It is big news for the entertainment industry as Amazon’s Air starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Nike movie Air will be released exclusively in theatres in April. This could mean a substantial move by streaming giants into the theatrical exhibition.
Amazon last month decided to release Air on March 5; though its first such attempt was in 2019. Many look at it as a new strategy wherein releases by streamers will mean a release of 100 films this year or beyond in keeping with the pre-Covid 150 average.
As for streaming giants, they have realized that a theatrical release gives more traction to the movie and creates more value for streaming platforms. Last year, Netflix also tried a similar strategy with Glass Onion.
Now, a slew of films is lined up for the summer-early fall period when the business is good. So, the streaming giants are banking on monies made during this period.
While it’s a new strategy in the US where streaming giants are playing the primary role in making and exhibition of films, locally, it may not work out in regional languages in India as most of the big-ticket stars and directors have a stake in production. For example, a Mahesh Babu or SS Rajamouli won’t do a film unless they have a stake in its production. They will definitely not do films where they are not involved in the production process.
So, the new global strategy may not seep into the Indian film scenario in days to come, though it is early to come to a conclusion!