16th November 2020

After Laxmmi, A-listers On OTT Have Reason To Be Very Scared

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.

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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”

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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.

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