Nawazuddin Siddiqui says digital platforms have higher audience reach, while viewership with theatre releases usually depends on the number of available screens
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is one of the very few leading actors from Bollywood who has starred in several successful OTT productions.
The actor, who is currently in England, shooting for the upcoming thriller Sangeen, has shared his views on the theatrical versus digital release debate.
Speaking with Variety, the Gangs of Wasseypur actor said, “Both theatrical and OTT platforms are correct in their respective spaces.”
Siddiqui adds that digital platforms such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have a large reach in comparison to theatres. He shares how several people had recognized him from Sacred Games while he was shooting for Sangeen in London. “I feel happy that thanks to Netflix, your product is seen across the world – the reach is much greater than cinema, a theatrical release cannot even expect this kind of reach.”
He also points out that ascertaining whether a film was a dud or a hit with theatre releases depends on the number of screens. Siddiqui mentions that if the number of screens is high, then a film, good or bad, is likely to accumulate a fair amount in its opening weekend itself. However, this issue was not present in case of online releases.
“If you release even a rubbish film on 4,000 screens, it makes at least Rs 200 million on the first day of release, no matter how bad the film is. And even if you have a very good film, if you release it on under 1,000 screens, what can you expect? In that respect OTTs are good.”
Meanwhile, Siddiqui described his role in Sangeen as “challenging”, which is reported to be set mostly in a single room. The film is written and directed by Jaideep Chopra and bankrolled by Gurjit Singh and Ankit Khanna for Golden Era Films and AK Projekts.
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