INOX expresses ‘displeasure and disappointment’ over the premiere of Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo on Amazon Prime Video
Hours after the news came out of Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, having a global premiere on Amazon Prime Video, multiplex INOX issued a statement expressing ‘extreme displeasure and disappointment’.
Denouncing the decision to release Gulabo Sitabo directly on the OTT platform, bypassing the theatrical release, INOX stated, “The decision of the production house to deviate from the globally prevalent content windowing practice is alarming and disconcerting. Cinemas and content creators have always been into mutually beneficial partnerships, where one’s action provided a fillip to another’s revenues... In these troubled times, it is disturbing to see one of the partners not interested in continuing the mutually beneficial relationship, especially when the need of the hour is to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, and bring the film industry back to its vibrant best.”
ALSO READ: Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, to premiere on Amazon Prime in June
INOX further stated that such acts “paint these content producers as fair-weather friends rather than all-weather life-long partners.” “Needless to say, INOX will be constrained to examine its options, and reserves all rights, including taking retributive measures, in dealing with such fair-weather friends,” it said and added, “INOX would like to urge all content creators not to skip the theatrical run, and stay with the age-old and established windowing pattern, which is in the best interests of all stakeholders in the value chain.”
Earlier in the day, the news came out of Amazon releasing six other films on its OTT platforms, including Vidya Balan starrer Shakuntala Devi. When INOX was approached, they had nothing more to add.
Meanwhile, Producers Guild of India has hit back at sections of the exhibition sector who seem to be upset with an OTT platform's move to release films directly before their theatrical release.
In a statement issued on Friday, the guild wrote that we are in unprecedented times, facing one of the "greatest public health and economic emergencies of our lifetimes".
"This is a time for the entire film industry to come together with empathy and support for the difficult predicament that each of our constituents finds themselves in - from producers, distributors, exhibitors, daily wage earners and technicians, to the thousands of people whose lives and livelihoods are in some way dependent on our industry. Hence at a time like this, it is disappointing to see abrasive and unconstructive messaging from some of our colleagues in the exhibition sector. Statements that call for 'retributive measures' against producers who decide to take their movies direct to OTT platforms - especially at a time when cinemas are unfortunately closed for the foreseeable future - do not lend themselves to a constructive or collaborative dialogue on the way forward for the industry,” reads the statement.