The second wave of coronavirus pandemic has taken resulted in multiple Bollywood producers rethink on their strategies. While the makers of Salman Khan starrer Radhe took the route of a hybrid release in theaters and digital platform on a pay per view model this Eid, the Toofan team opted for a direct to digital premiere on Amazon Prime. We have exclusively learnt that the team of the Akshay Kumar fronted Bell Bottom too has started conversations for a direct to digital premiere.
“The makers were all set for a theatrical release on May 28, but in current times, it’s unlikely for any film to arrive in the cinema halls at-least till the month of July. The cases are on the rise every day and is showing no signs of slowing down. After multiple rounds of internal discussions, Bell Bottom team has initiated conversation with the digital giant, Disney+ Hotstar for a digital premiere,” revealed a source close to the development. Interestingly, in the month of January, the Bell Bottom team was in talks with Amazon Prime, but later on we were informed that it was a conversation by producers, Jackky and Vashu Bhagnani, and Nikkhil Advani, just to explore the market value of the film.
While the digital rights were pre-sold to Amazon, we here, now it’s a toss between the Prime and Hotstar for an exclusive digital premiere. “While Amazon has made an offer of around Rs 125 crore plus to the film, the makers are expecting something in the vicinity of Rs 150 crore. They have now gone to Disney+ Hotstar and the final rounds discussions are going on at the moment. A call on the medium as also the mode of release will be taken in a fortnight.
The film will premiere on OTT if and when the makers get the money that they have demanded and the inside buzz is, Hotstar is quite impressed with the rushes of the film that they watched. It wouldn’t be an issue for them to give the Bell Bottom makers the money they have demanded,” the source informed and further added that the makers want Bell Bottom to be a theatrical experience but tough decisions are to be taken in challenging times like these. While conversations are on with the digital players, we don't even rule out the hybrid release model at the moment.
Once the paperwork is done, Bell Bottom will be the second Akshay Kumar film to take the direct to digital route, after the Diwali 2020 release, Laxmmi. The horror comedy was settled for a digital premiere with a blanket value of Rs 140 crore approx. However, his mega budget actioner, Sooryavanshi, is still holding back on the theatrical release as the makers are clear on it being an experience for the big screen. Stay tuned for more on Bell Bottom, as we would bring another update once the paperwork is done on the exact release plans and the platform of release.