Fifteen 2020 releases that have skipped theaters and opted for OTT in this pandemic!

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Fifteen 2020 releases that have skipped theaters and opted for OTT in this pandemic!
The Coronavirus has totally discharged the initial plans that producers in all parts of the world had in place, putting them in big confusions over which side they should take their product to – whether to wait and bring it to theatres, or smack a handsome deal with a leading OTT platform. With most films in Hollywood slotting their dates at the back end of the year, some have taken the big move to arrive directly on OTT platforms too. India too has a good amount of films which have said no to the theatrical run, managing to strike good deals with digital streaming partners. Here, we have put together a list of 15 films which have taken the plunge, going directly to OTT platforms.

 

My Spy – Amazon Prime
The action-comedy starring Dave Bautista made its entrance for a UK release in March, but that was the entirety of a theatrical run it could see, as it never met the worldwide release date of April 17th due to the pandemic. Now, My Spy is live on Amazon Prime in some parts of the world and will be made available worldwide in the coming days.

 

Greyhound – Apple TV Plus

Greyhound is an American War drama film which is set against the backdrop of World War II. The film is based on the 1955 novel “The Good Shepherd” by C.S. Forester. The film focuses on the submarines attack on the convoy of merchants ships in 1942 during the Battle of Atlantic. US Navy Commander Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) is on his first war-time assignment in command defending the merchant ship convoy. The screenplay of Greyhound is done by Tom Hanks and is directed by Aaron Schneider. The film was scheduled to release worldwide on June 12th, 2020, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Later the distribution rights were sold to Apple TV+. The digital release date is yet to be announced.
 
Gulabo Sitabo – Amazon Prime
The Shoojit Sircar directed comedy-drama starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana would have made big bucks at the box office, but the producers decided to take the handsome deal they were offered from Amazon Prime instead. The film, which was supposed to hit the screens on the 17th of April will now premiere worldwide on Prime, from the 12th of June.

 

Scoob – iTunes, Amazon Prime
The animated comedy in Scoob was supposed to be the ultimate treat for the kids this summer, but it switched streets and picked the OTT route instead. From the 15th of May, Scoob has been made available in many international territories through iTunes and Amazon Prime.

 

Sufiyum Sujathayum – Amazon Prime
In what is a first for the Malayalam film industry, the romantic musical in Sufiyum Sujathayum will be arriving soon on Amazon Prime. Starring two big talents in Jayasurya and Aditi Rao Hydari, the film is helmed by Naranipuzha Shanavas of Karie fame. The official date for the premiere is yet to be announced.

 

Artemis Fowl – Disney + Hotstar
Folks at Disney had slated a grand May 29 release for the action-adventure in Artemis Fowl, but the virus ate into their plans. The banner then took the big decision of bringing the film directly to their own platform, subsequently announcing the release date as the 12th of June.  

 

Ponmagal Vandhaal – Amazon Prime

A much debated and a controversial film at present in Tamil Cinema. The film is an intense court drama wherein Jyotika plays a lawyer in the lead. From the looks of the trailer released last week, it’s evident that it will be based on physical abuse on women. Jyotika who has been donning different and inspiring roles is surely not going to disappoint this time as well. The film is directed by debutante JJ Fredrick and is produced by 2D Entertainment. This was the first Tamil film which announced its digital release during this Covid-19 Pandemic. It was originally scheduled to release worldwide on March 27th, 2020. But the theatrical release was dropped in favour of a digital release and we’ll see its digital premiere on May 29th, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video.
 
 
The Lovebirds – Netflix

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A young couple who are at a defining moment in their relationship gets embroiled in a homicide unintentionally. It’s one of those guilty pleasure movies where you just need some mindless entertainment to Netflix and chill. The film is directed by Michael Showalter, starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae. Originally, Paramount Pictures had planned for a theatrical release on April 3rd, 2020. But due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the indefinite closure of the theatres the rights were sold to Netflix. The film made its digital debut on May 22nd, 2020 on Netflix. 
 
 
French Biriyani – Amazon Prime

That’s a very catchy title. French Biryani is a Kannada comedy film directed by Pannaga Bharana, this film is based on the director’s personal experience. It’s a 3-day journey of a French expatriate with an auto driver from Shivajinagar played by Sal Yusuf and Danish Sait. Yes, you heard it right the stupendous Danish Sait who is famous for his impressions on social media. Another reason to watch this film. The film is produced by Puneeth Rajkumar under his banner PRK Productions bankrolled by Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar. The film is slated for its digital release on July 24th, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video.
 
 
Run Sweetheart Run – Amazon Prime
Blumhouse and Automatik have given away the rights for their tasty supernatural flick in Run Sweetheart Run, which got itself loads of praise at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Originally set for a release on May 8th, the film will now be finding itself a premiere slot on Amazon Prime. Directed by Shana Feste, the plot of the film is set around a date gone violent.

 

Penguin – Amazon Prime

Penguin is a mystery thriller film where Keerthy Suresh plays a pregnant woman. The plot of the film seems to be hush-hush. This marks 24th film for Keerthy Suresh. The film is directed by Eashvar Karthic and is produced by Karthik Subbaraj under his banner Stone Bench Films. The film was originally slated for a summer release but due to current pandemic situation, the distribution rights have been sold to Amazon Prime Video and it will have its First Day First Stream on June 19th, 2020.

 
 
Irresistible - VOD
Jon Stewart’s political comedy which has Steve Carell and Rose Byrne will go straight to video-on-demand platform on June 26th, forgetting its initial theatrical release date of May 29th. Amazon, Apple TV, DirecTV and Fandango are some platforms which will host the film.

 

Law – Amazon Prime

Law is a Kannada crime thriller where the lead character played by Ragini Chandran is seen defending her own case and fights for justice. This marks Ragini’s debut as an actress. This will be another product from the PRK Productions bankrolled by Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar. This will be one of the first from their banner to hit the OTT platform directly. We will see senior actor Mukyamanthri Chandru playing a vital role in the film. Just like any other film, it was slated for a theatrical release but now will stream on Amazon Prime Video from June 26th 2020.
 
 
The King of Staten Island – VOD
Judd Apatow, the man behind films such as Knocked Up and The 40-Year Old Virgin, is ready with his next in The King of Staten Island. The film is a semi-autobiographical comedy based on the life of Pete Davidson, the star of the film itself. Getting over the idea of a mid-June release, the film will be made available on VOD platforms from the 12th of June.

 

Shakuntala Devi – Amazon Prime
A platform does grab a huge load of attention when a top tier actress such as Vidya Balan makes her entry, directly. Shakuntala Devi, the upcoming drama based on the life of the mathematician looks really interesting, and it will definitely create waves when it arrives on Amazon Prime. The platform will soon be announcing the official release date for the same.
 
Now that’s something we have never seen in the past. A welcomed change for the industry indeed!
 
 
 

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