Things were finally starting to look up in early 2021 with theaters reopening and producers announcing release dates of big films. The exhibitors were looking forward to big film releases which would pull the crowd back to theaters. However, with the second wave of COVID hitting the country, theaters had to shut down again. Most of the big film releases were pushed. So, when the makers of Salman Khan's film Radhe announced they will be releasing their film in theaters and on OTT simultaneously, it came as a shock to exhibitors.
Now let's talk money. Do you know Radhe has already made money even before the film's release?
According to some industry sources, Radhe, which will be releasing in theaters and OTT simultaneously on 13 May, was sold to Zee Studios for 230 crores, all rights included. Rs 230 crore might sound like a big number but since Radhe is a Salman Khan film directed by Prabhu Deva, it's not a big deal especially since it also includes its theatrical business.
Look at the present scenario: India's theatrical business is hardly existent due to most of the theaters shutting down, and even if they were open, people would be skeptical before going. Keeping that in mind, we would say it's surely a good deal.
Zee Studios has taken all the rights. Music is with Zee, satellite is with Zee, OTT is with Zee and even theatrical is with Zee. So whatever 70 to 80 screens they will release the film in will also contribute to Zee's revenue.
This is, in no way, the biggest or the highest deal on OTT because it's also a pay per view model. So it's a lock stock barrel deal and that's why the 230 crore is not like a huge deal because it includes each and every right. This is unlike the deals with OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon because when you sell a film to these OTT platforms the satellite right goes to someone else, music goes to someone else, and theatrical goes to someone else.
They are also looking at revenues from the overseas markets like Australia, New Zealand, UAE, parts of Europe and perhaps America and Canada. But at the end of the day everything boils down to the content.
If Radhe would have released exclusively in theaters in pre-COVID times, the film would have made 150 crores alone, if it was a bad film, and 200 plus if it was a good one. While Salman's last few films have not gone beyond 175 crores.
For now all eyes are on Radhe's business model. If the pay per view model works then big films might prefer that in the future, because getting public back to theaters is a distant dream for now.
Here's a look at the box office report of Salman Khan's Eid releases since 2009.
. Read more on Bollywood by The Quint.This is How Much Salman Khan's 'Radhe' Made Even Before Release‘Was Scared to Help’: Muslim-Christian Duo Cremate Hindu Man . Read more on Bollywood by The Quint.