Anto Joseph says that despite thinking about the OTT release many times, the film is a dream come true for many and the theatrical release is possible because of Mammootty’s courage. Anto Joseph was speaking to the media about the excellent response Priest received. He added that the movie was brought to the theatres with the confidence that Mammootty is there. Anto Joseph’s words like this.
‘Two days ago something like this came in front of you with fear and trembling. A movie is going to be released, and that too in fifty per cent of the seats. I was worried about whether the family audience would come to the theatre. The film was made with the good intentions of a great actor named Mammootty. He has been travelling with Mammootty for many years. There is no actor in India who has given so many opportunities to new directors.
After Joffin told the story, Mammootty asked him to go ahead. It’s just that we made a way to get there.
This success is the success of Malayalam cinema. God-given victory. The release took about a year to complete filming. You also know about the losses that manufacturers incur when funds run out. We also make films by borrowing at interest and so on. There is a lot of tension. Even in this situation, all those who worked behind this film stood by us. Above all, the support given by Mammootty.
When the best offers came from OTT, I asked Mammootty, “If Mammootty thinks of us, he says a good price.”
Then I’ll share something. A month later the tension hit and I would ask again. Then Mammootty will say, ‘I am with you without fear? Audiences want to see this movie in theatres. Movies that provide that viewing experience should be released on OTT. This movie is a movie that needs a theatrical experience. And for the new director, I want to see it released in theatres.
‘After that, the theatres reopened. I also announced the date of the movie. But still worried. Because many good movies do not have a second show, there is no collection. People can’t even come to the movies. So the last-minute release was changed. I wanted to get more from the film than the profits from the film. Mammootty still supported him.
Mammootty has a reason to say that it should be released in theatres. ‘Anto is not like us, the situation of the workers involved in the ordinary film industry. There are poster pasters, representatives, theatre operators, canteens, why not even auto drivers get a run after a movie? And the biggest thing is, it is his first film. Doesn’t he want to show people in the theatre? There will come a time when movies will be live Anto. We must take that risk. You do not have the permission required to post. Am I not with you? ‘Mammootty is giving me this courage to release this movie in theatres. Or I would have thought otherwise. Mammootty said that even if there is no one in the theatre, I will be with him. I brought it to the theatre with the confidence that this leopard is with me.
I was very happy to see the excitement of the audience in the theatre. Many people write about 3 crores and 4 crores gross about the collection of First Day movies. But I’m not ready for this movie. Because the film has received such a large share. Fifty per cent of the occupancy comes from a larger collection than what was collected before Kovid. Thanks to the audience, Mammootty and Joff.