Shoojit Sircar’s quirky dramedy Gulabo Sitabo starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana was announced today to premiere across 200 countries and territories on Amazon Prime Video on June 12, 2020. But it seems the decision hasn’t gone well with INOX Theatres.
INOX Theatres released a long statement in which they’ve slammed the decision of Shoojit Sircar’s Rising Sun Films to bypass the theatrical release of Gulabo Sitabo. They want other production houses to not follow this trend and maintain a healthy relationship with other cinemas.
The official statement reads,
“INOX would like to express extreme displeasure and disappointment on an announcement made by a production house today, to release their movie directly on an OTT platform by skipping the theatrical window run. 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. INOX has been investing profoundly towards adding world-class quality screens, across the country, only to provide more eyeballs to the great content being produced. This partnership has endured for decades and has provided succour to each other. 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.”
“Such acts, though isolated, vitiate the atmosphere of mutual partnership and 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.”
“INOX would like to reiterate that as the backbone of the cinematic value chain, this windowing pattern has done wonders in terms of revenues for the content creators and all other stakeholders, as it offers them the opportunity to extract the best from all available mediums, which include cinemas, OTT platforms as well as satellite.”
“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.”
Well, this seems like a start to something very ugly and it’s yet to be seen how the other head-honchos in the theatre world will react. It will also be interesting to see what the producers have to say about this statement. Stick to this space for a follow-up story.