Indian Movies to Release on Amazon Prime Amidst COVID-19

Amazon Prime takes the lead in this digital era, thanks to COVID-19. However, cinema and theatre owners are not happy about movies being released online.

Indian cinemas that once used to be filled with huge crowds will now remain empty. Indian movies will be released online on Amazon Prime and cinema owners are not happy about it. Due to the current situation and social distancing guidelines, everyone is urged to avoid going out unnecessarily. Hence, all the pending movie releases have now shifted from cinemas to Amazon Prime.

India has a lot of cinemas and theatres across the country. With the country being under a strict lockdown, almost 9,500 of theatres remain stranded. India is also considered as the world’s biggest film industry. India also has a huge viewership as there are long queues for premieres and many other movie releases.

Bachchan’s new comedy-drama Gulabo Sitabo, also starring Ayushmann Khurrana and directed by Shoojit Sircar, had been scheduled to open in theatres on April 17. However, it will now be released in June on Amazon Prime, and so will Shakuntala Devi, a biopic of the Indian mathematician of the same name.

Many cinema and theatre owners have frowned upon hearing this news. Inox is one of the biggest cinemas in India that was all set to screen Gulabo Sitabo but due to the lockdown, the possibility is narrow. CEO of Inox told one of the news channels that:

“INOX will be constrained to examine its options, and reserves all rights, including taking retributive measures, in dealing with such fair-weather friends,”

Netflix and Amazon Prime have previously signed many contracts to stream shows and movies online. It’s nothing new but taking the share of cinemas and theatres is what has made many furious. But mainstream releases have always prioritized theatrical revenues first.

Last month, theatre owners in the southern state of Tamil Nadu threatened to boycott well-known actor Suriya over his decision to stream his film on a digital platform. That film, Ponmagal Vandhal is part of the seven-film slate that Amazon Prime announced on Friday.

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