be having its own solid reasons to wait for normalcy or near-normalcy to return before it can plan the release of the two mega-budget films.

Isn’t Bollywood losing out to regional films because while Bollywood producers are wary of releasing their big-budget films till better times return, regional films are not only releasing but also doing well at the box-office during these abnormal times?

– Regional cinema does well in the regions it targets. If Punjabi film CHAL MERA PUTT 2 is going great guns in East Punjab, it doesn’t mean that it will affect Bollywood all over India.