Amid industry chatter that theatre lockdown is likely to be extended, Disney+Hotstar in talks with makers of Akki's horror-comedy for direct-to-web release.
Akshay Kumar in Laxmmi Bomb
The giant tub of popcorn has been replaced by a humble bag of chips, and the big screen by our 14-inch laptop screens — there's no denying that the lockdown has changed the way we watch movies. It appears there may be a further shift in cinema viewing pattern. Even as many filmmakers have decided to wait out the period and release their offerings on the big screen, the key players of digital entertainment have initiated dialogues with studios about releasing their films directly on the Internet. Amongst the first superstars to consider taking the leap is Akshay Kumar. Sources said Disney+Hotstar is in talks with the actor to procure the release rights of Laxmmi Bomb, which was slated to hit theatres on May 22.
A source reveals, "Akshay, director Raghava Lawrence and the producers are discussing the offer. There's a lot of post-production work left on the movie, including editing, background music, mixing and VFX. Since the team is working from home, the process is taking longer than usual. However, the makers are hoping to have the film ready by June. Although currently, the lockdown is on till May 3, theatres may continue to remain closed to ensure social distancing. In such a scenario, the team may consider having a direct-to-web release."
Akshay Kumar. Picture courtesy/ PTI
As a producer with sharp business acumen, Kumar had understood the potential of digital entertainment early on, and hence, decided to foray into it with the in-the-works series, The End. He is contemplating if releasing the horror comedy — a remake of the Tamil hit, Muni 2: Kanchana (2011) — online will be a wise move. "Akshay wants to make sure none of the invested parties make losses, and that the movie reaches a wide audience. While Disney+Hotstar ensures a worldwide reach, making the film available across small towns in India will be a concern for them."
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