Cold Case, a Malayalam language thriller starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, will launch on Amazon Prime Video on June 30 instead of being in cinemas because of the current COVID 19 pandemic situation. In the film, directed by Tanu Balak and produced by Anto Joseph, Sukumaran plays the character of a cop.
Southern language films have followed Bollywood in skipping the theatrical medium as cinemas remain closed for the time being, having to be cautious of direct-to-digital releases during the lockdown last year. As per industry experts, the southern film industries were first to take advantage of theatre reopenings earlier this year, earning returns in narrow, focused markets.
While movies like Malaysia to Amnesia, Mohan Kumar Fans, Thank You Brother, have already started streaming, Nayanthara’s Netrikann and the comedy film Sumo is currently in talks with various platforms. As per industry experts, the first to capitalize on theatre re-openings were the southern film industries. It generated returns in small and focused markets. Nevertheless, they have recently realized that they will have to wait forever for clean theatrical windows for the second year in a row even after assuming the pandemic has ended.
The southern movie industries have only recently realized the gravity of the situation, as per a film studio executive who did not want to be recognized, even though they managed a few money-spinners earlier this year, including Jathi Ratnalu’s courtroom drama Vakeel Saab, Dhanush’s Karnan, and Vijay-starrer Master. Nevertheless, the uncertainties regarding the reopening of theatres and the return of audiences are hurting them now, and they are scrambling for digital premieres with concern to no more options available as of the moment. “They were very certain about releasing films around January when most Hindi filmmakers were placing their productions on hold. They are worried also because the crisis showed no signs of abating. Bollywood, on the other side, has been cautious for a year,” the source stated.
As per Yusuf Shaikh, business head, Percept Pictures, “OTTs will soon be able to crack the code in order to reach the audiences on a wider range with respect to the right point with hybrid or with the subscription using models.”
Journalist by profession, Adity is a media and communication enthusiast. She is passionate about Bollywood, TV, lifestyle and celebrity reporting.