Debates over its mode of release may have generated a lot of heat across the state, but actor Kamal Hasaan’s trilingual venture, Viswaroopam, is poised for release through DTH on January 10, 2013, hours before its release in theatres.
The movie will premiere on Pay Per View (PPV) at 9:30 pm on January 10—12 hours before its release — in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. To book the movie, customers need to send an SMS to a company number, which will then be confirmed by a company representative. Pre-bookings of the Tamil version will be available until January 8, for a charge of Rs 1,000, after which customers have to pay Rs 1,200. The Telugu and Hindi versions will be charged for Rs 500.
“I’m very happy that many more viewers will be able to enjoy Viswaroopam in the comfort of their homes,” said the actor. The issue of releasing the movie on DTH, however, has had its fair share of controversies over the last few weeks. Theatre owners and exhibitors feel that such releases may wean away a substantial portion of its audience. Kamal Haasan’s contention that the release would actually attract more audiences to theatres failed to cut ice among theatre owners who also sought the Chief Minister’s intervention in the matter.
Exhibitors — in addition to pointing out that the release has not been tried out anywhere else worldwide — have also expressed worries about the deterrents due to word-of-mouth publicity. They feel that should the movie be bad, the corresponding publicity spread could reduce audience sizes, and result in losses to the movie hall owners.
The actor — whose previous movie, Dasavatharam, was also a multi-lingual venture — is said to be in talks with Malaysia’s Astro and Singapore’s Sing Tel as well as with some European and Australian DTH operators to air Viswaroopam. Kamal Haasan, who has also directed the movie in addtion to producing it, had announced a short film-making contest not too long ago, asking participants to make a short film, explaining the advantages of releasing a movie on the DTH platform.