You won’t hear too many trade pundits admitting it on record. But the fact is, Ram Madhvani’s made-for-Netflix special Dhamaka has garnered the kind of instant blockbuster status that big-screen superstars can no longer dream of.
Going to No 1 on the day it started streaming, the viewership for Dhamaka has grown exponentially , crossing the viewership of all previous premiers in Netflix featuring A-list superstars.
While no one from Netflix is willing to go on-record to say this, a source close to the project reveals Dhamaka has shown an “insane growth” ever since it began steaming on November 19.
“Even when two big-screen ventures Antim: The Final Truth and Satyameva Jayate 2 with A-listers Salman Khan and John Abraham in the lead, released the following week on November 26,Dhamaka remained steadfast in its supremacy.” says a source very close to the project.
Film producer and trade expert Girish Johar admits Dhamaka outraced the two big-screen blockbusters that followed. “Of the three releases, Dhamaka on OTT and two theatrical releases Satyameva Jayate 2 and Antim that followed, the reviews, word of mouth and feedback of Dhamaka were phenomenal. With the onset of OTTs the audiences are spoilt with choices ;they are consuming better and better content with each passing day. They are exposed to rich content from all across.”
Johar feels there is no room for lazy content on OTT. “Dhamaka worked so well because of its topnotch production values. Mediocrity is not the way forward and the taste patterns are very dynamic. Also, Kartik Aaryan’s performance was lauded all across and he carried the tense thriller all alone brilliantly. He is a growing star with a growing fan-base all across and is also being loved by his fans of all ages.”
However Maharashtra’s cinema exhibitor Akshay Rathi doesn’t feel Dhamaka on OTT out-performed the mega-theatre release in the last two weeks of November. “Comparing the performance of Dhamaka on OTT with Satyameva Jayate 2 and Antim: the Final Truth in movie theatres, is like comparing apples to oranges. Dhamaka was a film that audiences watched free of cost in the comforts of their homes.On the other hand the effort to bring audiences in to see Satyameva Jayate 2 and Antim in theatres was a tough upward climb. The price of one ticket in a movie theatre is what you pay for one year’s subscription of Netflix. It is therefore fundamentally wrong to compare them. Also, there are no clear benchmarks for the success of film in OTT. Performance reports are based on comments on social media which can easily be manipulated by agencies .At a time when theatres are bringing back the audience, or at least trying to, Sooryvanshi, Satyameva Jayate and Antim must be patted on the back.”