Film Exhibitors United Organization of Kerala (FEUOK) has decided to boycott actor Dulquer Salmaan’s production house Wayfarer Films for choosing to directly release his upcoming film, Salute, on an OTT platform, the organisation’s president Vijaykumar told Silverscreen India.
Directed by Rosshan Andrrews and written by Bobby and Sanjay, the action thriller led by Dulquer Salmaan is set to premiere on SonyLiv on Friday. Salute, which has music by Jakes Bejoy, also features actors Diana Penty, Manoj K Jayan, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, and Ganapathi, among several others.
Speaking to Silverscreen India, Vijaykumar said, “The makers of Salute had signed an agreement with us for a theatrical release. Following this, we got the flex banners and posters ready for promoting the film. Suddenly, they postponed the release indefinitely, citing the outbreak of Omicron. Later, the production house changed its stance and decided to release the film on the OTT platform directly, without informing or discussing with us. Hence, we have decided to not work with Wayfarer Films, for now.”
He added that the matter will discussed during FEUOK’s general body meeting on March 31, after which a further decision will be taken.
Salute was earlier scheduled to release in theatres on January 14. However, on January 10, Wayfarer Films decided to defer the film’s opening, owing to a spike in Covid-19 cases. Later, on March 6, the production house announced that it was partnering with SonyLiv for the film’s release.
Vijaykumar clarified that there were no financial dealings between Salute’s makers and the exhibitors, only a signed agreement for a theatrical release. But he noted that it is important for big-budget films to release in theatres in order to support the revival of the business. He also recalled how Dulquer’s Kurup, one of the first big films to release after the reopening of theatres, had a great run and significant box-office collections.
Earlier, FEUOK had a similar clash with the makers of Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, after they had decided to premiere the Mohanlal-starrer directly on an OTT platform. However, after several deliberations and interventions, the film opened in 626 screens across Kerala on December 2, 2021.