Amazon Prime Video Snags Bollywood Premieres as Coronavirus Pandemic Closes Theatres

Amazon Prime Video, Amazon’s streaming service, mentioned it can display a number of new Indian movies that have been initially meant for theatrical launch on its platform, beginning later this month.

The transfer marks a big shift for the nation’s movie business, which depends closely on field workplace income, and comes as lockdown measures to gradual the unfold of the coronavirus wreak havoc with movie launches.

Seven movies, together with two Bollywood movies starring A-listers such as Amitabh Bachchan and Vidya Balan will stream instantly on Amazon Prime Video, the corporate mentioned in an announcement on Friday.

Gulabo Sitabo, a household comedy with Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, which was to launch in April, will now stream instantly on Amazon Prime Video in June, as will Shankuntala Devi, a biopic on the Indian mathematician of the identical identify.

India is in the course of a strict lockdown as it battles a rising variety of coronavirus instances, leaving about 9,500 theatres shut.

Business at multiplexes and single-screen cinemas is unlikely to bounce again for weeks and even months, as an infection fears linger and discretionary spending plunges.

“There will be a reset in the way that producers and studios think about their portfolios,” Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video, India informed Reuters in an interview.

Subramaniam mentioned Amazon, which competes in India with Netflix and Disney’s Hotstar, didn’t see acquisition prices going up for the streaming platform.

“Content costs are what they are, and as the model evolves, values will get reset. It’s an act of checks and balances,” he mentioned.”

Bollywood is large draw for India’s burgeoning on-line audiences, who – pushed by low-cost information and smartphones – are spending extra time watching content material on-line than ever earlier than.

Streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix have up to now signed offers with Bollywood studios for digital rights, however mainstream releases have at all times prioritised theatrical revenues first.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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