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Aramm leads 4 films releasing this weekend. Is Tamil box office struggling to make sense?

Nayanthara’s Aramm, Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Ippadi Vellum, Suseenthiran directed Nenjil Thunni Irundhal and 143 will all try and woo audiences.

regional movies Updated: Nov 09, 2017 16:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nayanthara,Aramm,Udhayanidhi Stalin
Nayanthara plays a tough district collector in Aramm.

It’s crowded at the Tamil Nadu box office this weekend. With five films releasing this Friday, the fans may or may not be spoilt for choice, but the fate of these films is certainly under a cloud. Nayanthara’s Aramm, Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Ippadi Vellum, Suseenthiran directed Nenjil Thunni Irundhal and 143 will all try and woo audiences, apart from other language releases in Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Kannada and English.

Kollywood is one of the most prolific movie-making centres in the country. Just last year, it produced as many as 205 titles, reports Firstpost. With 171 releases till November, the figure is sure to cross the number by the year end. There are as many as 40 to 50 films scheduled to release in the last eight Fridays of 2017, the report adds.

Diwali this year has been good for Kollywood. Vijay’s Mersal worked wonders at the box office, picking up as much as Rs 100 crore in three weeks from Tamil Nadu alone, the report adds. The film’s spectacular run has prompted the Tamil Nadu government to implement a new ticket rates system. Ticket prices were raised for the first time in 11 years. The state government also allowed flexi pricing in the slab prescribed depending on the place and the theatre.

Ippadai Vellum stars Udhayanidhi Stalin and Manjima Mohan.

With so many films joggling for space, a lot depends on word of mouth. If the buzz on social media isn’t good, the drop in collections is immediate, the report adds.

All this puts immense pressure on the makers of the film.

Speaking to Firstpost, a Chennai based multiplex programming manager says, “Every year, there are around 200 Tamil releases and another 300 from other languages (English, Hindi, Telugu and Malayalam) to be accommodated in a slot of 52 weeks. The average life of a Tamil film is just a week and only a big hero or films with decent word of mouth work, the rest are a waste of playing time.”

What makes matter worse for the Tamil film industry is the high rate of piracy. While a plethora of options, surely Tamil viewers should be happy. However, the reality is that the regular moviegoer can’t afford more than a film a week, and hence many films are bound to get sidetracked sooner than expected.

Producer PL Thenappan was quoted as saying, “I feel the real cause of Tamil movies faring badly is the large number of choices on any given Friday and the influx of new one-time producers. I agree audiences have a wider choice but the regular cine-goer has no time or money to watch more than one film in a week. Today for any film big or small it is not possible to recover cost of production from theatricals alone. And added to that, Tamil cinema has the highest level of piracy in India.”

In a scenario like this, contrary to “more the merrier” maxim, lesser number of films but better quality should help stabilise the situation.

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First Published: Nov 09, 2017 16:43 IST