These are testing times for the film industry with number of drastic changes being proposed and battles being fought between various associations. One decision which has been hailed by the film fraternity in recent times has been the announcement to allow BIG films to release only on Festive days. Largely aimed at helping smaller films to find screens for release, the move has been hailed by trade pundits for finding a solution for many small films not reaching the cans year on year. However this move has huge implications on the revenue spinners of the industry.
The Tamil Nadu Producers’ Association have announced 5 days for release of big films-Jan 14,April 14,May 1,August 15,Deepavali.By big films ,it refers to the movies with saleable stars from Rajinikanth, Kamalhaasan to Simbhu, Dhanush and Arya and also movies of top notch directors viz. Shankar, Gautham Menon etc. What this has done in a matter of time can be illustrated by this example: The films scheduled for release for Feb earlier (3, Saguni) will now be postponed to April 11, 12 when movies like Maatran, Billa 2 and Thuppaki are already being planned for release. That leaves us with at least 4 films (assuming one film gets postponed to August 15th) being released on April 14 –May 1 interval!!! Ajith vs. Vijay vs. Suriya vs.Karthi vs. Dhanush!!! Gosh!
Like in any other industry, 80 % of the industry revenue comes from the BIG films and hence making such big films compete head on with each other has a huge effect on the revenues of the industry as a whole. In this modern era of releasing a film with maximum no. of screens in the first 2 weeks and ensuring maximum eye balls as early as possible, solo release of BIG films helps the industry as a whole! Remember how Mangatha’s solo opening helped it shatter records compared to Deepavali 2011 where Velayudham and 7 am Arivu were forced to share revenues because of a head on clash. It’s good that an industry wants to take care of the smaller players but that cannot be done at the cost of your major revenue spinners. This present rule would reduce the revenue of the industry by at least 20-30 % which tends to affect all sections of the film industry. At this juncture where FEFSI workers demand pay rise from the producers, this move would further add fuel to the fire. With this rule, there would be more “hit “films and lesser “super hit” movies, forget the blockbusters!
To tackle this issue, may be the Film industry could go the Bollywood way .The producer of every BIG movie has to announce the release date of his movie on the day of launch of the movie. This would give smaller films enough time to decide on the date of release of their movie based on availability of screens. The BIG films which are not able to meet the deadline can only release the movie on 4 festive days. Such a move makes producers and directors stick to deadlines for completing their movie, allow smaller films enough time in the year to find screens and also lend a lot of professionalism to Kollywood.
The next few weeks offers more drama off screen than on screen!!