Akshay Kumar starrer Bachchan Pandey had a HUGE offer from a leading OTT, Sajid Nadiadwala chose to take theatrical route instead - Read on to know how much
Akshay Kumar, Kriti Sanon Starrer Bachchan Pandey To Release On Holi! (Pic Credit: Bachchan Pandey Poster)

This is one temptation that may have been too much to resist. Still, it was decided to let go of that. While it has been announced that Bachchan Pandey would be releasing in theatres first on 18th March, it was practically an overnight decision. That’s because till just 24 hours before the official announcement, the paperwork was in place to premiere the Akshay Kumar biggie on a leading OTT channel instead.

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“That’s right, everything was pretty much done and it was just a matter of getting the final signature on paper. The formalities were taken care of, the modalities were drawn and the agreement was put into place. It was decided that Bachchan Pandey will stick to the March release but instead of taking a theatrical route, it will arrive on OTT instead,” says an insider, “After all, there was still uncertainty around theatres reopening and then occupancy rule and night restrictions were also a cause for worry. Since the OTT offer was so lucrative, it seemed like a wise business decision too.”

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It made sense as well since Akshay Kumar’s Laxmii too was premiered straight on OTT in 2020 and it turned out to be a massive success not just on the digital medium but later on satellite as well. It stays on to be a top watched film on the small screen in 2021. Later, his Atrangi Re also opened quite well on OTT in December last year. Hence, Bachhan Pandey too could have been a great bet there.

“Sajid Nadiadwala was in fact able to strim a very good deal for the film’s OTT premiere,” our source adds, “The number that was finalised was an astonishing 175 crores. It would have instantly made the film profitable on table itself and everyone would have been happy, be it Sajid Nadiadwala, Akshay Kumar or the OTT giant. It was a win-win situation for all.”

So what resulted in the change in plans?

“Well, the promo had been cut side by side as well and when Sajid saw it in his private theatre, he was bowled over. He felt that it would be injustice to the Farhad Samji directed film if it was not seen at the big screen. There was a discussion between him and Akshay, and both agreed to that. The message was communicated to the OTT player as well. While the film will now arrive in theatres first, it will stream digitally too but only after a while. Of course the number offered now would be a reduced one but that’s expected to be more than just compensated by the theatrical business.”

While that’s definitely a positive step taken as well in terms is reviving theatrical business, it has also helped bring in an air of positivity. One big release can have a good ripple effect on the business of films in theatres. It happened last year too when the super success of Sooryavanshi led to major blockbusters like Pushpa and Spider-Man: No Way Home. One just expects the same to happen in case of Bachchan Pandey as well with other releases following suit.

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