Dip in Box Office earnings hit Tollywood
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sampat G Samaritan
VIJAYAWADA: Poor collections at the box office for three new films have come as a big reason to worry for producers and other stakeholders in Tollywood.
‘Annaatthe,’ the Rajnikant starrer, was released in Telugu as ‘Peddanna’ with another Tamil film ‘Enemy’ dubbed into Telugu, starring actor Vishal, and an independent Telugu film ‘Manchi Rojulochaie’ starring Santosh Sobhan, last Friday.
Earlier, a Rajinikanth starrer used to make Rs 2 crore to Rs 2.5 crore on the first day but ‘Peddanna’ could collect only about Rs 40 lakh each in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and even less on the second day.
Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce president Narayana Dasu Narang said, "People thronged the theatres to watch ‘Peddanna’ in Tamil Nadu while we witnessed only a few people turning up in AP and Telangana. Probably, the Telugu people are not happy with its content. Moreover, we are witnessing very poor collection at the box office for new films even starring popular stars and we are worried that it may affect the film industry."
Low takings could affect film production as producers, directors and actors begin to get nervous over poor returns.
Sources in the industry said that following curbs imposed on film production and also on screening of films in theatres due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it has become increasingly difficult to attract regular filmgoers to theatres.
They say though the government allowed 100 per cent occupancy and also screening of four shows in a day in theatres in the state in strict compliance with Covid-19 protocol, the patronage from the audiences is slowly declining.
Producers, directors and actors are wondering as major films like ‘RRR’, ‘Pushpa’, ‘Radhe Shyam’, ‘Akhanda’ are lined up for release, starring popular actors like Junior NTR, Ram Charan and Prabhas in December, January and February next.
A film distributor said, "Earlier, in the first three days, nearly 60 per cent of the revenue used to be collected. Now, we are collecting just about 30 to 40 per cent as a large number of people has stopped visiting theatres as they are getting to watch films on the OTT platforms. Moreover, within a few hours of the first show of the film in theatres, people are getting pirated copies on their mobile phones."
Another film exhibitor said, "If the same trend continues, theatres may not survive for long as it becomes unviable."