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Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Doctor G will stream on Netflix starting 11 December. The comedy drama directed by Anubhuti Kashyap also stars Rakul Preet Singh and Shefali Shah.

In the past few years, Khurrana has seen a good run at the box office with hits like Bareilly Ki Barfi (Rs. 34.02 crore), Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (Rs. 41.98 crore), Andhadhun (Rs. 73.37 crore), Badhaai Ho (Rs. 134.46 crore), Article 15 (Rs. 65.25 crore), Dream Girl (Rs. 139.37 crore) and Bala (Rs. 110.97 crore). However, his last theatrical release before covid-19, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan had performed below par at the box office in February 2020 while comedy drama Gulabo Sitabo was released directly on an OTT platform owing to the pandemic. Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, released in December, had earned Rs. 28.26 crore while political thriller Anek had managed Rs. 7.02 crore. His latest film, An Action Hero, had made Rs. 5.99 crore at last count.

Despite the failure of Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Anek, Attack and Shabaash Mithu, made at modest budgets, a number of mid-sized films are looking to cash in on the post-covid demand, as smaller films are critical for both actors as well as the exhibition sector.

However, ever since covid-led restrictions were eased, the audiences have been flocking theatres only for large spectacles, said trade experts.

The content pipeline must keep flowing for the theatres to make up for the losses during covid and to grow.

Actors Fahadh Faasil, Tovino Thomas and Rajkummar Rao who witnessed reasonable success with the films released directly on the streaming platforms during covid, and even garnering critical acclaim, have also released their latest films in theatres. Faasil’s Malayankunju was released in cinemas earlier this year, as was Rao’s HIT: The First Case. A lot of actors and filmmakers have realised box office is critical for the film to generate enough chatter among audiences. You can always recover investments through an OTT release, but the audience validation beyond social media, which is a small world anyway, is important, according to trade experts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lata Jha

Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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