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As movie theaters remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, film producers in India are turning to online premieres of new releases. (Nikkei montage/Source images courtesy of Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Disney Plus Hotstar)
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Digital Bollywood: Can Amazon and Netflix save Indian cinema?

Online premieres offer glimmer of hope for studios struggling in pandemic

VIVEK GUPTA, Contributing writer | India

BANGALORE -- Shikha Nalwa, a homemaker from the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, had been looking forward to seeing "Gulabo Sitabo". The comedy-drama starring Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan was expected to be a blockbuster.

But before "Gulabo Sitabo" hit 2,000 theaters in April, the coronavirus outbreak hit India -- and a nationwide lockdown was imposed. Rather than head to the theater, movie fans like Nalwa had to settle for watching "Gulabo Sitabo" on Amazon Prime Video, two months after its originally scheduled release date.

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