In what can be termed as a stunner, Suresh Babu who owns many theaters in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has decided to take the OTT route for three major films of his production even as theaters re-opening is round the corner. Narappa and Drushyam 2 are going to Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar respectively.
Sources say that the Virataparvam deal is not cut yet but Netflix which already bagged the post-theatrical streaming rights is the frontrunner. Suresh Babu off-loading his films will dent the confidence of the trade big time. It sends a message that the senior filmmaker is not hopeful of normalcy any sooner.
With the apprehensions of a possible third wave, this will only add to the confusion. However, there is one more angle to this decision. We may see a flood of new releases whenever the theaters open. Many biggies lined up for Summer will now look to release.
Small and medium-range films may struggle to find a proper theatrical release. But that is not a factor for someone like Suresh Babu. But still, it makes sense for him to release the biggies in his theaters than to block them with his own films for 2-3 months in this season.
He will still make profits on these films while releasing them on OTT. Also, there is a chance of the audience ignoring such films while watching the biggies in theaters. So, this may be a conscious decision. However, this decision will only add to the confusion of trade in the coming days.