Confirmed! Mohanlal's 'Marakkar' goes digital after producer-exhibitor talks turn sour
Following a lot of dilly dally, makers have reportedly decided to release the National Film Award-winning picture Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham directly on an OTT platform. Producer Antony Perumbavoor had kept off the Mohanlal-starrer's release for over a year to accommodate theatrical launch but the final decision came after Kerala theater owners failed to convince him about a profitable big-screen release. Here's more.
Reports suggested Amazon Prime Video has bagged the streaming rights
Although no official announcement from the makers has come, a report by Manorama Online states that the Priyadarshan directorial is premiering on Amazon Prime Video. Notably, Perumbavoor had told the media after the National Film Awards that they were debating whether to go digital with the movie. Speculations were rife that talks with Prime Video had been near-final at that time.
Things escalated as Perumbavoor quit exhibitors' committee over differences
Tracing back, Perumbavoor's statement had upset exhibitors and theater owners in the state. Even Kerala Culture Minister Saji Cherian insisted films must be launched in cinema halls. Perumbavoor reportedly was part of several weeks-long discussions with the Film Exhibitors United Organization of Kerala (FEUOK) but the final nail in the coffin came when Perumbavoor, who was FEUOK Vice-President, quit the panel over some differences.
Producers demanded same pay from theater owners as OTT platform
Reports suggest that producers were ready to release this high-budget venture in theaters if cinema hall owners agreed to pay the equal amount as offered by the OTT platform. But the organization's president Vijayakumar reportedly refused to budge. Made on a huge budget of Rs. 100cr, makers were skeptical about making profits if the movie gets screened in cinema halls running at 50% occupancy.
Currently, halls in Kerala are running at 50% occupancy
Given the improving COVID-19 situation in the state, the Kerala government had allowed the reopening of the theaters (alongside auditoriums) from October 25. However, the cinema halls are running at half capacity and only those who are fully vaccinated can visit the theaters.
Earlier, 'Marakkar' was looking at August 12 theatrical launch
Marakkar was originally scheduled to be released in the halls in March last year but the COVID-19 pandemic played foul sport. Then in June, the Malayalam superstar himself announced on social media that the movie will premiere in cinema halls on August 12. That too didn't pan out. Apart from Mohanlal, the actioner stars Keerthy Suresh, Suniel Shetty, and Manju Warrier in pivotal roles.Share this timeline