How the Coming Months Can Resurrect the Southern Cinema Trade
Since the Covid 19 pandemic hit the country, the Indian film industry has struggled to get back on its feet, living as much as the three pandemic waves allowed. With strict protocols to keep everyone’s safety in mind, theaters have been closed or opened to just 50% capacity. While many Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada movies opted to release their film on OTT platforms, a few others continued to delay, hoping better times would prevail. Now, after multiple delays, many big budget movies like Suriya’s “Ethakkum Thunnindhavan”, Prabhas’ “Radhe Shyam”, Jr NTR and Ram Charan’s “RRR”, have been waiting for the right opportunity to release the film in theaters and finally come out.
Allu Arjun’s Pan India film ‘Pushpa: The Rise’, released in December 2021, has become a blockbuster across India, bringing a sigh of relief to trade as it broke the Rs 300 crore mark with Pan India collections .
Also in February, Pawan Kalyan’s “Bheemla Nayak” and Ajith’s “Valimai” came to the rescue at the box office after a not very profitable January. However, it is for the first time after the pandemic that big-budget movies will be released consecutively within three months, bringing joy not only to moviegoers but also to the movie industry.
While March started with the release of Tamil film “Hey Sinamika” by Dulquer Salmaan, Aditi Rao Hydari and Kajal Aggarwal on March 3, Suriya’s action drama “Ethakkum Thunnindhavan”, made with an approximate budget of ‘about Rs 75 crore, was released in theaters. today (March 4). Both films have solid cast and potential to attract footsteps.
On top of that, the Telugu film market will be buzzing with big budget back-to-back releases. Prabhas’ period drama “Radhe Shyam” which has an approximate budget of Rs 300 crore and filmmaker SS Rajamouli’s pan-Indian magnum opus “RRR”, which is said to have a lavish budget of around Rs 350 crore will be released in March from This year. March will also see stronger regional films such as Ravi Teja’s “Ramarao On Duty” hitting theaters. For Kannada’s film industry too, the month is crucial, with the release of ‘James’, which will have the posthumous appearance of late superstar Puneeth Rajkumar.
Business analyst Atul Mohan gives a ballpark figure telling us: “If you calculate a ball-point figure, then around Rs 1,100 crore rolls over the Southern film industry over the next three months. ‘Radhe’s budgets Shyam’, ‘KGF 2’, ‘RRR’ and all other movies are in crores.”
He hopes the movie business picks up with so many great movies to come.
“You see, once the restrictions were lifted, all the tourist spots were packed and reverse tourism started. The same can happen with movies as well, but in the end it depends on whether people get their money’s worth or not. They will read the reviews and watch the word of mouth and then decide or else for the money they pay for a ticket they can have a full annual subscription to any OTT channel so the content of each movie must be good.
With the arrival of April, fans will see megastar Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan’s “Acharya” hit theaters. The movie was supposed to be released earlier in January but was pushed back to March only to be pushed back to April. But for fans of the mega family, the double treat will arrive in theaters on April 29. Pawan Kalyan’s ‘Hari Hara Veera Mallu’, which is said to be made around the budget of Rs 200 crore, is also expected to be released on the same date. , but the lack of promotional buzz is leaving fans in a confused state at the moment.
Film critic and business analyst Taran Adarsh calls the coming months a “litmus test” for the Southern film industry.
“It’s a litmus test for them. If you also watch collections of recent movies, whether in Tamil or Telugu, they are just phenomenal. Of course, I would like to add that it all comes down to the content. same time, I’m very confident that the footsteps will be huge and that’s a very good thing. When you talk about the cinemas closing and then you see full boards, it gives confidence to others to move forward ” , he said.
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) February 27, 2022
Within 15 days of the release of Acharya, Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu will hit the screens with his Telugu movie “Sarkarau Vaari Paata”. The film, directed by Parasuram Petla is currently in the final stage of production. The enthusiasm for the film is all the greater among fans as Mahesh Babu will arrive on the big screen after two years. He was last seen in the 2020 action movie ‘Sarileru Neekevvaru’.
May will end with the pan-Indian production “Major” by Mahesh Babu with actor Adivi Sesh. The film, which is being made on a budget of around Rs 100 crore, is a bilingual biographical drama based on the life of 11/26 martyr Sandeep Unnikrishnan. The film also marks Adivi’s Bollywood debut.
Generally, it’s understood that big movies don’t come out at this time of year due to IPL matches and annual school boy exams, but Adarsh debunks this myth.
“I wouldn’t agree with that. The calendars are packed every year. The last two years we couldn’t go out because we had no choice, but everywhere the calendars were full. Everywhere you go, even down south, you see tremendous response because people have delayed because of covid,” he says.
Mohan points out that the Pan-India game is at its peak right now, with foundations already set back for years.
“Now the exposure for them has increased. After the success of ‘Baahubali’, then ‘KGF’ and now ‘Pushpa’, what has happened is that the market has opened up. This process has actually started 10-15 years ago when the south films started getting dubbed and arrived on satellite channels.Then these films started arriving on YouTube channels, where the views are in the millions and billions Mohan explains.
As he adds, “The face value of actors has increased, especially in UP, Bihar and MP markets, so people are quite aware that the new movie by the same actor is coming now.”
It would be interesting to see if the money game bounces back once again in the Southern film industry or not.