Vishwaroopam in DTH on February 2 at reduced price

Vishwaroopam in DTH on February 2 at reduced price
Film-maker and actor Kamal Haasan has officially announced that his big budget blockbuster Vishwaroopam will be released on direct-to-home (DTH) platform on February 2, a week after its theatre release in Tamil and Telugu. 

The Hindi version of the film Vishwaroop will hit the DTH screens in North India on February 1, just a day before its theatre release there. 

Issuing a press release on Monday, on behalf on his production house Raajkamal Films International, the film-maker apologised to the “patient yet eager audience” who were waiting to watch the film on DTH. 

Mr Haasan also said he was working with his DTH partners to reduce the pricing of the show for video-on-demand and also contemplating three shows on February 2 to make it convenient for those who book the movie. 

The film-maker had originally planned to premiere the movie on DTH platforms a day ahead of its theatre release. However, the plan was dropped after a section of theatre owners and distributors protested, and eventually held negotiations with Kamal Haasan to change the strategy. He further said those DTH subscribers who had paid for the original premiere can get the amount refunded or adjusted against their other bills, as they deemed fit and allowed for by the respective DTH services.
“Despite the slight delay, Viswharoopam on DTH will be one of its kind even in India,” the actor noted. 

More Details

Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam will debut in theatres first and be shown on direct-to-home (DTH) TV later, a switch forced by exhibitors threatening to boycott the movie if it was premiered on the small screen.

The Tamil version of the movie will be released on 25 January and the Hindi version, titled Vishwaroop, will be released on 1 February. Both versions will have their first DTH showing on 2 February.

The Rajkamal Films International Ltd production was originally to have premiered on DTH at a price of Rs1,000 (for the Tamil version) and Rs500 (for the Hindi version) on 10 January at 9.30 pm before the scheduled release in cinema halls on 11 January. Haasan had tied up with six DTH companies—Tata Sky, DishTV, Sun Direct, Airtel DTH, Videocon DTH and Reliance Big TV—for the premiere.

That provoked a storm of protest by hall owners who said they would not show the film if Haasan, who produced, directed and acted in Vishwaroopam, went ahead with his plan.

“We are planning to reduce the cost per viewing and looking at giving the (DTH) viewer (the option) to choose from three slots,” Haasan said in a statement, without giving details.

The price will be more in line with the Rs50-75 charged for movies screened a week or two after theatrical release, said a DTH official who didn’t want to be named.

“Kamal Haasan got his calculation wrong, as only small fraction of the 42 million DTH viewers watch movie on demand and, therefore, had to yield to theatre owners’ pressure,” said another DTH official, who also declined to be identified.

The Tamil Nadu Theatre Operators Association and Distributors Association, which decided to boycott the film last Thursday, has some 1,200 cinema halls under its ambit. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka theatres also said they may not show the film.

The actor-producer-director told reporters last Wednesday that “some good friends in film fraternity advised me to release the film on DTH and theatres at the same time to maintain a better ecosystem and give them both an equal status”. The movie star said he wanted to release the movie on DTH to adapt to new technology.

Press Release

"At the outset allow me to offer my apologies to those patient yet eager audience who are keen to watch Vishwaroopam on DTH; They still can. Keeping the request of my exhibitors in mind I have differed the DTH release date. While the original premiere was on a Thursday and hence inconvenient for most, I am now planning to release it on a Saturday at the end of the first week of release. Which will be on the 2nd of February .

The Hindi version is poised for a release on the 1st of February and the DTH premiere on the 2nd February Saturday in the North. All three versions in Tamil Telugu and Hindi will be premiered on the same day February the 2nd. I will be able to announce the names of my DTH partners who will be involved in this endeavor with me soon.

We are also deciding to bring down the cost of viewing per view. We are also contemplating three time slots of which our viewers can choose one viewing. Those who had already paid will be refunded their money by the DTH companies or adjusted as part of the payment for the new slot if they so wish. The DTH platforms may announce their policy of repayment, part repayment and adjustment accordingly.

Inspite of the slight delay Vishwaroopam and Vishwaroop on DTH will still be a one of its kind event in India.

Thanks for your patience."

- KH

Vishwaroopam in DTH on February 2 at reduced price

Vishwaroopam in DTH on February 2 at reduced price


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