Will Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex herald OTT as a platform for film releases?
After its successful launch in India, Disney+ Hotstar is set to revolutionise the way hundreds of millions of Indians watch movies, with the launch of Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex, which will bring the magic of Bollywood blockbusters and its biggest stars directly to millions of smartphones across the country.
Starting July 24, 2020, Bollywood fans can watch the premieres of 7 movies featuring actors like Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani in ‘Laxmmi Bomb’, Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha and Sanjay Dutt in ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’, late Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjana Sanghi and Saif Ali Khan in Dil Bechara’, Sanjay Dutt, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur and Pooja Bhatt in ‘Sadak 2’, Abhishek Bachchan in ‘The Big Bull’, Vidyut Jammwal in ‘Khuda Haafiz’ and Kunal Kemmu and Rasika Dugal in ‘Lootcase’, among others.
Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex will usher in a new re-imagined ‘first-day first-show’ for Bollywood fans by delivering the movies directly to their mobiles. Existing subscribers of Disney+ Hotstar Premium and Disney+ Hotstar VIP can enjoy these blockbuster movies at no additional cost to their existing subscription. Non-subscribers can purchase an annual membership of Disney+ Hotstar VIP at Rs 399 to catch all these movies, and also enjoy exclusive Hotstar Specials, Super Hero movies and kids’ content in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, LIVE sports and more.
Late Sushant Singh Rajput’s ‘Dil Bechara’ will be the first movie to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex. This movie will be available to all subscribers and non-subscribers of Disney+ Hotstar.
Uday Shankar, President, The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman, Star & Disney India, commented, “At Disney+ Hotstar, we firmly believe in pushing boundaries to achieve the unexpected. A few years ago, we took an audacious step of bringing sports closer to people by streaming it LIVE on mobile devices – a move that forever changed the course of LIVE sports in India. Today, as we launch Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex, we find ourselves yet again at the cusp of making a revolutionary change by bringing the biggest Bollywood movies directly to millions across the country. We are happy to partner with the best directors and most talented actors; and provide them with a platform to present their masterpieces.”
Speaking about this initiative and its effect on the overall industry, he further said, “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.”
Akshay Kumar who stars in ‘Laxmmi Bomb’ said, “We are excited and glad to have our movie ‘Laxmmi Bomb’ being made available to millions of fans across the country 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 mélange 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!”
Ajay Devgn, who will be seen in ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’, added, “Having done a hundred films, I definitely took it for granted that theatres were where our films were meant to play. However, two things happened suddenly and almost simultaneously. 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. Both options offer their own strengths. Bhuj: The Pride of India on Disney+ Hotstar VIP – a platform that will showcase our film across the length and breadth of the country. I think people will once again start looking forward to new film releases.”
Alia Bhatt, who stars in the sequel of ‘Sadak’ (released in 1991), said, “‘Sadak 2’ is a movie that is very close to my heart; it is my first time working with my father, which makes this a dream come true. It has a very new but relevant emotional pulse, with an amazing cast. Working with Aditya, Sanjay Dutt and Pooja has been magical. 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 heart. Disney+ Hotstar VIP gives us that opportunity to connect with our audience all across the country.”
Abhishek Bachchan, who stars in ‘The Big Bull’, 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.”
Starting July 24, Disney+ Hotstar VIP is set to release a gamut of movies across genres
- Laxmmi Bomb (horror comedy) starring Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani. Directed by Raghava Lawrence, producers: Cape of Good Films, Tusshar Kapoor, Shabinaa Khan and Fox Star Studios
- Bhuj: The Pride of India (war-action film, based on a true story) starring Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Ammy Virk, and Sharad Kelkar. The film is written & directed by Abhishek Dudhaiya and produced by Bhushan Kumar, Ginny Khanuja, Vajir Singh and Kumar Mangat Pathak, under the banners of T-Series and Select Media Holdings LLP.
- Sadak 2 (a love saga & sequel to the Iconic blockbuster ‘Sadak’ which released in 1991) starring Sanjay Dutt, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur and Pooja Bhatt, Jisshu Sengupta, Makarand Deshpande, Mohan Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Priyanka Bose and John Gardener. The film has been directed by Mahesh Bhatt, Written by Suhrita Sengupta & Mahesh Bhatt, Cinematography by Jay Patel and Produced by Mukesh Bhatt
- The Big Bull - The man who sold dreams to India (crime drama) starring Abhishek Bachchan, Ileana D'Cruz, Nikita Dutta, Soham Shah, Ram Kapoor, Supriya Pathak and Saurabh Shukla. The film is directed by Kookie Gulati, produced by Ajay Devgn and Anand Pandit, and co-produced by Kumar Mangat Pathak and Vikrant Sharma.
- Dil Bechara (remake of The Fault In Our Stars) starring late Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjana Sanghi, Saif Ali Khan, Saswata Chatterjee, Swastika Mukherjee and Sahil Vaid. The film is directed by Mukesh Chhabra; with Hindi adaptation by Suprotim Sengupta and Shashank Khaitan, and Produced by Fox Star Studios.
- Khuda Haafiz (romantic action thriller inspired by real-events) starring Vidyut Jammwal, Anuu Kapoor, Shivaleeka Oberoi, Shiv Panditt and Aahana Kumra. The film is written & directed by Faruk Kabir and produced by Kumar Mangat Pathak and Abhishek Pathak (Panorama Studios International).
- Lootcase (comedy thriller) starring Kunal Kemmu, Rasika Dugal, Gajraj Rao, Ranvir Shorey and Vijay Raaz. The film is directed by Rajesh Krishnan, written by Rajesh Krishnan and Kapil Sawant, Produced by Fox Star Studios and Soda Films