Massive success of Bigil and Kaithi at Tamil Nadu box office may have resulted in a lull period post Diwali
After Bigil and Kaithi, none of the expected biggies like Action, Enai Nokki Paayum Thotta, Sangathamizhan, and Adithya Varma lived up to the expectations at the box office.
This year's Diwali season has been memorable for Tamil cinema with Vijay's Bigil and Karthi's Kaithi grossing nearly Rs 390 crores globally. However, just when the industry thought that Diwali had kick started a positive trend at the box office, all films that followed tanked big time. None of the films including Vishal’s Action, Dhanush’s Enai Nokki Paayum Thotta, Vijay Sethupathi’s Sangathamizhan, and Dhruv Vikram’s most anticipated Adithya Varma were able to live up to the audience's expectations.
Trade sources say that all the four biggies released after Diwali had a decent run from only Friday to Sunday. On Mondays, all films witnessed a significant drop. Interestingly, many theater owners replaced Action and Sangathamizhan's shows with Bigil and Kaith
Sriram, executive producer of production company Shvedh says “The main reason for this dry season at the box office is that people have spent all their movie watching budget in Bigil and Kaithi. They can’t spend Rs 2000 on every film. Moreover, the content of the films that released post-Diwali wasn’t up to the mark. But according to me, audiences are very selective when it comes to visiting theaters. Though both Irandam Ulagaporin Kadaisi Gundu and Iruttu received favorable reviews, audiences are not willing to watch it on the big screen.”
“Among the films which released post-Diwali only Adithya Varma is holding a few shows but still, we can’t term it as a hit film,” he adds. “The next big boom at the box office will happen during the Pongal season because the Tamil Nadu Government has already announced Rs 1000 Pongal bonus to all ration cardholders. Many families in the state will spend the money by watching movies so I’m expecting a very good run for Superstar Rajinikanth’s Darbar,” says Sriram.
Pathy of Sri Sakthi Theater in Mettupalayam says, “2019 is the year of festival releases. Pongal and Diwali were excellent this year. In Summer , Kanchana 3 had a terrific run. Both the pooja holiday weekend releases Asuran and Namma Veettu Pillai ran well. I think producers of all the big-budget films will henceforth try to release their films during the festival weekend or summer.”
“I also feel the content of films released after Diwali and Pongal were quite weak this year. These days, films which have strong content are struggling to mint money so for a film’s successful run both content and apt release day are mandatory,” says Pathy, adding that the Pongal bonus has contributed to the phenomenal run of Viswasam and Petta, and a similar run is expected for Darbar.
Pathy says that currently, students are busy with exams so the turnout is very low but he reiterates that content is king. “I’m looking forward to the 20 December releases —Karthi’s Thambi and Sivakarthikeyan’s Hero, both these films have the potential to bring back audiences to theaters."
A few other exhibitors also note that non-holiday releases in 2018 performed well but only festival releases were successful this year with a few exceptions like Ajith's Nerkonda Paarvai.
"Instead of releasing on a non-holiday weekend and witness a huge loss, most of the producers are now planning to take the risk by clashing with biggies during the festival weekend and make some money," says a producer on condition of anonymity. "OTT platforms is another reason behind the poor turnout. Now all the films are readily available on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and other OTT platforms so audiences have become very choosy. Challenging days ahead for producers," he adds.
After shattering box office records, Jr NTR and Ram Charan's RRR is set to stream on Zee5 in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam with English subtitles. It is directed by SS Rajamouli.
Jeethu Joseph on OTT: 'The future of all film industries, especially Malayalam film industry, is going to be good thanks to OTT. This is just the beginning'