BENGALURU: Are producers of Kannada films with big stars planning to take a digital leap? As the lights seem to be going out on theatre releases with cinemas operating only at 50 per cent capacity due to the pandemic, the demand by theatre owners, and other problems, the producers may go Over-The-Top (OTT). Some producers who met at a private hotel on Wednesday are looking at the OTT platforms as an option, which was one of the highlights of their discussions.
Producers including Vijay Kiragandur, KP Srikanth, Jayanna, Surappa Babu, B K Gangadhar, Manjunath Gowda, Umapathy S and Karthik Gowda were among those present. The producers are more worried that the theatre owners are demanding to abolish the earlier trade policy of just rentals and instead wanting a percentage share in the collections. This, however, is not acceptable to the producers.
“The current demand of the theatre owners on having a percentage share will eat into the collections. We are okay to release the films as per the earlier norm,” said one of the producers who was present at the meeting. “With the crisis we are facing, we won’t be able to meet the theatre owners’ demand.
So we have no option but to head to streaming platforms, who are ready to pay a good amount to have star films,” he said. Currently, the films that are getting ready for release this year are Darshan’s Roberrt, produced by Umapathy, Puneeth Rajkumar’s Yuvarathnaa, and Yash starrer, KGF Chapter 2 produced by Vijay Kiragandur among others.
String of big-ticket releases for this year
The other star films slated for release this year are Sudeep’s Kotigobba 3, produced by Surappa Babu; Dhruva Sarja’s Pogaru, produced by B K Gangadhar; Bhajarangi 2 made under Jayanna Films; and Raskhit Shetty’s 777 Charlie. Meanwhile, the Tamil film industry received much flak, with the Centre taking strong exception to the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to allow 100 per cent seating in cinema halls. It is said the government took such a decision after prominent actors requested that cinema halls be allowed to function at full capacity, as new movies are slated to release during the Pongal festival.
Now, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to revoke its decision after the Centre had written to it in this regard, according to sources. Even the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce as well as the Telugu film industry have appealed to their respective state governments to allow the operation of cinemas with 100 per cent occupancy.