Less than a day since Reliance Jio’s “First-Day-First-Show” announcement, which promises day-and-date movie releases for premium broadband customers starting mid-2020, India’s cinema chains — including the likes of PVR Cinemas, and INOX — have responded to Jio’s strategy that represents a threat to their business model. In their statements, PVR and INOX emphasised the value addition and growth potential of theatres for the film industry, the shared experience it offers and how it’s different from watching at home, pointed out the eight-week exclusive theatrical window that’s contractually in place, and noted how the traditional model has mutually benefited both the context makers and the distributors. Essentially, it’s the kind of statement you’d expect from entrenched players that have a lot to lose if this comes to pass.

INOX was more assertive in its statement, as it concluded that film producers would have to “choose between theatrical exhibition or release on any other platform, since release on both simultaneously would breach the mutually agreed exclusive theatrical window”

Reliance Jio had no comment to the response from cinemas chains, and it didn’t share any additional details on the “First-Day-First-Show” initiative, noting it was too early for anything. It will be interesting to see how it shapes up, given there’s still nearly a year to launch. But given the early pushback from PVR and INOX, and the inevitable concerns for filmmakers, producers, and distributors, it’s highly unlikely that Jio will be able to offer all movies under its day-and-date release strategy .


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