Updated: Jun 3
Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of PVR, the largest cinema chain in India, told HuffPost India, "We are disappointed with Gulabo Sitabo's decision to go straight to a streaming platform." He added they were hoping that producers would heed their request to hold back the release of the film until cinemas reopened. However, there is little hope that malls/cinemas would be allowed to reopen anytime soon.
Lashing out at Rising Sun Films (which has produced Gulabo Sitabo), INOX said that it would like to express "extreme displeasure and disappointment" on the decision. It added that the move to deviate from the "globally prevalent content windowing practice is alarming and disconcerting." The company went ahead to warn that it could take "retributive measures" against "such fair-weather friends."
Meanwhile, Ronnie Lahiri, co-producer of Gulabo Sitabo said skipping theaters was a tough decision. He said, "We're facing a once-in-a-lifetime phenomena, not seen since World War 2. These are the times when things change. Initially, people have apprehensions but one has to adapt... Instead of waiting for the situation to get better, you tackle it with other alternatives."
Exhibitors are now anticipating more such announcements in the future. "I am sure soon there will be many more announcements of such nature. And with that, exhibitors will have to come together to recalibrate," said Rathi. In fact, many major releases such as Akshay Kumar's Laxmmi Bomb, Anurag Basu's anthology film Ludo, and Nagraj Manjule's Jhund are also expected to take the digital route.