Here’s what happened. The producers had announced that Eeswaran will be available on an OTT platform abroad on the same day of its release. “Hey people outside India, Catch #Eeswaran on @olyflix_ premium video on demand platform,” Madhav Media, the production house behind the film had tweeted at around 4pm this evening.
But this immediately caused a storm with theatre owners in Tamil Nadu protesting against this move. The contention of the theatre owners was that a direct OTT release on the day of the film’s theatrical release in India would spell doom, as movie pirates would get a clear print of the film and upload it online.
Rohini Panneerselvam, the general secretary of Tamil Nadu Theatres Association, sent a message to his fellow theatre owners, “We heard an unfortunate news this evening, and after a discussion, we have come to the following decision. They have announced that they will releasing Eeswaran on OTT on the same day of its release. So, I sincerely request everyone to tell them that you do not have an intention to screen their film. This is a fight for our survival. If we agree to this, every film will take this route. They have said it is only in countries outside India, but even then, this will affect (business) in India. So, even if you have entered into an agreement, do not worry. The association will handle this. So, I request you to please tell them we won’t cooperate.”
A meeting was organised to sort the issue out, following these adverse reactions.
And now, the makers have announced that they are holding back the OTT release of the film. “Considering the request from TN theatre association & to ensure that the theater experience is not compromised, we had to take the unfortunate call to hold the release of #Eeswaran on @olyflix_ over PVOD. Hope TN Theatre Association supports us by increasing the no. of screens, (sic)” read the tweet.