Last Updated: 08.08 AM, Dec 15, 2022
Sidharth Malhotra-starrer Mission Majnu will stream directly on the American streaming platform Netflix, bypassing theatrical release, on 20 January. The film has been co-produced by Ronnie Screwvala and also stars Rashmika Mandanna in the lead role.
Movie theatres across India may be running at full capacity, but box office opportunities for small and medium-budget films are shrinking, pushing them to release on streaming services.
Even though these films featuring bankable stars were meant for theatres, Alia Bhatt’s Darlings, Mohanlal’s 12th Man and Kangana Ranaut’s production Tiku Weds Shiru opted for release on digital platforms, said trade experts. The move comes as producers recognise that only large-scale entertainers are setting the cash registers ringing, underscored by the poor performance of recent titles like Anek, Jayeshbhai Jordaar and Runway 34, among others, that could not draw audiences to cinemas.
A film like Karan Johar’s Gehraiyaan, featuring Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Ananya Pandey, centered on love and relationships, is a good example of having made the wise choice of not leaning on theatrical numbers when it premiered on Amazon Prime Video, a few months ago, trade experts say.
The few medium-budget films without large-scale action or grandeur, especially in Hindi, that did take the plunge to brave theatrical release, have thrown up poor results in the past few weeks, despite featuring bankable stars. Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey ( ₹19.68 crore), Ajay Devgn’s Runway 34 ( ₹32.96 crore), Tiger Shroff’s Heropanti 2 ( ₹24.45 crore), Ranveer Singh’s Jayeshbhai Jordaar ( ₹15.59 crore) and Ayushmann Khurrana’s Anek ( ₹8 crore), stand out as examples.
Trade experts say the dismal box office of Kangana Ranaut’s Dhaakad which finished at less than ₹3 crore is making post-theatrical OTT deals difficult, with the film finding no takers among streaming players.