Mindless entertainment is no longer an option for Indian audiences. The shocking response to the new AkshayKumar starrer Laxmii which was premiered on Disney-Hotstar on November 9 has put a big question mark on the future of digital premieres in Bollywood.Apparently Disney-Hotstar paid close to Rs 170 crores for the exclusive premiere right of the film that has been panned universally for its hollow horror and humour and Akshay Kumar’s shallow shindigs.
Sources say afrer the Laxmii experience the major OTTplatforms will move ahead with extreme caution,
“Disney-Hotstar was not shown a single frame of Laxmmi Bomb or Laxmii as it was finally called, before the purchase was made. They were told it’s a blockbuster Telugu film,plus Akshay Kumar. And that’s guarantee enough.Obviously, not true,” says a source close to Disney-Hotstar.
Apparently A-listers gracing the digital space is no more a reason to rejoice. The digital world has given opportunities for a huge bank of untapped talent to emerge, from Harshvardhan Rane and Pulkit Samrat in Taish to Jaideep Ahlawat and Abhishek Bannerjee in Pataal Lok to Pratik Gandhi in Hansal Mehta’s Scam 1992 to Surya Sharma in Undekhi .
Says Sameer Nair, CEO of Applause Entertainment (one of the top content providers for the digital space), “The talent has always been there. With premium drama series on OTT Streaming Platforms, this amazing talent has got an opportunity to showcase itself. A rich, multi-layered, multi season story allows for a variety of characters to develop and come alive, and importantly, the story is not necessarily ‘star’ dependent, paving the way for a heroic script and a fantastic ensemble cast”
Bollywood A-listers are no longer seen as assurance for success, not in the digital space.
We hear many OTT platforms now want to see the end-product with A-listers before buying them. David Dhawan’s Coolie No 1 is among the forthcoming digital releases with A-listers that’s now under scrutiny.
Show them the product, then ask for your price.