Movie-going is now a very expensive weekend outing for a family (of say, four members), costing somewhere between 1500 to 2000 rupees, including the popcorn and stuff. There used to be a lower stall in cinema halls. That has almost been eliminated now. Movie going is for the upper middle class now. People will definitely not want to go to the theater if a movie has even a few ifs and buts attached to it.
Movies have to be really good to have even a moderate run at the theaters, especially when every family pays a good amount for OTT channels every month. Netflix alone costs almost 700 bucks a month! Everybody knows a movie will appear on some OTT channel sooner rather than later, so why waste the effort and money?
Secondly, Indians are disgustingly expert at downloading movies. You know what I mean. Why spend money if you can see a movie for free?
I think OTT will be the way of the future. Akshay Kumar, one of the most bankable stars in the past, has already learnt his lesson. His next two movies will be released on OTT. There are already calls for boycotting SRK’s next movie. Why would that movie maker risk a release in a theater?
Also, not all people are over the Covid scare and still don’t fancy getting into a crowded movie hall. Work at home, watch at home!
Movie budgets will be smaller now since they will be targeted at an OTT release. This trend will also bring down the astronomical sums currently paid to movie stars, especially for the males. Maybe this is welcome – it has gotten to be really ridiculous. There will be competition among the OTT channels to get a movie which will eventually beget better quality of movies.
One might ask about the success of South India movies. Personally, I think South Indian movies are where Bollywood was about 5-6 years ago. If they continue dishing out movies like Pushpa, I dare say that industry will be ‘rationalized’ too in a few years.
So kehne ka tatparya yeh hai basically, that much as the boycott horde may want to usurp the dubious credit for foiling LSC at the box office, we must think of the other factors that contribute to a movie’s success or failure in theaters.