The first quarter (Jan 1 to Mar 31) of the year is over. Kollywood had record number of 53 straight Tamil films released in the first three months of the year. It is a new record, as Tamil cinema has touched the fastest fifty in its history.
Among the 53 straight releases only one film Vijay Milton directed Goli Soda produced by Thirrupathy Brothers will recover its entire cost from Tamil Nadu theatricals alone.
Remember, Goli Soda was made on a budget of Rs 2 Crore plus 1.5 Crore on marketing is reported to have got a theatrical share of Rs 5 Crore. Added to that its satellite television and remake rights have gone for another Rs 4 to 5 Crore, making it most profitable film till now, in Return on Investment (ROI).
Thegidi is another film which has become profitable only due to its budget and marketing. The film is profitable if you take theatrical, dubbing and satellite rights together. The current trend in Tamil cinema is to make low budget films and get it censored with U certificate, to enable it to get entertainment tax concession.
Why is it that only two films out of the 53 releases were profitable ventures? First and foremost there were too many releases and content wise most movies failed to bring in the audiences.
Goli Soda became a super hit mainly because it had fresh content but made within commercial format that worked with the mass audiences. It got the viewers hooked as the story was new and told within 2 hours. The story of the underdog triumphing in the last reel made the audiences root for the film.
Thegidi had good music and was a thriller that was told again under two hours.
The lessons that Kollywood learnt was it was not only content but marketing and the how it shaped out that matters the most. Films with newcomers over 2 hours and 15 minutes will not work, because it is difficult to get audience’s attention. Today, viewers have many forms of entertainment other than cinema. His attention span is limited as he is talking/ browsing/ SMS’ing or playing games on his smart phone or connecting with friends on social media, while watching a film!
Today, it has become a must even for a small film to be marketed aggressively. Goli Soda and Thegidi were marketed well by Thirrupathy Brothers and Thirukumaran Entertainment. The opening weekend has become even more important than ever before.
The second Quarter beginning today (April 1) will hopefully bring some cheer to Kollywood. It looks like the audiences are waiting for the summer releases, which hopefully will bring a cheer. The summer April releases Maan Karate, Naan Sigappu Manithan, Thenaliraman and Jigarthanda should revive the market.