The app will show a selection of new and old films for which tickets can be bought for specific show timings.

Producer CV Kumar in black shirt stands with his hand inside pocket in a well lit corridor
Flix Kollywood Monday, July 13, 2020 - 18:30

Regal Talkies, an initiative by producer CV Kumar, will be the first pay-per-view service for Tamil content, and is expected to be formally launched this week. The idea behind the initiative is to provide independently made and offbeat Tamil films a platform to reach a wider audience.

Producer CV Kumar, known for backing films such as Attakathi, Pizza, Soodhu Kavvum and others, is confident that the model will work if the quality of the content is good.

"We are not going for mass commercial films, only offbeat and indie films. Films that can’t position themselves in the theatres. Also, short films and documentaries,” he says. The viewing fee for the films will range between Rs 20 to Rs 100, depending on the film.

How will it work?

The Regal Talkies app is available for download from the Playstore for android devices and on the Apple store for Apple devices. “In future, we plan on including it in digital set-top boxes as well so that people can directly tune in with their TV,” Kumar adds.

The app will show a selection of new and old films for which tickets can be bought for specific show timings. “We want to deliver a theatre viewing experience. Therefore the film can’t be paused or forwarded. The show will begin at the timing specified and will end when it finishes,” he says.

Regal Talkies falls under the Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) model, similar to Google Play Movies and Apple Movies. “The Indians living overseas are already used to this model. Our Tamil Nadu audience will find this new,” Kumar explains. In this model, a user can choose to buy a ticket for a one time viewing experience of a film. 

OTT (Over-the-top) players like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video fall under the Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) which work on a subscription fee model.

“If the viewer watches the film fully, the producer will get Rs 7 or 8 per viewer from the SVOD model. If a content aggregator is involved, then reducing their 20% fee, the producer will receive only between Rs 4 and 5. If one lakh viewers watch, then the producer will receive Rs 4 to 5 lakh,” he explains.

Regal Talkies works on a 20% revenue model and the remaining 80% will be taken by the producer. Under the TVOD model, if the ticket is priced at Rs 50, the producer receives Rs 40. “If one lakh viewers watch, the producer stands to receive Rs 40 lakh in this model,” Kumar adds.

Good support

Kumar agrees that with this unique concept, the risks involved are high. “From day one, this may not work out. But surely, over a period of time, this will become a game-changer,” Kumar asserts. “All of it depends on the content and we are confident of curating the best, given our track record,” he adds.

The app that had its soft launch on July 9, has received very good support so far, the producer shares. “The surprising element is that we also made available an old Tamil film called Aan Paavam. The viewing fee was priced at Rs 25 with tax and it came up to Rs 30. So many of them bought tickets and watched it. The response is encouraging,” he says.

Kumar, who has been planning this since 2015, was supposed to launch the app earlier this year. “We have been planning since 2015. The backend work is a big task because we had to set up servers for storing content. We also started working on a couple of films in February, specifically for this platform. We believe we will crack it and make a breakthrough now,” he says.

According to Kumar, Regal Talkies will be a very good model for small-scale films.

“For instance, I know of a film that had a production cost of Rs 3.5 crore and spent Rs 1.5 crore just on publicity. They made a total revenue of Rs 2.5 crore from theatres. For such films, this platform will be a great support. In future, we can think about expanding it to other languages as well,” he says.

Miruna, a 35-minute romcom and Thadayam, the first of a three-part mini series thriller, will premiere on July 17 on the app. Tickets can be booked for Rs 20. Onbathu Kuzhi Sampath, an offbeat film on the lines of Pa Ranjith’s Attakathi, according to the producer, will premiere on July 24. 

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