Seema Raja, CCV, Saamy Square, Vada Chennai: 20 Tamil films compete for release slot in next 50 days
The makers are mainly targeting the two festival weekends of Ganesh Chaturthi on 13 September (U-Turn) and Ayudha Pooja on 18 October (Vada Chennai).
With nearly 20 to 25 films in Kollywood gearing up to hit screens over the next fifty days, theater owners across the length and breadth of Tamil Nadu are going to find it difficult, as they are genuinely spoiled by choice. Since the makers are mainly targeting the two festival weekends of Ganesh Chaturthi on 13 September and Ayudha Pooja on 18 October to capitalise on public holidays, Tamil movie-goers are in for a wide variety of movies from top stars like Vikram, Dhanush, Sivakarthikeyan, Vishal, Samantha Akkineni and Jyotika to name a few.
On 30 August, four Tamil films released including Nayanthara's investigative thriller Imaikkaa Nodigal—which marks the on-screen debut of ace filmmaker Anurag Kashyap in Tamil—Pa. Vijay's Aaruthra, Radha Mohan's 60 Vayadu Maaniram, and Vetrimaaran's production Annanukku Jey, starring Attakathi Dinesh.
While popular festivals such as Pongal and Diwali are mostly occupied by A-list stars like Rajinikanth, Ajith, and Vijay, producers are now focussing on releasing their movies for the relatively potential festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Ayudha Pooja, which fall on September 13 (Thursday) and October 18 (Thursday) respectively this year, paving way to four-day holiday weekends.
Now, four films — 96, Seema Raja, Naragasooran, U-Turn — have announced their official release date as 13 September to cash in on the Ganesh Chaturthi weekend. Firstpost has learned from reliable sources from the trade that romantic drama 96, which stars Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha Krishnan as leads for the first time and is directed by debutant C Prem Kumar, will pull ahead the release date to 6 September. The overwhelming reception for the film's album and the trailer has provided the confidence to the makers to pull the release date ahead. Director Ram's emotional drama Peranbu, which has already toured various festivals across the world with good reviews, is also aiming for a 6 September release.
Ruban, who owns the famous two-screen theater GK Cinemas in Chennai and a host of other properties outside the city, is hopeful that the spending capacity of Tamil movie-goers will be functional during these festivals too. "After the strike period of nearly 50 days, it's true that Kollywood witnessed a lot of hits. It's also the main reason that a lot of films are lining up to hit screens one by one now. We will have a challenging time to schedule movies. It will be more challenging in single screen theaters," Ruban told Firstpost.
U-Turn, which marks Samantha Akkineni's first woman-led film, will have to take on Sivakarthikeyan-starrer Seema Raja and Dhuruvangal 16-fame Karthick Naren's Naragasooran at the ticket window on 13 September. Vinay, of Ram Muthuram cinemas in Tirunelveli, says that star power will be the priority in his area for the selection of films to showcase. "Our theater falls under the B-centre category. Unlike Chennai, where they can screen all the films in multiplexes, we need to rely on star power. On 13 September, our first preference would be for Sivakarthikeyan's Seema Raja. It would be perfect for single screen owners if one or two movies release two weeks before or after the festival instead of crowding the festival weekends," Vinay told Firstpost.
A week after Seema Raja, U-Turn and Naragasooran hit screens, Vikram's Saamy Square is reportedly slated to release on 20 September. A popular distributor, on the condition of anonymity, told Firstpost, "In the last two months, Tamil cinema has witnessed nearly six to seven super hit films. Now, the trade is in a really good momentum. Unlike the last few years, the shelf life of a film in theaters has come down drastically now. While most of them lament the advent of OTT platforms, we have to agree with the bitter truth that the survival period is only one week for a major number of films. Only a handful of films run beyond two or three weeks, like the recent Kadaikutty Singam and Kolamaavu Kokila. That's the main reason producers are now more willingly scheduling their projects week after week."
Mani Ratnam's multistarrer Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, bankrolled by Lyca Productions, has already confirmed its official release date as 27 September. The makers of director Kannan's Boomerang and the Arvind Swami, Trisha-starrer Sathuranga Vettai 2 are also planning to release their films either towards the end of September or early October.
Another big release, which will kick-start October, will be Vijay Deverakonda's Tamil, Telugu bi-lingual NOTA, directed by Iru Mugan-fame Anand Shankar and produced by KE Gnanavel Raja's Studio Green. The project, which marks the first straight Tamil film of Vijay Deverakonda, is planning to hit theaters on 4 October. There is great buzz for the movie in trade since Deverakonda's recent outing in Geetha Govindam has left the cash registers ringing in Tamil Nadu too.
Nivin Pauly's period drama Kayamkulam Kochunni, which has been postponed owing to Kerala floods, is eyeing a simultaneous release in Tamil and Malayalam, on 11 October, a week before the Ayudha Pooja weekend. While the makers of Vishal-starrer Sandakozhi 2, directed by Lingusamy, and Jyotika-starrer Tumhari Sulu remake Kaatrin Mozhi announced their release date as 18 October, Dhanush later revealed the release date of Vada Chennai as 17 October to gain the advantage of a five-day weekend.
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