Kamal Hassan is reportedly exploring the possibility of releasing his new Tamil film, Vishwaroopam, through telecast on a DTH platform on Thursday, January 10, before its full-fledged theatrical release. This is a new approach to publicity for the film and is a technique believed to create a positive word-of-mouth that will incite crowds to watch it at the cinema. The DTH operators telecasting this release would be Airtel, Dish, Videocom and Reliance while the film would have a simultaneous release in Los Angeles.
In a country where cinema-goers visit the cinema several times to watch their favorite hit film, this might be quite a strategy. Multiplex owners however are extremely worried this might negatively impact their business.
While skepticism from movie theatre owners may seem well justified, it remains to be seen if their fears are properly founded. A good film, and Kamal Hassan would seem very confident about his newest venture, just might make this experiment work.
The industry should watch closely and continue to attempt new ways of releasing films at a time when many blockbusters are sold as pirate DVD copies around town from the night of their release onwards. A release in both online and cinema platforms might be a solution, or maybe Kamal Hassan’s solution will spread like fire… May the film world keep closely watching.