While the coronavirus has paralyzed all activities and businesses around the world, the entertainment industry has also been hit hard by it.
India has been under a strict lockdown since March 25 to battle the virus, leaving about 9,500 theaters shut and depriving Bollywood of box-office revenue. The closure of theaters and cinemas has led to an increase in the use of online streaming sites by the consumers.
According to reports, the online streaming service, Amazon Prime, will now release the Indian films that were to be released in cinemas earlier this month.
As per the details, 7 new Bollywood movies will be released on Amazon Prime, including a movie starring Amitabh Bachchan and Vidya Balan.
Two of India’s biggest cinema chains, INOX and PVR, who were meant to screen Gulabo Sitabo, bemoaned the decision.
“INOX will be constrained to examine its options, and reserves all rights, including taking retributive measures, in dealing with such fair-weather friends,” Inox said in a statement.
The producers’ guild said the comments from Inox were “abrasive and unconstructive”.
Last month, theater 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.
Streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix have in the past signed deals with Indian studios for digital rights, but mainstream releases have always prioritized theatrical revenues first.
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