Amazon Prime India Makes Biggest Direct-To-Service Movie Acquisition With Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann
Amazon Prime Video India has made its biggest direct-to-service movie acquisition in the shape of Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana comedy Gulabo Sitabo.
The Hindi-language comedy will launch exclusively on the streaming service on June 12 and will be simultaneously available in 200 countries worldwide. The film was originally due to launch theatrically earlier this year but the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered theaters across the country and hampered releases.
Directed by Shoojit Sircar, Bollywood royalty Bachchan and growing star Khurrana play two slimy scheming foxes who get caught up in a game of one upmanship, each one attracting other members to their clan and each one with an agenda of his own.
The Rising Sun Films production is written by Juhi Chaturvedi and produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar.
“Gulabo Sitabo is a slice of life dramedy that is a must watch for families at home,” said Bachchan, “I was excited about my role since the first time Shoojit showed me the character’s look. It took me almost three hours each day to get into character with its different look. I had a wonderful time working with my very talented co-star Ayushmann Khurrana. Even though we are constantly bantering in the film, it has been a pleasure working with him for the first time. This family entertainer has the power to cut across geographic boundaries and we are pleased to bring Gulabo Sitabo to audiences across the globe.”
Khurrana added, “Gulabo Sitabo is a special film for me. It made me reunite with my mentor Shoojit da after Vicky Donor. Whatever I’m today is because of him and I’m happy that he made me a part of his vision again. Gulabo Sitabo also sees me share the screen space with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan for the first time and it’s a huge moment, it’s a dream come true for me. I have secretly wished to work with him for many, many years and Shoojit da made this happen and I will be indebted to him forever. It has truly been an honour for me to work with a legend and I feel enriched as an actor after the experience. What I love about the film is its sheer simplicity – the fleeting moments of simple humor in the banter between a landlord and tenant makes this film really special. I hope audiences love the film and our chemistry when it premieres.”
“At Amazon we’re listening to our customers, and working backwards from there.” said Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video, India. “Gulabo Sitabo is one of the most anticipated films of the year. We are happy to exclusively premiere Gulabo Sitabo on Prime Video. It is the first step in our endeavour to bring superior cinematic experiences to our customer’s doorstep.”
Indian-produced Amazon Original series include Four More Shots Please!, The Family Man, Mirzapur, Inside Edge and Made In Heaven. The SVOD service includes titles available in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi and Bengali. Gulabo Sitabo marks the company’s first and biggest local acquisition of a movie that didn’t have a theatrical run.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos visited India earlier this year and, like many major media companies, the streamer is pushing deeper into the market, which is seen as a major growth frontier.