The OTT streaming rights for the action movie RRR have been acquired by Netflix and ZEE Network, but piracy continues to impact the potential release hype.
Despite the closure of theatres and delays to countless projects, 2021 was an incredible year for the Indian cinema industry. However, fans were bitterly disappointed when one of the year’s most-anticipated films RRR was delayed multiple times because of the ongoing pandemic.
RRR is an action movie about India’s freedom fighters Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem, with its three teaser trailers remarkably gaining more than 140 million views on YouTube!
Thankfully, the movie finally premiered in theatres back on March 25th, but what do we know about the release of RRR for online streaming?
The RRR film was initially scheduled to premiere on July 30th, 2020, before it was delayed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic until October 13th and then to January 7th, 2022.
In mid-December, a new wave of rumours began circulating on social media that the movie could be delayed again. This was first hinted at by Telugu Bulletin, which reported that pressure was building on the distributors to delay the theatrical debut because of ongoing restrictions for Maharashtran cinemas.
Pinkvilla would then reach out to RRR producer DVV Danayya, who responded by simply stating “No, no postpone.” Unfortunately, it was then confirmed on January 1st, that RRR had been delayed ‘indefinitely’ due to the surge of Omicron cases domestically.
Announcing the delay on social media, the official RRR Twitter page would share a statement from the production team. The post stated that by “Keeping the best interests of all the involved parties in mind, we are forced to postpone our film.”
“Inspite of our relentless efforts, some situations are beyond our control. As many Indian states are closing theatres, we are left with no choice but to ask you to hold on to your excitement.” – RRR Movie Twitter page.
The post would end by affirming that “We promised to bring back The Glory of Indian Cinema and at the right time, WE WILL.”
On January 31st, 2022, the official RRR Twitter page shared a new promotional poster for the movie, confirming that a theatrical release date had been set for March 25th, 2022.
Interestingly, there had again been some concern amongst fans that the theatrical release would be pushed back again. This was because, in mid-January, a press release indicated that a ‘Plan B’ was in place if theatre capacity remained an issue domestically.
According to the Twitter post, if theatres were still experiencing issues relating to COVID-related restrictions, RRR would instead premiere on April 28th, 2022. Thankfully, restrictions have been lifted for most theatres across the country, with fans waiting with bated breath for their chance to watch RRR on the big screen from today.
RRR was released in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada languages, with several other dialects also available in select cinemas. However, not every fan will be able to travel to a theatre to enjoy RRR on the big screen, so what do we know about its OTT streaming?
#RRRonMarch25th, 2022… FINALISED! 🔥🌊 #RRRMovie pic.twitter.com/hQfrB9jrjS
The digital streaming rights for RRR have been acquired by both the ZEE5 and Netflix platforms, in a deal that was actually reported on by Variety this time last year.
The acquisition of the OTT rights was first reported on the LetsOTT social media page, before being confirmed by ZEE5 in a blog post which stated that “after its theatrical run, the film will stream on the OTT platform.”
According to the post, the rights have been purchased for a massive Rs 300 crore (around $40 million), but Pinkvilla is also reporting that the streaming sale has cost around Rs 325 Crore (around $43 million).
“The makers have sold the post release satellite and digital rights (All Languages) of RRR to Zee Group for a humongous sum in the range of Rs 325 crore, thereby making it the biggest post release deal of all time. The satellite and digital rights have been transferred by Jayatilal Gada to Zee Group.” – Pinkvilla.
However, fans should note that the streaming platforms will split the available language dubbing, with ZEE5 acquiring the Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada versions.
Internationally, the movie will also release on Netflix in various languages including Hindi, English, Korean, Portuguese, Turkish and Spanish.
A digital release date sadly remains unconfirmed, but at a launch event in December, producer Jayantilal Gada reportedly said that the movie would only premiere for streaming “75 to 90 days after its theatrical release”.
“We are confident that people would want to experience this in cinema halls for a long time. We won’t opt for a 30-day premiere.” – Jayantilal Gada, via Bollywood Hungama.
This puts a tentative streaming release window for early-June, 2022, but neither Netflix nor ZEE5 have yet shared a targeted launch for the RRR movie.
IT’S OFFICIAL… Besides releasing in #Hindi, #Telugu, #Tamil, #Malayalam and #Kannada, #RRR will also release in various foreign languages: #English, #Portuguese, #Korean, #Turkish and #Spanish… The digital streaming rights are with Netflix… OFFICIAL POSTER… pic.twitter.com/IWDbPIiJox
Per a Tweet from insider Taran Adarsh, the overall satellite rights have been bagged by Zee Cinema (Hindi), Asianet (Malayalam) and the Star Networks (Tamil, Telugu and Kannada).
Unfortunately, the potential hype for the OTT streaming release of RRR has taken a significant blow recently, with various torrents and pirated prints reportedly circulating online.
“If that really is the case, it could cause a dent in the OTT release prospects of these films. A section of the audience might be watching the pirated prints and that will eat into the viewership once these films arrive on their OTT streaming partners.” – Mirchi9.
Interestingly, it appears that the Indian movie industry, in general, is in the crosshairs of leakers. Most notably, illegal downloads of KGF Chapter 2 were popping up within hours of the film’s premiere last month, despite strong statements from the production team. Hopefully, the leaks surrounding RRR will not deter fans from looking forward to the OTT streaming release on Zee and Netflix.
Hd quality RRR print leaked before ott release …. @NetflixIndia @netflix #Netflix #RRRMovie @RRRMovie #RRR pic.twitter.com/1DLmU8tZJA
The soundtrack for RRR is composed and produced by M. M. Keeravani, with the music being sold to Lahari Music and T-Series for a record-breaking 25 Crore (around $3.3 million).
The latest single from the official soundtrack was recently released online, Janani/Uyire which was hash-tagged as ‘Soul Anthem’.
The full track listings are as followed, with RRR’s songs available to stream online through the Lahari Music and T-Series YouTube channels.
The unrivaled, unmatched and unparalleled emotional extravaganza, #Janani/#Uyire out now!❤️#RRRSoulAnthem…
Malayalam: https://t.co/kfeylXeAS9 pic.twitter.com/P8ym7icsmq
Principal photography started domestically in Hyderabad, before heading to Vadodara and Pune.
Production would then head worldwide to Bulgaria; however, the coronavirus pandemic would then wreak havoc with filming.
After multiple temporary delays, production was given special permission by the Andhra Pradesh government to resume filming. The final schedule moved to Ukraine, which wrapped up on August 18th, 2021.
In Telugu, RRR’s expanded title is Roudram Ranam Rudhiram and in Tamil, it’s called Raththam Ranam Rowthiram. In Kannada, the film’s full name is Roudra Rana Rudhira (all of which translate to Rage, War, Blood), and Rise Roar Revolt in Hindi.
Experience India’s biggest Action Drama, #RRRMovie only on the big screen. In cinemas from tomorrow. Book your tickets now! 🤩🔥🌊@ssrajamouli @tarak9999 @alwaysramcharan @aliaa08 @OliviaMorris891 @ajaydevgn @rrrmovie @DVVMovies pic.twitter.com/X67hxUxnbP
By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]
In other news, How strong is Black Bolt from Doctor Strange 2 and what are his powers?