The debut production of actor Alia Bhatt, Darlings, in which she also stars, will launch on the American streaming service Netflix on August 5. Red Chillies Entertainment, a production company owned by Shah Rukh Khan, worked with the actors Shefali Shah, Vijay Varma, and Roshan Matthew to co-produce the movie. Eternal Sunshine Productions, Bhatt’s production company, was launched last year.
While movie theatres in India may be fully booked, the box office chances for low- and medium-budget films are dwindling, forcing them to stream services.
According to industry insiders, Darlings, Mohanlal’s 12th Man, and Kangana Ranaut’s Tiku Weds Shiru have chosen to release on digital platforms despite the fact that these movies, which star bankable actors, were intended for theatres. Anek, Jayeshbhai Jordaar, and Runway 34, among other recent films that failed to bring viewers to theatres, performed poorly, underscoring the fact that only big-budget entertainers are making the cash registers ring.
When a movie like Gehraiyaan, directed by Karan Johar and starring Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Ananya Pandey, debuted on Amazon Prime Video a few months ago, trade experts say it was a sensible decision to not rely heavily on the theatre figures.
Despite having bankable stars, the few medium-budget Hindi films, especially those lacking a lot of action or grandeur, that did brave a theatrical release have had disappointing returns in recent weeks. A few notable examples include Jersey by Shahid Kapoor (19.68 crore), Runway 34 by Ajay Devgn (32.96 crore), Heropanti 2 by Tiger Shroff (24.45 crore), Jayeshbhai Jordaar by Ranveer Singh (15.59 crore), and Anek by Ayushmann Khurrana (8 crore). Trade analysts claim that Kangana Ranaut’s Dhaakad’s poor box office performance, which saw it finish with less than Rs. 3 crore, is making post-theatrical OTT deals challenging because streaming players have shown no interest in the movie.