Thalaivi MUST Release With A Four Week Window
Tuesday 07 September 2021 11.15 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
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Thalaivii is set to release week but the national chains are not prepared to release the film as it has a 2 week window in Hindi till its release on Netflix. The four week window is bad enough but you accept it due to the circumstances today but its not healthy in the long run. The exhibitors must avoid the window coming down more from four weeks as then it can be difficult coming back to four weeks let alone normal. Actually this sort of window must be avoided at all costs for Hindi cinema even if it means cinemas running empty for a few weeks.



The ball is actually in the court of the makers as the streaming giants are pretty flexible as has been seen with Bell Bottom. Obviously the makers are getting more for its digital rights with a two week window than a four week window so want to push that two week window. Bell Bottom could have gone straight to digital which would have got around 25 crore extra for its digital rights but the makers decided to take the theatrical route. They could have got a smaller premium for a two week window but probably knew exhibitors would not touch that.



There will be cynics in the industry that say they decided to come on theatres as they beleived it will gross over 50 crore nett so they would make more in the theatres than the digital premium and that could be the case. But there is no denying the risk was taken and even if they thought more more would come in theatrical they would have at least known it would not be much more and here you are getting a certain 25 crore. Now the share will be 15-16 crore for the film which is 9-10 crore less than they would have got with a straight digital release. Even if calculations went wrong and they thought 50 crore nett plus would come at least they were confident of their product and went to theatres.



Now its time of the makers of Thalaivii also to have some confidence in their product and take a risk. By our calculations there will be 7-8 crore coming out of the digital price if the film releases on a four week window instead of two weeks. You need just 15 crore nett box office to cover this shortfall and if you take theatres seriously then you have to be confident of this much. If not then its actually best to take the film straight to digital and take the full premium. Also even you fall a little short and make 1-2 crore less there is still the prestige of a theatrical release. Here with a 2 week window you basically want the prestige of theatres but its actually just a token gesture release and dont really care for exhibition and its mainly about the digital release. 



There will be many makers that want to forego theatres for digital as its the safest option right now. This is where actors have to step in as a theatrical release (proper theatrical release)  is actually a privelege they have and which very few get and made them whatever they are. The ones who have this privelege must respect it. There will be so many actors in these Indian web series and web films and although these actors may say things like its the way forward and best thing since sliced bread but the actual reason they are there doing web stuff is beacsue they dont have that privelge. This privelge has not come because you are the best actors or even decent actors because nobody is a Dilip Kumar today where the audience is coming for the histrionics, its basically there because the public has a liking for you on the big screen more than others and the exact reason why the liking is there across the states and demographics of Hindi cinema only god will know. 



Simply put the Hindi film industry is where it is today because the content made over the last 100 years or so good or bad was exhibited in theatres. This allowed legends and huge stars to be created which could never happen otherwise and films could be bankrolled on the clout of these stars. More films meant more theatres opening up. The fact is no theatre exhibition then no Hindi film industry and allowing a two week window basically means exhibition side is stepping on its own foot. In a country like India where piracy is rampant a window is a must and the longer the better. Even if its Bahubali a two week window should not be allowed and this is just Thalaivii. There is always another day and another film and as far as filmakers go its best to go straight to digital instead of trying to bring the window down further because it will kill exhibition further down the line.



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