By Sreedhar Pillai
Tamil Nadu is one state where Tamil films ruled supreme. It was very difficult for Other Language Films (OLF) meaning Hindi, Telugu and Malayalam films to make inroads into the cloistered market.
Of course years back big Hollywood movies and their Tamil dubbing had percolated down into B & C Centres. Hollywood films grandeur and making along with their technical superiority had created an audience for these films especially among the youth.
However the scenario is changing at the Tamil Nadu box-office. Salman Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger in Hindi is reported to have taken a share of Rs 1.25 Crore. Akshay Kumar’s Rowdy Rathore did Rs 65 lakhs. Vidya Balan’s The Dirty Picture grabbed Rs 80 lakhs and Razz 3D is said to have grossed a crore. Last week’s class film Ranbir Kapoor’s Barfi has grossed Rs 34.5 lakhs in two days from 24 screens in TN.
Meanwhile some Tamil producers and distributors are getting into the OLF bandwagon, by buying the distribution rights of Telugu and Hindi films. It has created boom as prices for these films have gone through the roof. Prabhas’s Rebel in Telugu has been sold for Rs 33 lakhs, three times the price that his last film was sold in TN. The asking price for distribution rights of Pawan Kalyan's new film Cameraman Ganga Tho Rambabu is Rs 55 lakhs.
The big news in distribution circles is that UTV has sold Tamil Nadu rights of Madhur Bhandarkar’s Kareena Kapoor starrer Heroine for a whopping Rs 40 lakhs! Imagine a female oriented Hindi film getting such a high price in a market ruled by the Khan’s? The argument of the distributors is that if a Dirty Picture and Kahaani can make big money in TN, why can’t a film like Heroine?
The rise of multiplexes in key markets have also given an additional boost to OLF . Moreover it has suddenly become “cool” among Tamil audiences to watch Hindi movies. Remember Ilayathalapathy danced with Akshay Kumar in Rowdy Rathore and Thala is appearing in English Vinglish and more actors are doing straight Hindi films. The OLF boom is here to stay.