PVR & Inox Declares a War Of Statements against Bollywood Producers Over Direct OTT Release
PVR & Inox have openly come out to slam Bollywood Producers over direct OTT release of their films and gone to the extent of calling some of them as Fair Weather Friends.
While their statement is driven by their own challenges but it’s important to know the reality of each side and then decide who is right and who is wrong.
The Current Problem With All The Parties Involved:
INOX and PVR
Share prices of both the chains have deep-dived since the Lockdown was announced which is leading them to take desperate measures to keep their shareholders happy.
Inox Share Price was at a High of 495 in February 2020 and as of yesterday’s share market closing, it has shrunk down to Rs. 193 per share. (Source: Moneycontrol
Similarly, PVR share price has deep-dived from a high of Rs. 2112 from February 2020 to Rs. 853 as per-share market closing yesterday.
If Inox and PVR are paying full salaries to their employees and they have not offered any Leave without Pays and Job cuts then they are into Solid Wealth Erosion Mode, which is evident from their actions. Apart from that, there are rentals in most of the places where properties are not owned by them.
But the question I would Like to ask them at this point is whether they have offered pay cuts, Leave Without Pay and Job Cuts for their employees. If they have done this even to a single employee including their cleaning staff then calling someone else a fair-weather friend might not be ethical. And with this article, We demand that they release a statement on this situation also.
Even if they have not practiced any of the above then whether can they hold Producers Accountable for releasing their films on OTT over theatre is a different question.
2. Bollywood Producers:
With all the glamour and having a lot of fans Bollywood is a hard place for producers. And they are not as large entities as these Theatre Chains. However, there are Production Houses Like Yash Raj Films, Dharma Production and several others who are pretty big.
But right now since these allegations have come out after the announcement of Gulabo Sitabo and Shakuntala Devi. Inox and PVR need to understand the financial conditions of these production houses as well. Both these films are not backed by any Giant Producer or Production houses these are on budget entertainers.
There’s an interest factor on the budget and the projects of a medium producer are limited at this moment. As no new projects can go on a shoot. The producers of these films have not only to recover the money with interest but have to also pay off salaries, rentals and outstanding payments which is not possible right now with a theatrical release.
The audience would, however, love to see these movies on Big screen rather than on OTT but that’s an option they don’t have right now.
So Who Is Right and Who is Wrong?
Given that Cinema chains are going to be closed for long and there’s no way that films can release in theatres for the next few months. Even if the theatres open up, the audience might take months to come out at all to forget the large numbers. The situation is not clear and experts are not sure whether India has hit a peak or when will it hit its peak of COVID 19.
Overall the situation is unclear, and Even if producers want to release their films in Cinema Halls it is not possible. However, releasing the film on a big screen is the ultimate goal of any filmmaker as that is where the glamour, fandom and everything else this field gives comes from.
But right now every business is struggling to survive. Inox and PVR should not blame producers for these deals with OTT because it’s a question of survival and not preference. Producers, Stars, Directors and the entire crew wants their film to be showcased on the big screen for the reasons mentioned above.
If one end of the value chain can still earn money and pay off their loans, outstanding payments and salaries then Inox and PVR should be happy for them and not condemning them for their decision taken in adversity.
After all Theatres and Bollywood are Long Term Alliances and none of them have a future without the other. While there has been a section of Bollywood which has gone behind Inox and PVR over F&B sales and Ad revenue. Again that is a childish argument, we are adults and matters should be solved like adults. But The arrival of Twitter has actually seen the arrival of Adults With Diapers.
It’s time for Everyone to call each other and support each other in whatever revenue the other party can earn. OTT has it’s a limitation in India and cannot go off a certain budget. One of the OTT might experiment with this with a Big film but in all probability, it will be a failed experiment.
Given an option between OTT and Theatre release, producers will always choose Cinema Chains but Inox and PVR need to understand that this option is not there today or even 3 months down the line. And No one knows how long will this situation last.
Pleasing shareholders is one thing but if you hurt Ego of a Man than the rifts which are created are long term and it might be a Losing Situation for everyone involved including the audience.