Pariyerum Perumal, 96 record better box office runs than Saamy Square, Seema Raja
The recent failure of formulaic mass entertainers Saamy Square and Seema Raja, starring Vikram and Sivakarthikeyan respectively, shows that Tamil audiences are no longer ready to spend their money in watching mundane films. They demand fresh content and as a result, a little known film Pariyerum Perumal, which talked about the plight of the oppressed community and caste discrimination, scored a surprise hit at the box office.
Anand of Ram Muthuram Cinemas, a prime two-screen theater complex located in Tirunelveli, said, “Our audiences have evolved. The best example I can give is that a direct Telugu film Geetha Govindam (not dubbed) had a superb run in our theaters. Usually, in down south of Tamil Nadu, audiences prefer other language movies only if it’s dubbed in Tamil, but Geetha Govindam had an amazing run. A film like Pariyerum Perumal got housefull shows in theaters across Tirunelveli-Kanyakumari belt. We were surprised by the box office revenue of Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, 96 and Ratsasan. All these things show that our audiences are changing and they are in need of fresh content”.
Firstpost analysed the overall reception of these content-driven films across Tamil Nadu. We also spoke to Pathy Senthil, an exhibitor in Mettupalayam. “Today, audiences reject average content, they come to theaters only if the movie is either extraordinary or good. In our area, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, 96 and Ratsasan scored big. Of course, the penetration of these films are slightly low in deep interior territories, but the overall revenue is good”.
Ruben, owner of well-known theater GK Cinemas in Chennai, says “Audiences exactly know which content demand big screen experience. The advent of social media is one of the major reasons. They rejected biggies like Seema Raja and Saamy Square, whereas Pariyerum Perumal had packed shows. We actually scheduled early morning show for the film which is a rarity”. Ruben also feels that producers should market their films well. "The initial positive reviews is one of the important reasons for the surprise hit of Pariyerum Perumal," he says.
Actor Vishnu Vishal, who churned out a formulaic comedy entertainer after the surprise hit of Velainu Vandhutta Velaikkaran, said, “At the beginning of my career, I used to do only content-driven films. The problem is that I kept receiving critical acclaim but the box office report wasn't encouraging. The phenomenal success of Velainu Vandhutta Velaikkaranonly pushed me into the commercial zone but now, the box office reports of Ratsasan motivate me to go back to my forte. Recently, I participated in the success meet of 96 and all we discussed was if films like 96 and Ratsasan are being accepted by Tamil audiences, why we would keep doing formulaic films?”.
Vishnu also says he is going to change his formula. “Before Ratsasan, I planned to do three commercial films and one content-driven film but the warm reception changed that pattern. I’m going to release three good content oriented film and one commercial movie," he says.
But the problem with the array of good films continuously hitting the screens is that the theaters could not allot proper shows and sometimes, they had no other option but to remove a film with a decent run to accommodate another movie. “To be frank, both Ratsasan and 96 had superb run in our theater but we gave our word to Vada Chennai distributor long back so had to remove those two films. Producers Council should regulate the number of releases because the actual potential of a film couldn’t be achieved because of the rush at the box office," says Anand of Ram Muthuram Cinemas, who plans to add a show of Ratsasan and 96 after this weekend.
"Multiplexes in Chennai will not be affected by the mad rush but theaters in small towns and cities can't accommodate more than two films per week and even if they run well, the next week release will eat into the revenue of previous week movies," adds Anand.
Vishnu Vishal, in the capacity of a producere says, “Well, even the Producers Council is unable to find a solution for it. The industry has become an open market so they can’t really restrict anyone. A producer who just invested Rs 50 lakh also demands theaters despite the crowded release schedule so we actually don’t have a solution for this”.
“Everyone has deep pockets. For example, Lyca Productions (was) associated with Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, Vada Chennai and Sandakozhi 2 but they themselves couldn’t leave a proper gap between their films because of the crowded market. But I feel audiences are also quite tired and they can’t afford to spend so much money on movie tickets. Producers should understand and act accordingly. In November, we have two biggies — Sarkar and 2.0 so other films should keep that in mind and plan their releases," adds Ruben.
Updated Date: Nov 11, 2018 12:15 PM