During pre-Covid times, all Bollywood films mandatorily followed the eight-week rule when it came to digital release. In other words, a film could release on an OTT platform only after 8 weeks of its theatrical release. Post-lockdown, the filmmakers however have been demanding for shortening of this window. The multiplexes, naturally, have thwarted this idea as they feel it can eat into their business. Interestingly, all the Hindi films that have released in cinemas since November have nevertheless followed the old directive. Meanwhile, the South makers have successfully changed the rules. Vijay’s super-hit film, Master, released within 16 days on Amazon Prime. The Telugu Christmas hit, Solo Brathuke So Better (2020), arrived on the pay-per-view platform ZeePlex within a week of its theatrical release, sending shockwaves in the trade.
Meanwhile, the new poster of the Salman Khan starrer Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai was unveiled on Saturday March 13 and it bears the logo of ZeePlex. This writer reached out to Shariq Patel, Chief Business Officer, Zee Studios which has backed Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai and asked him if he plans to bring the actioner on the PVOD (premium video on demand) platform after a month. Zee’s earlier film, Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, had similarly released on ZeePlex a month after its theatrical run. To which, Shariq said, “No, not one month, we are looking at releasing Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai earlier on ZeePlex. What that window would be is something that we haven’t decided yet. But yes, we definitely plan to bring Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai within a month of its theatrical release on ZeePlex.” He also said that they'll follow the industry practice in this regard.
With the rise in Coronavirus cases in India once again, especially in a city like Mumbai, the 50% occupancy rule in cinemas in some major state might continue till Eid. So will a big film like Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai release despite this restriction? To which, Shariq Patel states, “Yes, we’ll release Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai on Eid despite theatres running at 50% occupancy. Unless and until there’s a severe lockdown being enforced, I don’t see ourselves making any changes to the release plan right now. However, we are 2 months away and with the way the vaccination drive is picking up, I am hopeful that the restrictions would generally ease up in the weeks to come.”
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