In the Heights Out July 29 in India on Apple TV, BookMyShow Stream, Google Play Movies

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In the Heights – the critically-acclaimed adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes – has become the second Warner Bros. film. to skip theaters and make their direct-to-video-on-demand debut in India during the Coronavirus pandemic. No, Justice League Snyder Cut was not the first because it was never intended for theaters. That honor went to the neo-western action thriller directed by Angelina Jolie, Those Who Wish Me Death. The home premiere of In the Heights is more surprising though, as the film was an IMAX release for Warner Bros. That seemed to be the reason he was hanging on to it in the first place, alongside The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, but it further blurs the lines as to what audiences can expect to see at home. compared to what he should expect in cinemas.

Perhaps Warner Bros. ‘ reasoning works along income lines. After all, In the Heights and Those Who Wish Me Dead would have done little at the box office in India, even in the pre-COVID era. If that’s what the studio thinks, it could go further. In addition to The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Warner Bros. Now also clings to the family comedy directed by LeBron James Space Jam: a new legacy (which was released on Friday July 16 in theaters around the world and on HBO Max in the United States). While the new Space Jam movie had a good opening weekend in the United States, it is unlikely to make it in India. Instead of competing with every other movie once theaters fully reopen, Warner Bros. could have taken advantage of families with children in India who are stuck at home right now.

Additionally, it’s unclear what Warner Bros. accomplished by delaying home premieres for those he saw fit to send directly to video on demand. In the Heights released on June 10 in theaters and on HBO Max, and it will be available Thursday, July 29 in India on Apple tv, BookMyShow feed, Google Play Movies, and YouTube Movies. That’s a seven week gap. Why the delay? The theatrical situation in India did not change much between early June and late July. Additionally, the release of In the Heights on HBO Max meant that high-quality pirated copies had been available on torrent sites from day one. Those who really wanted to watch In the Heights probably already have, further limiting the earning potential of a film that has already lost money at the box office.

Yet Warner Bros. does better here than other Hollywood studios. Paramount Pictures/ Viacom18 Studios continue to curate Emily Blunt-starrer A Quiet Place Part II, which is now even available to stream on Paramount + in the USA. He might as well write off the Indian box office at this point. Disney faces a similar situation with the group led by Emma Stone Cruel and Scarlett Johansson Black Widow (this last one is “Coming soon”At Disney + Hotstar). Universal Images it is to be the bravest, to ride Fast & Furious 9 in Indian cinemas in two weeks on 5 August, which seems extremely reckless. It may be an attempt to fight piracy. Lionsgate went further than Warner Bros. by launching Wrath of Man, directed by Jason Statham, this Friday Play Lionsgate, but he arrived three months late.

There is an opportunity here for the studios to show that they really care about Indian viewers, as I argued previously, but it doesn’t seem like they’re interested in going faster.

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