Monday saw the grand announcement by Disney+ Hotstar that the streaming platform will be premiering seven major Bollywood films over the next few months and, within hours, the Carnival Cinemas group has come out to express “disappointment” with the trend of digital release of Bollywood films.

Without taking names, Carnival Cinemas CEO Mohan Umrotkar said in a statement: “We stand by our previous statement. It is very disappointing that the filmmakers are opting digital first route when we are just steps away from the theatrical releases with the reopening of cinema halls across the country with all the necessary precautions.”

“The economy is reopening and malls have already opened. They just need to have some more faith and patience to hold the content for the big screens, that is what it was made for.”

“During the lockdown we have participated in many surveys to realize that the audience is waiting for cinemas to reopen. For the entertainment industry to flourish everyone needs to stand by each other. And if films made for theaters release directly on streaming platforms it may hamper the overall growth of the ecosystem.”

Last month, Carnival Cinemas had issued a statement that said: “Though we are disappointed with the move of filmmakers to go straight to digital, we understand the financial burden/compulsion that one may have in these times…The situation is such that you cannot blame anyone. In this time of uncertainty some producers have decided to release their content directly on OTT. It is within their rights to decide but we will not release those movies in our theatres.”

On Monday afternoon it was announced that seven Bollywood movies will be releasing directly on an OTT platform. These are the Akshay Kumar-starrer “Laxmmi Bomb”, Ajay Devgn’s “Bhuj: The Pride Of India”, “Sadak 2” starring Alia Bhatt, Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film “Dil Bechara”, “The Big Bull” starring Abhishek Bachchan, Vidyut Jammwal-starrer “Khuda Haafiz” and “Lootcase” featuring Kunal Kemmu.

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With theaters closed due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, several Bollywood filmmakers are opting to release their movies directly on OTT platforms. The latest films to join the digital bandwagon are Laxmmi Bomb, Bhuj: The Pride of India, Sadak 2, Big Bull, Del Bechara, Loot Case and Khuda Haafiz.

All films will have their global premeire on Disney+ Hotstar between July to October. The announcement was made during a virtual press conference called ‘Bollywood ki home delivery’ with Uday Shankar – President, The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman, Star & Disney India along with Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan.

The late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s film Dil Bechara is the first to release on the app. Directed by Mukesh Chhabra, the film also stars Sanjana Sanghi in the lead role. It’s a remake of Hollywood film The Fault in Their Stars.

Laxmmi Bomb is the official Hindi remake of hit Tamil film Kanchana. It is being directed by Raghava Lawrence, who also directed and starred in the original movie. The plot revolves around a man who is afraid of all things supernatural, but through a twist of fate, he is forced to confront his fear as his body gets possessed by the spirit of Laxmmi. Kiara Advani and Akshay Kumar will be teaming up for the second time after Good Newwz.

Directed by Abhishek Dudhaiya, Bhuj: The Pride of India is set against the backdrop of the Indo-Pak war in 1971. The release date of the film is yet to be announced. In the film, Devgn will be playing the role of Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik. Sanjay Dutt, Rana Daggubati, Sonakshi Sinha, Parineeti Chopra and Ammy Virk will also be seen in pivotal roles.

Sadak 2, which marks Mahesh Bhatt’s comeback as a director after 21 years, will see Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur and Jishu Sengupta in lead roles. The movie also features Pooja Bhatt and Sanjay Dutt, who were part of the 1991 hit romantic-thriller.

Meanwhile, Big Bull, starring Abhishek Bachchan, is said to be inspired by the Harshad Mehta securities scam of 1992. The first poster of Big Bull was released in February earlier this year and introduced him in a suited look as the man who ‘sold dreams to India.’

Directed by Kookie Gulati, The Big Bull has Ileana D’Cruz as the female lead and also stars Ram Kapoor, Sumit Vats, Sohum Shah, Nikita Dutta and Lekha Tripathi in pivotal roles. The film has been produced by Ajay Devgn and Anand Pandit.

Lootcase, starring Kunal Kemmu, Gajraj Rao, Rasika Dugal, Ranvir Shorey and Vijay Raaz, revolves around a middle-aged family man who comes across a red-coloured suitcase full of money.

Touted to be a romantic action thriller, Khuda Haafiz is said to be based on true events and features Vidyut Jammwal, Shivaleeka Oberoi, Annu Kapoor, Shiv Panditt and Aahana Kumara.

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Abhishek Bachchan Shares Behind-the-scene Pic As Yuva Clocks 16 Years; See Here

The behind-the-scene snap features Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and film’s director Mani Ratnam.

Actor Abhishek Bachchan has shared a picture from the sets of his film Yuva on the movie’s 16th anniversary. The behind the scenes (BTS) photo was clicked in Kolkata where they were shooting the climax.

The snap features Abhishek standing next to Ajay Devgn and film’s director Mani Ratnam. The Dhoom 3 actor also mentioned that he is heartbroken to see the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan in the state.

Captioning the post he wrote, “Wow! 16yrs already. This photo was taken on the sets of #Yuva in Kolkata. We were about to begin shooting the climax of the film. A memorable shoot. Based in Kolkata. It’s heartbreaking to see the visuals coming out of Kolkata in the wake of the destruction left behind by #cycloneAmphan #16yrsofYuva @ajaydevgn #ManiRatnam”.

The picture has received several likes and comments from Instagrammers. One of the comments came from Abhishek’s sister Shweta Nanda who dropped a heart emoji in the comments section.

Meanwhile, Abhishek and Ajay both will soon be seen in the film titled Big Bull. The movie is a biographical financial crime movie which revolves around Indian stockbroker Harshad Mehta. In the film, Abhishek will be essaying the titular role. The project will also feature Ileana D Cruz, Nikita Dutta, Chunky Pandey, Ram Kapoor among others.

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