Akshay Kumar’s “Laxxmi Bomb”, “Sadak 2” featuring Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn’s “Bhuj: The Pride of India” are among the Bollywood films that are headed for a direct release on streamer Disney+ Hotstar as theatres remain close due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The first movie of Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex will be Sushant Singh Rajput’s last movie “Dil Bechara”, will start streaming from July 24. With an aim to honour the legacy of the late actor, the streaming platform is making the movie available to even the non-subscribers.
Other titles getting a direct release on the digital platform include Abhishek Bachchan-starrer “The Big Bull”, Vidyut Jammwal’s “Khuda Haafiz” and “Lootcase” featuring Kunal Kemmu and Rasika Dugal.
The initiative ‘First Day First Show ki home delivery’ by Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex is aimed at re-imagining the theatrical experience which has been at a halt from mid March in the wake of the coronavirus-led shutdown.
These films will release between July and October on the streamer.
Akshay said he is looking forward to the release of “Laxmmi Bomb” on Disney+ Hotstar VIP.
“The movie is extremely dear to me as it is something unique I have attempted for the first time! It is an entertaining melange of horror and humour and it has a strong social message attached to it! I am certain that this movie will bring joy and hope for everyone in these trying times,” he said in a statement.
Akshay Kumar in ‘Laxxmi Bomb’
Ajay Devgn said through this initiative people will once again start looking forward to new film releases.
“The corona pandemic threw all our comfort worlds into a tizzy. And, at the same time the OTT medium that was a fairly new phenomenon gained a huge significance as far as consuming entertainment is concerned. In the future, theatres and OTT will move in parallel. ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’ on Disney+ Hotstar VIP — a platform that will showcase our film across the length and breadth of the country,” the actor said.
Ajay Devgn’s ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’
Alia, who stars in “Sadak 2” which is the sequel to her father, veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt’s 1991 film of the same name, said the movie is very close to her heart.
“It was my first time working with my father, which makes this a dream come true. These are extraordinary and difficult times and all of us are trying to get through it, taking each day at a time. My father always says that a filmmaker’s destination is the audience’s hear,” she said.
Abhishek said there is nothing greater than the joy of being able to entertain someone through movies and great storytelling.
“And that’s exactly what ‘The Big Bull’ will do; it will keep audiences hooked till the very end. I’m glad that the movie will launch on a platform like Disney+ Hotstar VIP where people from across the country will be able to enjoy it upon release,” he added.
Uday Shankar, President, The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman, Star & Disney India, said, as the team launches Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex today, they are yet again at the cusp of making a revolutionary change by bringing the biggest Bollywood movies directly to millions across the country: “Theatres are a special experience. So, they will always exist and thrive. But the potential of the industry can’t be capped by the number of release windows and theatres available.”
“Our initiative will dramatically increase the number of films that can be made, giving film-lovers more films to enjoy and the creative community more films to make. We firmly believe that this will generate a massive momentum for more and different kinds of films to be made in India. It’s a win-win for all,” Shankar said.
The pandemic has severely affected the release calender of Bollywood with producers looking at streaming platforms as an alternative.
Shoojit Sircar earlier released his Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana starrer “Gulabo Sitabo” on Amazon Prime, which also acquired Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi biopic and five other films from South including “Penguin”, “Law”, “French Biryani” and “Sufiyum Sujathayum”.