KOCHI: Much to the disappointment of movie buffs who were expecting to watch the visual treat — Marakkar: Arabikkadalinte Simham — the national award-winning movie from Mohanlal-Priyadarshan combo, the movie will be released on the OTT platform.
Confirming the decision here on Friday, producer Antony Perumbavoor said the decision was taken because he did not receive the support from the theatre owners across the state. He further alleged that the theatre owners, who were charting other movies soon after the theatres were reopened last week after the Covid second wave, had not extended the necessary support for releasing a big-budget movie like Marakkar.
“There are 650 screens in Kerala and I have put forth the demand of releasing the movie on a minimum guarantee basis. Even if the theatre owners give Rs 3 lakh for each screen collectively, we will get a minimum of Rs 20 crore. Considering the market of Lal Sir (Mohanlal), it was not a huge amount,” said Antony. He said he had received Rs 4.89 crore as theatre advance last year. “However, I have returned that amount to all those theatres which had given the advance,” he added.
Antony said only 89 theatres were ready to screen the movie. “Hence, I discussed the issue with Lal Sir and Priyan Sir (Priyadarshan) and it was with their consent that I decided to schedule the movie for the OTT release,” he added.
The movie will be screened on Amazon Prime, according to the producer. Meanwhile, the office-bearers of the Film Exhibitors’ United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) refuted the allegations raised by Antony Perumbavoor. They said the producer had sold the movie to the OTT platform much before the theatres were reopened after the Covid second wave. “What we have learnt is that the producer had sold the rights of the movie to the OTT platform much before the theatres were reopened. Hiding that fact, he is now blaming the theatre owners,” said K Vijayakumar, president of FEUOK.
Vijayakumar said maximum efforts were taken from the side of theatre owners to get the movie screened in cinema halls. “It was as per our request that Minister for Culture and Cinema Saji Cherian had decided to convene a meeting between theatre owners and Antony. However, he did not attend the meeting scheduled for Friday,” he added.