AB Aani CD producer Akshay Bardapurkar: Unlikely that cinemas will open before September
AB Aani CD producer Akshay Bardapurkar on directly releasing Amitabh Bachchan's Marathi film online.
In an earlier interview to mid-day (Marathi films feeling the fever, March 27), AB Aani CD producer Akshay Bardapurkar had stated that he was delaying the film's digital release. "Amazon Prime asked us to release it on their platform now, but we refused... We can pursue a theatrical release till May 6; it will drop online on May 7," he had said. A month and two rounds of lockdown extension later, the filmmaker has decided to release Amitabh Bachchan's Marathi debut vehicle online on May 1.
"Multiplex chains like PVR and Inox [have suggested] that they don't see [theatres] opening before September. Ours is a Marathi film, and Maharashtra [which is our biggest market] is severely affected [by the pandemic]. How much longer can we wait?" questions Bardapurkar, before adding, "If operations resume after May 3, we will release it in cinema halls anyway."
With the film having enjoyed only a day's run in cinemas before they pulled down shutters on March 14, the producer estimates having incurred losses of about R6 crore. "We lost box-office [collection] of about Rs 5 crore, and another crore on advertising. The earnings [from digital rights] were to be a bonus; now, it's a saviour."
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