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New Delhi: Tamil action thriller Valimai that released in cinemas this February will premiere on ZEE5 within a month on 25 March. The Ajith-starrer has been directed by H.Vinoth, and produced by Boney Kapoor under Bayview Projects LLP in collaboration with Zee Studios, as co-producer and distributor.

The covid-19 pandemic saw several films bypass the theatrical medium to release directly on streaming platforms as cinemas remained shut indefinitely. The period immediately after reopening too has been fraught with worry and uncertainty with most producers insisting on premiering their films digitally within four weeks so as to strike better deals with OTT platforms that would help them offset the losses or reduced profits from theatres, which in many states are operating with capped occupancies and seeing audiences turn up slowly.

For a while now, films have been fast making their way to streaming platforms. Horror comedy Roohi was available on Netflix less than a month since its release while Telugu comedy drama Jathi Ratnalu was picked up by Amazon Prime Video. Beating all of them, Kannada action drama Yuvarathnaa had debuted on Amazon eight days after theatrical release.

As the theatrical ecosystem restarts, it is crucial to understand that both exhibitors and producers, are stressed financially and have suffered losses which are not just monetary but also in terms of opportunity costs and delayed timelines for multiple projects, Prashant Kulkarni, head of sales, marketing and new business expansion at Carnival Cinemas had said in an earlier interview. “In the long run, our success is intertwined. Hence, the digital release window will go back to pre-covid agreements for the benefit of all. That is not only in favour of exhibitors but will also determine the stature and overall success of the movies themselves. If the box office collection of a movie is low, not many would want to watch it on OTT either, even if it's shown for free," Kulkarni had said.

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