The premiere date of the film is yet to be announced by the filmmakers.
"At Prime Video we believe in listening to what our consumers want and working backwards from there".
With Amazon Prime Video becoming the first streaming service in India to announce that several movies would skip theatres that remain shut due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and directly release on its platform, cinema chains - including the likes of INOX and PVR Cinemas - have responded to the change in release strategies that represents a threat to their business model. Other movies will be released between May and July.
The movies will premiere on the streaming platform over the next three months and will be available in 200 countries and territories worldwide. Starring Ragini Chandran, Siri Prahlad and veteran actor Mukhyamantri Chandru, it is written and directed by Raghu Samarth and produced by Ashwini and Puneeth Rajkumar. The movie is written by Avinash Balekkala, directed by Pannaga Bharana and produced by Ashwini and Puneeth Rajkumar and Gurudutt A Talwar. The Hindi-language biopic is produced by Sony Pictures Networks Productions and Abundantia Entertainment.
"We've worked closely with our producer and studio partners in this challenging time to help bring the great content that they've made with passion and hard work to different customer segments", said Vijay Subramaniam, director and head, content, Amazon Prime Video India. So, while a film such as Gulabo Sitabo would normally sell for ₹20-25 crore to a digital platform post its theatrical release, easily recovering its ₹25 crore budget, its producers are now in a position to command more, possibly in excess of ₹30 crore. "Penguin" (Tamil and Telugu) will go live on June 19.
Prime members will be able to watch all titles anywhere and anytime on the Prime Video app for smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV, etc.
On the other side of things, Ronnie Lahiri, co-producer of Gulabo Sitabo said "We're facing a once-in-a-lifetime phenomena, not seen since World War 2. The decision of the production house to deviate from the globally prevalent content windowing practice is alarming and disconcerting".
"Such acts, though isolated, vitiate the atmosphere of mutual partnership and paint these content producers as fair-weather friends rather than all-weather life-long partners", said the company, which operates over 600 screens in India.
"The Indian film industry has to keep the release window alive - either in theatres or digitally - to survive", Rathi told AFP.