For over a century of Indian cinema history, any new movie has been released first in cinemas and only after more than 8 weeks it is typically available on other platforms. That’s one reason that the Indian movie theatres are still growing strongly.
But that’s about to change as Reliance Jio in its AGM on Monday said that by mid-2020, a service making available movies for viewing at home on the same day they are released in cinemas.
“We would also like to point out that producers, distributors and multiplex owners in India have mutually agreed to an exclusive theatrical window of eight weeks, between the theatrical release of a movie, and release on any other platform. This exclusive theatrical window is a model that is followed internationally, in order to ensure the robust financial viability of all the segments of the sector, and has been replicated in India,” Inox, India’s second largest multiplex chain, said in a statement.
Inox said the producer of the film is the owner of the creative content and is, therefore, entitled to choose the platform for distribution and consumption. “However, in view of this mutually agreed exclusive theatrical window, he would have to choose between theatrical exhibition or release on any other platform, since release on both simultaneously would breach the mutually agreed exclusive theatrical window.
The multiplex chain hinted on repercussions on movie’s revenues if a producer tries to break away from convention and decides to release a movie simultaneously online.
“It also needs to be pointed out in this context that anywhere between 60-70 per cent of the revenues of any movie come from domestic theatrical exhibition. Hence, release of content on any other platform could potentially jeopardise a significant revenue stream, and hence, is unlikely to be the preferred option for content owners,” Inox said.