Actor Vijay’s upcoming movie Master recently gained a fair deal of attention when a few websites reported that it might release on a streaming platform, skipping the theatrical route. The makers soon confirmed that they are keen on a theatrical release despite receiving an offer from a streamer.
While Master has the potential to help theatres regain their lost mojo, the fact remains that a ‘direct to digital’ premiere has its advantages. Here is a look that why an OTT only release might work in the film’s favour.
A first: Bigil created a buzz among fans as it marked Vijay’s third collaboration with Theri and Mersal director Atlee. Similarly, Sarkar opened to a good response at the Chennai box office as it reunited the mass hero with AR Murugadoss. Master is not as big as the films mentioned previously as it brings Vijay and Lokesh Kanagaraj, an unproven combination, together for the first time.
Urban film: The recently-released trailer suggests that Master might cater to the ‘Gen Y’ audience as opposed to the masses. There is a perception that‘urban films’ usually do better in ‘A centres’ as opposed to the ‘B’ and ‘C’ cities and this makes an OTT release a safer option.
OTT’s time is now: Actor Suriya’s Soorarai Pottru, which was released on Amazon Prime Video a few earlier this month, emerged as a digital hit and helped the Singam actor connect with a wider audience. The Malayalam movie CU Soon, starring Fahadh Faasil, too lived up to the expectations and opened new avenues for Mollywood . The positive response to these films proved that OTT’s ‘time is now’. If Master releases digitally, it might help ‘Thalapathy’ expand his fanbase.
Star power matters even in OTT: Contrary to perception, star power makes a big difference even in the digital space. Akshay Kumar’s recently-released Laxmii, a remake of the Tamil hit Kanchana, opened to record-breaking response on Disney+Hotstar because ‘Khiladi’ is a bonafide A-lister. Given Vijay’s immense popularity, Master too might create history if it releases digitally.