Jayam Ravi's Adanga Maru, Aishwarya Rajesh's Kanaa lead at box office after overcrowded Christmas weekend

Sreedhar Pillai

December 28, 2018 13:30:48 IST

The Kollywood box office got divided over the big Christmas weekend (21 to 25 December) as five Tamil films and a dubbed film fought over  the spoils. The five Tamil films were Jayam Ravi’s Adanga Maru, Dhanush’s Maari 2, Vijay Sethupathi’s Seethakaathi, Vishnu Vishal’s Silukkuvarpatti Singam and Aishwarya Rajesh’s female-led Kanaa, along with the dubbed KGF: Chapter 1.

Jayam Ravi in a still from Adanga Maru. YouTube

Jayam Ravi in a still from Adanga Maru. YouTube

Dhanush’s Maari 2 opened big but by the end of Christmas, Jayam’s cop thriller Adanga Maru emerged as the clear number one across Tamil Nadu. Sivakarthikeyan-produced Aishwarya Rajesh-starrer women’s cricket film Kanaa, on the underdog triumphing in the last over, is turning out to be the dark horse among the Christmas releases.

Too many releases ate into each other’s collections as the audiences got divided. The screens and the shows too got divided and in a way there are no big winners. If Maari 2 or Adanga Maru had managed to get a solo release, they would have managed to get 20 percent more collections.  A theatre owner in Kanceepuram said, “ Before release, Maari 2 had good pre-release buzz but Adanga Maru, after a slow start, picked up as audiences seems to like it for its racy narration, and Kanaa is the surprise hit and is being liked by ladies. And in the second weekend, it is clear that both Adanga Maru and Kanaa will rule.”

The Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) has to take a good part of the blame for the current mess. They had a ‘Release Regulation Committee’ which decided on the release date, given on the basis of the film which gets certified first and to release only two big films a week. But owing to too many big films announcing a Christmas weekend release, the release regulation was thrown to the winds and the committee was disbanded for a month. This led to a free-for-all situation and became an ego game among stars.

The producers and stars of the five films were just interested in getting a Christmas release and being one up on their rivals. Nobody looked into the commercials as the 1,000 odd screens in the state and shows got divided among the five. The multiplexes in Chennai and its suburbs in Chengalpet had no major problems to screen all the five owing to availability of screens. But outside of Chennai, in small towns and rural areas with no multiplexes, single and double screens were calling the shots. Normally, the single screens play one film and allot all the four shows to that particular film. But for the first time in most areas, the single screens ended up playing multiple films with nobody really getting enough shows. This led to a split in box office collections which affected the opening of all the films.

Rakesh Gowthaman of Vettri Theatre in Chrompet, a suburb of Chennai, said, “Sad scene, as box office collections got divided as no theatre could accommodate all the five and audiences will definitely not come for all of them. They will pick and chose one or maximum two after waiting for the correct report to emerge.” A peeved Vishnu Vishal said, “ TFPC, as a producers' organisation failed big, they could not regulate the release. I was the first to announce a 21 December release, but others came in later and announced a release, and TFPC just shrugged and made it a free-for-all. It was total mismanagement.”

TFPC can do little as Tamil released the maximum number of films of any language in India this year. For the last three years, there were over 200 Tamil releases. But this year, there were only 181.

Updated Date: Dec 28, 2018 13:30 PM