Salman Khan’s Zee blockbuster ‘Radhe’ highlights a new path for cinema distribution

From fans cheering for the film in theatres overseas to a massive rush on digital platforms, thestarrer ”, directed by, is getting a lot of love across platforms.

Your time, your place
With theatres partially open across the globe and digital consumption of content touching newer highs, the film followed a unique pattern of distribution to cater to fans. It was released on India’s leadingplatform, with ZEE’s pay-per-view service, and on all leadingoperators — Dish, D2H, Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV — giving the audience multiple options to watch the film at a time and place convenient to them.

To cater to global demand, a large international distribution strategy was put in place. The film was scheduled to release in 750-800 screens across the UAE, USA, UK, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore, etc, post which it would also release on approximately 20 pay-per-view platforms in the overseas territories. However, in countries where theatres are not operational, the makers have adopted a day and date pay-per view release strategy in association with Apple, Google, Bell, Telus in Canada; BoxOffice DSTV (Multichoice) in the African sub-continent; Astro First in Malaysia and Flow on Demand in the Caribbean.

Breaking new ground
and Salman Khan Films’ decision to open ‘Radhe’ online and offline simultaneously had resulted in massive pre-sales, with fans lining up to see the film on its opening day.

Shariq Patel, chief business officer, Zee Studios, said, “’Radhe’ was poised to set a benchmark for online viewership of a Hindi blockbuster and in pay-per-view sales. The pay-per-view service, which we started in October 2020, has finally got a product that can truly test the potential of this format. Promotions of the film caught the fancy of the public from the get-go with the song ‘Seeti Maar’ becoming the fastest Hindi film song to hit 100 million views on YouTube, in under 10 days. Advance sales on ZEE5 and across all DTH platforms is massive and we are sure to entertain large numbers.”

The film, co-starring Disha Patani, Jackie Shroff and Randeep Hooda, also saw a lot of love for every promotional unit dropped. The trailer garnered over 100 million plus views across all platforms, whereas the four songs associated with the film have cumulatively clocked in over 600 million plus views impressions and have been topping the charts across music streaming platforms.

This spells good news for an industry grappling with the temporary closure of the traditional exhibition sector. It has also fuelled other production houses and studios with the hope that innovation is the key to rebooting the industry’s prospects.

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2021: The Year Of Hope

2020 has been a harsh year for more reasons than one. The coronavirus-induced economic slowdown, the nationwide lockdown and the global population spending most of its waking hours indoors were some of the many factors that made 2020 challenging.

Bollywood, too, was hit by the pandemic. Several of the much-awaited films which were due to release this year were pushed to 2021 by their respective producers. We have prepared a comprehensive list of Bollywood films that are expected to release in 2021.

Whether these films will release on OTT (Over The Top content) platforms first or go for a direct theatre release (that is, if the new Covid strain remains in control), is not yet known. However, what is known for sure is that these films will keep the entertainment quotient high. Here they are: