Varun Dhawan (Photo credit: STRDEL/AFP via Getty Images)
By: Mohnish Singh
Starring Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani in central characters, Laxmii was one of the most-awaited films of 2020. Disney+ Hotstar had punted big on the horror-comedy, hoping it would leave the cash registers jingling for them.
Though the film did amass a great number of digital views on its opening day on November 9, the viewership witnessed a sharp decline in the following days due to poor response from the audience and critics and also the availability of other options on other streaming media platforms in the market.
Looking at the dismal response that Laxmii has received, streaming media platforms are in two minds about their acquisitions of high-profile films. “Bhuj: The Pride of India, which is another offering on Disney+ Hotstar and Coolie No. 1, which has been acquired by Amazon (Prime Video), have both fetched huge amounts for the direct-to-digital premiere and have been acquired by the giants without watching the film in advance. They paid the amount based on the names involved and the goodwill of the stakeholders in the market. Most of the OTT films have failed to do well on the respective platforms, and their sale for the digital premiere was more of an attempt to salvage the product. However, with back-to-back debacles, the OTT heads have now woken up and are planning to demand advance screening for all their acquisitions henceforth and decide on the price to buy the films based on the content,” a trade source told an online publication.
The source went on the add that the buzz has left Bollywood producers in shock. “The discussions are still on, however, this inside buzz has left Bollywood producers in shock as this might cut short their income by a massive amount,” concludes the source.
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