Bollywood has been the most watched industry for a long time. From North to South, Hindi movies are watched all over India. But the same cannot be said about all the local films coming from Tollywood, Kollywood etc.
So as a result of this wide range of audience, Bollywood films are getting better offers for non-theatrical rights. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Nowadays, data is very accessible like Airtel and mainly Jio leap. So, with a huge northern audience, Bollywood movies are likely to do well on OTT.
Hence, from these digital rights alone, most films recover more than 80 percent of their film’s budget. Producers recoup a large chunk of their money with digital, satellite and music rights.
Because of this, many producers don’t even worry about the film’s theatrical performance. Many don’t even spend money and effort on theatrical release. Recently, Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor’s Bawal was released directly on Amazon Prime. Now this is not just a small movie. Both the actors are relatively big stars and director Nitesh Tiwari has given blockbusters like Dangal and Chichor.
But the question is, what are the implications of this in the long run? Is this a good sign or a bad sign? The simple fact is that Indian audiences love theatre. If the movie is good, they want to watch it in theaters instead of OTT. Of course, it varies from person to person, but what I’m saying is that if a movie is good, it will definitely make more money at the box office than the revenue from non-theatrical rights.
Well, only time can tell what’s in store for Bollywood cinema.