The decision of the makers of 2018: Everyone is a Hero to start streaming the movie on the OTT platform SonyLIV on June 7, barely a month after its theatrical release, irked theatre owners. The Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) decided to shut down theatres on June 7 and 8 to protest the move.
The movie, directed by Jude Anthany Joseph, collected over Rs 160 crore worldwide, to become the highest-grossing Malayalam movie of all time.
FEUOK president K. Vijayakumar, speaking to OTTplay, said the decision of the producers to stream the movie on SonyLIV ruined the prospects of the movie collecting Rs 200 crore at the box office. He said the shutdown of theatres is a warning and added that if the demand of the organisation is not met, things will be escalated further.
Joseph had recently said he is grateful to the representatives of SonyLiv who watched the movie and deemed it a story that would resonate with people across the country.
Reacting to the protest by film exhibitors, the director wrote on Facebook: “I acknowledge the protests by theatre owners. I believe in making the producers of the movie safe financially even before the film is released. This is the reason I felt the deal with SonyLIV was a blessing. This is not intentional. This is part of business. I thank SonyLIV for trusting our film before the release, and I thank all for loving our film. The theatre owners and the audiences, you are the real heroes.”
The movie, starring Tovino Thomas, Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali and Vineeth Sreenivasan among others, is a thriller set in the backdrop of the devastating 2018 Kerala floods.