Actor Akshay Kumar on Monday said theatres have the “first birth right” over movies and though he”s excited his upcoming “Laxmmi Bomb” will stream digitally, he feels sad it couldn”t release on the big screen.

The horror-comedy is set to stream on Disney+Hotstar, bypassing a theatrical release as screens remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The streamer announced its slate of seven film which will have a direct-to-digital release, including Ajay Devgn’s “Bhuj: The Pride of India”, Abhishek Bachchan starrer “The Big Bull”, and “Sadak 2”, featuring Alia Bhatt.

In a virtual press conference, Akshay said OTT release was the only wise option in the current scenario.

“To be honest, today I am excited for this platform. But yes, I’ll say that I am also sad for theatres. After all, movies are theatres first birth right. But in the current situation, everyone’s safety is of utmost priority.

“Today with theatres being shut and people watching movies on OTT platforms, if I can make my fans happy by releasing film on Disney+Hotstar— which is a big platform with a massive reach—then I am glad,” Akshay told reporters.

“Laxmmi Bomb” would be the actor’s first digital release in a career of nearly three decades.

His “Sooryavanshi” co-star and longtime friend, Devgn, said he was equally thrilled to see his patriotic drama “Bhuj: The Pride of India” release on the platform.

“First thing that you want when you make a film is that more and more people get to watch it. The base of Disney+Hotstar is so huge that when ‘Bhuj’ will come every person will try to watch the film, besides the fact that the film should be good. We have tried to make a good film,” the actor told reporters.

Adding to Akshay’s comments, Uday Shankar, President, The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman, Star and Disney India, said no one but only fans of artistes have the right over films.

“If anyone has birth right over films, it’s the film goers and film fans. Fans of the actors, directors who want to see these films and it is our duty to show them films.

“What’s going to happen now is that our industry will grow bigger, be more successful, more people will be able to work, we will be able to produce more films. Theatres as well digital screens will survive and grow together with films.”

Shankar was of the view that a similar debate arose when TV first started airing films, with many fearing that people would stop going to cinema halls.

“But that didn’t happen. Cinema halls grew, more people started watching films, our screens grew, the economics of our films also grew.

“The digital premiere will give industry a new lease of life. It”s going to create a completely new world. Theatres will continue to be very important because it”s an experience in itself to go there,” he added.

As theatres continue to remain shut, release of many films have been affected.

Gulabo Sitabo and Shakuntala Devi biopic were among the first films to opt for a digital release on Amazon Prime Video, a move that had irked theatre owners and exhibitors.

Shankar said the digital medium will become an essential outlet for the industry.

“People visit a cinema hall maximum five times a year but watch more number of films on their TV and mobile phones… This will become a huge outlet for our industry to showcase more work. We should see this as big leap for our film industry today,” he added.

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Raghava Lawrence with Rajinikanth

Raghava Lawrence with Rajinikanth

Raghava Lawrence posted a throwback image with his ‘guru’ Rajinikanth on social media recently. Take a look.

  • Last Updated: June 30, 2020, 9:44 AM IST

Filmmaker, actor and philanthropist Raghava Lawrence traveled down the memory lane and posted a sweet picture on social media from his youth, with superstar Rajinikanth posing besides him. Needless to say, fans are gushing over over this blast from the past.

In the caption to his post, Raghava called Rajinikanth his guru (mentor) and also mentioned that the two were clicked on the sets of the latter’s 1993 rom-com Uzhaippali. Raghava further explained that hard work always pays off as he was a group dancer on the film then. Now, he is one of the most sought after artists in the country and is also collaborating with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar on their upcoming movie Laxmmi Bomb.

Captioning the throwback picture with Rajinikanth, Raghava wrote, “Sweet memories with my guru during uzhaippali movie shoot when I was a group dancer. Hard work never fails (sic).”

Raghava is also collaborating with Rajinikanth on Chandramukhi 2. Meanwhile, it was also announced on Monday that Raghava’s Laxmmi Bomb is going to premiere on OTT. New posters of the upcoming film, which marks the director’s entry in the Hindi film industry, were also unveiled by Akshay during a virtual press con.

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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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'Laxmmi Bomb' posters featuring Akshay Kumar

‘Laxmmi Bomb’ posters featuring Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar is all set to be seen in a brand new avatar in his upcoming flick ‘Laxmmi Bomb’. It will see Akshay essay the role of a transgender person.

Bollywood’s Khiladi Akshay Kumar is all set to win fans’ hearts in a brand new avatar in Laxmmi Bomb. Directed by Raghava Lawrence, the film will see Kumar essay the role of a transgender person.

Sharing the poster on Twitter Kumar wrote that there were two things guaranteed with Laxmmi Bomb. “Do baatein guaranteed hai: hassoge bhi aur darroge bhi”.

Here’s how fans reacted to the intriguing poster.



Several films, apart from Laxmmi Bomb, are going to see an OTT release on Disney Plus Hotstar. There were some memes too.

One of the common cries raised on Twitter was the film not getting a theatrical release.

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