Filmstar Kamal Haasan is planning to release his film Vishwaroopam on DTH platforms eight hours before a theatrical release, reports Zee News: a one time show is being priced at a significant premium to theater prices, but the move still upset theater owners because it may take business away from them. The DTH release of the film is being priced at Rs 1000. A few points to note: - Dependency on theaters, and impact of pre-release: Typically, films release on DTH a few weeks to a few months after the release in theaters. At least in case of Bollywood (and Vishwaroopam is Tamil Cinema, so the trend might be different) around 70% of the revenues are made in the first week itself. So while theater owners might not be averse to a film releasing on DTH a couple of weeks after their theatrical release, there might be a fear that a DTH release might impact their collections if initial reviews are not good. - Negotiating power of theater chains: There has been a consolidation in the theater business, with single screen halls being replaced by multi screen theaters, and the rise of theater chains (PVR, BIG, INOX) has led to the consolidation of significant negotiating power with them. A digital direct to consumer release could possibly reduce the producers dependency on theater chains, and frankly, the Internet could play an important role here, especially for international distribution. Note that movie producers are supporting Hasaan's move, while Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors’…
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