Chennai, Dec 12 () : DTH players Airtel, Dish, Videocon and Reliance will screen Viswaroopam on Jan 10th. The film will have a premiere in Los Angeles on the same day.
Kamal Hassan, producer-director-actor told Business Line that the film’s cost is Rs 95 crore. He is releasing it himself and has not asked theatres to take it on minimum guarantee. He terms the protest from theatre owners as baseless. He says that if one shoots the film on camera from the TV it can be easily traced. Secondly the fear that it would be telecast in clubs ,bars and hotels like the cricket matches is baseless as commercial establishments do not come under this system.
According to Kamal Hassan, the four DTH players who came to him have 15 lakh connections. The theatrical release will hit on Jan 11 in 400 theatres in Tamil Nadu and 1200 theatres outside the State.
Producers and distributors are with him and theatre owners in Coimbatore and Trichy are too with him. Protests are stronger in Chennai and nearby districts but he hopes to convince them. North Indian distributors have joined the Southern theatre owners saying if the DTH proposal is not dropped, then the film will not be released. The Hindi and Telugu version is not being released on DTH platform, said Kamal.
Kamal expects a business of Rs 150 crores. He says that DTH is a legal way for producers to make money and that those who supported him (Bhartiraja) now were on the other side when he wanted to sell TV rights. He wondered how many would pay Rs 1000 for a single viewing. He said that past attempts have shown that each time filmdom tried to out-beat technology, it has only failed.
The habit of going to theatres has been strong in South and that this method of pay per view existed in US and there too theatres did not shut down.
Exhibitors statewide are planning to meet the TN CM to stop Kamal from going ahead with the DTH telecast but he reveals that the telecast rights is with Jaya TV.