Several Malayalam movie projects in limbo as OTTs veer to Box Office scrutiny

After recent setbacks, OTT platforms decided not to buy films at exorbitant prices. Photos | Imdb

Regional films, especially Malayalam movies, are finding it tough to make profits from OTT platforms alone, forcing them to make a beeline to cinema theatres to stay afloat. Some Tamil and Telugu movies are managing to survive somehow on OTT moolah alone, but Mollywood has been hit hard, industry watchers say.

In the recent past, many filmmakers relied on OTT and satellite rights alone. This prompted technicians and stars to hike their pay packages. But after recent setbacks, OTT platforms decided not to buy films at exorbitant prices.

At an informal gathering of OTT platform representatives recently, it was stated that some movies could not rake in even 10 per cent of the price given to filmmakers, which was a jolt to several OTT platforms. A film that was bought for Rs 27 crore by an OTT firm only gave a return of less than Rs 50 lakh.

High-profile deals were mostly struck by agents, who had apparently passed on money to the decision makers in OTT platforms as well. OTT platforms decided against picking such films, after such gross violations of norms. They said no to films that could not bring in new subscribers.

This meant that nearly 30 projects that were banking on OTT money alone are in limbo now. And nearly 100 films that have been completed are awaiting a favourable nod from OTT platforms.

No ‘super’ entry
OTT platforms have decided that they would wait and watch if the movies, even those driven by superstars, collected money at the box office before committing contracts. Even mega hits are getting OTT platforms only after hard bargaining. There are reports that tilmmakers had quoted a price tag of Rs 15 crore to Rs 20 crore for a super hit Malayalam movie, but the OTT deal was struck for a paltry Rs 6 crore.

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