Carnival Cinemas CEO: Disappointed with digital distribution of films, but understand the financial compulsion

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Written by Kshitij Rawat
| New Delhi |

Published: May 16, 2020 6:16:47 pm

Theaters are currently closed nationwide due to the global coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown. (Photo: Carnival Cinemas/Facebook)

After INOX and PVR Cinemas, another multiplex chain Carnival Cinemas has reacted to the decision of many film studios to opt for direct OTT releases instead of choosing the theatrical route. PVR and INOX believe the makers should have waited for cinema halls to reopen. Theaters are currently closed nationwide due to the global coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown.

Carnival Cinemas CEO Mohan Umrotkar said in a statement that though they are disappointed with the filmmaker’s move, they also understand the financial compulsion. He recalled that even in the past many studios have opted for a digital release so as not to lose the money that was invested in the production.

The statement read, “Though we are disappointed with the move of the filmmakers to go straight to digital, we understand the financial burden/compulsion that one may have in these times. Even in the past, there have been a few cases of filmmakers facing failure when they opted for digital release, skipping the theatrical run. The ones who have decided to go ahead with a digital release were possibly in a difficult situation due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The statement continued, “There is money invested, there may be interest (on it), someone wants to minimize the loss and if they are in a position to monetize it, we can’t stop them. The situation is such that you cannot blame anyone. In this time of uncertainty some producers have decided to release their content directly on OTT. It is within their rights to decide but we will not release those movies in our theatres.”

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Carnival Cinemas CEO Mohan Umrotkar also said he believes these digital releases are not going to impact the business much and this is temporary. Once the worst of the outbreak is over, theaters will be active once again.

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“I feel that the trend of releasing films on OTT platforms directly is a temporary phenomenon. I don’t see this going beyond the lockdown. While OTTs are a reality, big film producers will prefer a theatrical release before a digital one. The overall collection from theatrical releases also surpasses what is garnered by directly releasing movies on OTT platforms. Once people are able to go back to theatres, there would still be demand and all of us will be able to resume our business like before,” he said.

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