Puneeth Rajkumar’s Yuvarathnaa is another shocker after Thalapathy Vijay’s Master. The latest Sandalwood release has released on OTT within just 8 days of its theatrical release. Thus, it has surpassed Master, which released on OTT within 18 days of its release. But this sort of record isn’t a pleasing one for theatre owners.
Yuvarathnaa released on 1st April in theatres and is riding high of rave reviews and extraordinary word-of-mouth. The box office numbers too have been terrific. But it’s the second COVID-19 wave that has spoilt all the party. Following a rise in cases, the Karnataka government ordered cinema halls to run at 50% occupancy. Soon after the proclamation, several Sandalwood actors and filmmakers had expressed their disappointment.
KGF fame Yash too had shared a note on Twitter and slammed the decision of the government. He demanded 100% occupancy and justice for Yuvarathnaa, as the film’s stupendous run was proving to be gold for theatres during the COVID crisis. Karnataka’s CM, BS Yediyurappa has agreed to allow 100% occupancy post all the outrage. But as COVID cases continue to increase, the makers of Puneeth Rajkumar‘s film have taken the route of OTT as many people can’t step into theatres. Also, some cinema halls are demanding a negative COVID-19 report from people, thus making it a hectic experience.
Talking on the same, Yuvarathnaa director Santhosh Ananddram said, “It’s a very unusual scenario. This is for all the people, especially senior citizens, who were waiting to watch ‘Yuvarathnaa’. The movie will be in theatres also,” during a press conference on Thursday (8th April).
Expectedly, theatre owners are disappointed by the move and have questioned, how will they survive if all the makers take the OTT route in such a short period of theatrical release. KV Chandrashekar (president of Karnataka Exhibitors Association) said, “In a year, at least 10 big films must do well for us to sustain. If a big film goes to OTT just a week after its release, then it’s shocking,” reports Deccan Herald.
“We received no financial help from the government last year when theatres were shut. We are in further trouble because other big producers are planning to postpone their films. Now, this development is a lesson on survival for exhibitors,” Chandrashekhar added.
Yuvarathnaa premiered today on Amazon Prime Video.