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Just last week on Thursday, August 11, we saw the release of the Aamir Khan starrer Laal Singh Chaddha. Directed by Advait Chandan the film, which is a remake of the Tom Hanks starrer Forrest Gump, also featured Kareena Kapoor Khan. Given the promotions, hype, and anticipation surrounding the film, trade predictions stated that Laal Singh Chaddha would open with a bang. Touted to be this year’s biggest money-spinner the audience was keenly awaiting the film’s release. However, contrary to expectations, Laal Singh Chaddha started on a less than desirable note drawing in Rs. 11.70 cr. on its opening day. Making matters worse, the business of the film failed to gather steam over the weekend ending its first weekend collections with Rs. 37.96 cr. But away from the box office madness, Aamir Khan was in talks with the OTT streaming giant Netflix to sell the digital rights before release. In fact, talk between the two parties had reached an advanced stage, but unfortunately, the deal ultimately fell through. However, now Bollywood Hungama has learnt why the deal between Aamir Khan and Netflix ultimately ended.
As per our well-placed industry source we hear that Aamir Khan began negotiations for the digital rights of Laal Singh Chaddha at an astronomical amount. Spilling the beans a source tells Bollywood Hungama exclusively, “Aamir Khan was very keen on featuring Laal Singh Chaddha on Netflix. He wanted that global push the film would get through the streaming giant which has close to 200+ million subscribers. Also, the target audience that Netflix was bringing on to the table was in complete sync with what Aamir Khan was looking for which was not possible with either Amazon Prime Video or Disney+ Hotstar given their audience profile. Aamir started negotiations with a massive figure of Rs. 150 crores citing his box office history and records. If that was not enough, Aamir was also adamant that the film would release on Netflix a whole six months after its theatrical release.” Further talking about Netflix negotiating with the actor the source continues, “Netflix tried their best to get Aamir to relent and lower the cost and time period between the theatrical and OTT release. They were ready to offer a figure of around 80 to 90 crores. But the actor remained staunch on the price and the timeline since he was also looking to release the film in China. Netflix finally offered a deal at Rs. 50 crores.”
Aamir continued to pitch the film for Rs. 125 crores, a sum that Netflix felt was over the top for the digital rights. In fact, Aamir was hopeful of a Rs. 300 cr. haul at the India box office for Laal Singh Chaddha and was optimistic that Netflix would come back to the negotiation table post-release if the deal did not work out before release. However, Netflix decided not to proceed ahead with the negotiations and backed out.
As things stand today, the disastrous performance of the film means that Netflix would no longer be interested in bagging the rights. Also, no other OTT platform would be willing to put monies on table for having this fiasco on their platform. Last heard, Viacom 18 Studios and Aamir Khan Productions are now left with no choice but to release the movie on Voot as a formality, and that too for a pittance. Voot reportedly has 1 million paid subscribers.
Also Read: Did the bad marketing campaign affect Aamir Khan-starrer Laal Singh Chaddha’s prospects? Trade and industry experts share their views
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