NGK, Kadaram Kondan, Kolaigaran: May is packed with Tamil releases despite Avengers: Endgame, Lok Sabha Election, IPL

Sreedhar Pillai

May 01, 2019 16:46:52 IST

Kollywood trade is getting jittery over the summer releases in the month of May. Nearly 20 small and big films are slated for release, but the worrying factor is that there are going to be theatrical face-offs between big stars. Plus there is always a politically fluid situation in Tamil Nadu where politics and movies go hand in hand. At end of the month for the big Eid/Ramzan weekend (31 May), Suriya’s eagerly awaited Selvaraghavan-directed political thriller NGK is going to clash with Vikram’s action-adventure Kadaram Kondan.

Two weeks before that, on 17 May, there is going to be another confrontation between two popular stars at the box office. Sivakarthikeyan’s comedy entertainer Mr Local is pitched against Vijay Sethupathi’s action thriller Sindhubaadh. On 10 May, a rather smaller battle for screens will be played out between Vishal’s cop story Ayogya, a remake of the Telugu film Temper, which is slated to clash with the Arjun-Vijay Antony mystery thriller Kolaigaran.

 NGK, Kadaram Kondan, Kolaigaran: May is packed with Tamil releases despite Avengers: Endgame, Lok Sabha Election, IPL

Suriya's NGK (left) and Vikram's Kadaram Kondan. Images via Facebook

All these dates are not yet officially announced by the producers of the films as most of them are yet to be censored. So there may be a reshuffle of dates at the last minute, as producers are looking at who will back out first. The phenomenal opening of Avengers: Endgame in Tamil Nadu and the theatre owners' reluctance to play new Tamil content has dampened the spirits. A super hit film like Kanchana 3 suffered as its number of shows and screens came down in the second week to accommodate Avengers. None of the new Tamil releases in April could get the cash registers ringing. All this has made producers and distributors a little sceptical of new Tamil releases in the month of May.

However, the focus is clearly on Suriya’s NGK versus Vikram’s Kadaram Kondan, both scheduled for release on 31 May. While NGK's release date has been officially announced, Kadaram Kondan's is yet to come out. The trade pundits are equating this clash with that of Rajinikanth’s Petta versus Ajith’s Viswasam during Pongal early this year. NGK had a big trailer launch where Suriya said that he is looking forward to the Selvaraghavan-directed film, which looks like an intense political thriller.

NGK also has Sai Pallavi and Rakul Preet Singh in supporting roles and is produced by Dream Warrior Pictures. At the same time, Vikram’s Kadaram Kondan is an action thriller directed by Rajesh Selva and produced by Kamal Haasan. Vikram does not have a heroine in the film though Akshara Haasan stars in the film. Vikram needs a hit badly as his last two releases Sketch and Saamy2 received a lukewarm response at the box-office.

Jiiva's Gorilla and Kee, Gautham Karthik’s Devarattam, Atharva Murali’s 100, Prabhu Deva’s Devi 2, GV Prakash’s 100 Percent Love, the live-action films like Thumbaa, Neeya 2, the 3D-horror flick Lisaa, the Vimal-Oviya-starrer romcom Kalavani 2, and Lakshmy Ramakrishnan's much-awaited House Owner — these are among a slew of films slated for release. It’s going to be a packed May schedule and producers and distributors are running helter-skelter looking for screens in Tamil Nadu. PL Thenappan, who is distributing Naveen's directorial Alaudhinin Arputha Camera, said: “Ours is comparatively a small film, but it has come out well and will surely work but theatre owners are giving preference to star movies.”

Leading producer G Dhananjayan who is distributing the Arjun-Vijay Antony-starrer Kolaigaran, said: “As the marketing and distribution partner of Kolaigaran we are certainly targeting a May release. The summer holiday month of May always brings in a huge audience to theatres as they all wish to watch films with families during this period. This happens every year and even in 2018, there were 18 new releases and out of them, three became successful (Irumbuthirai, Nadigaiyar Thilagam, Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu) in one month. This time we can expect a minimum of 20 new films with 5 weekends in May.”

However, there are others in the trade who feel sceptical about 20 films releasing in May. A theatre owner in Chengalpet area summed it up: “20 Tamil releases in May are suicidal for the industry despite being a summer holiday season. Plus Avengers: Endgame is doing extraordinary business in Tamil Nadu and will continue to dominate the first half of May. And to be honest, the new releases do not look promising.”

There is also IPL play-off’s and finals — with CSK doing so well — which means a large section of audiences will be hooked to it. And there is uncertainty with Lok Sabha election results coming out on 23 May along with the results to 22 assembly seats in the by-election which will decide the fate of the Palanisamy government in Tamil Nadu. Political uncertainty as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned is not good for Kollywood. And with Tamil Nadu government taking over the management of the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC), the summer heat is turning too hot for the industry.

Updated Date: May 01, 2019 17:59:56 IST