Entertainment Kollywood 27 Jan 2017 Redemption time for ...

Redemption time for Kollywood town?

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ANUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN
Published Jan 27, 2017, 12:00 am IST
Updated Jan 27, 2017, 12:10 am IST
Back to back episodes including demonetisation, JJ’s demise, Vardah and jallikattu protests have had a negative impact.
A still from Bogan
 A still from Bogan

The Tamil film industry has been going through a bad phase through the last few months. Starting with the demonetisation to the demise of former CM Jayalalithaa and then being hit by cyclone Vardah, there has been one crisis after another in K’town. Adding to the share of difficulties, were the recent protests by youth against the jallikattu ban. Many film shoots were disrupted and stalled in TN, while some could not go ahead with their schedules as planned, and hence the releases were postponed. There has been a dip in the collections of already released movies. Even actors fasting for a day for jallikattu and the shutting down of theaters, added to the downturn.

Trade pundits estimate the loss to be around Rs 40 to Rs 50 crores. DC takes a look at the situation. Reportedly, Ajith Kumar’s next film’s shoot, which had one of its schedules in Europe recently, was planned to be shifted to Chennai. Thala 57 was to commence early this week, with portions involving Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi and Ajith. But it was put on hold due to jallikattu issue that shook the entire nation.

 

Suriya’s big budget Tamil actioner Si 3, the third installment in the Singam franchise, which was slated for release on Republic Day, January 26, (to cash in on the long holiday weekend) after being deferred multiple times, has been postponed yet again. Produced by Gnanavelraja and directed by Hari, the movie has Anushka Shetty and Shruti Haasan as female leads and the new date of release has been confirmed on February 9.

“There is an unrest in the state and it is completely beyond our control. Releasing Si 3 under such a situation will have a negative impact on the film collections and on the reputation of the stakeholders. It will be very difficult to monetise and recoup the funds invested in the film under the current circumstances,” the makers made their position clear through a statement. In fact, Suriya, who was promoting his film in Kerala, cut short the publicity tour and flew back to Chennai.

 

Owing to Si 3’s release on February 9, the makers of  Bogan (which was postponed several times) have decided to release the film on February 2. However, talking to DC,  KE Gnanavelraja says, “These are all situations which are beyond our control. Though it (Si 3) is coming a bit late, I am confident that if the content is good, people will lap up the film whenever it gets released and it will turnout to be a huge hit at the box-office. Also, it is two years of hard work by the entire cast and crew of Si 3, which will never fail.”

 

Meanwhile, Vijay’s Pongal 2017 release Bairavaa, which had a tremendous opening and made a good collection throughout the globe, dropped during its second week. The major dip at the box office collections were attributed to the youth shifting their focus on pro jallikattu protests in the city as well as across the state. All theatres in Chennai remained closed on January 20 from 9 am to 6 pm. This move in the city, which is the main revenue generator for Kollywood, resulted in huge loss for the films, which were already running in theatres.

 

To put it in Abirami Ramanathan’s words, “Even otherwise, no one turned up at the theaters during those seven days of protest. Our main collections during the festive period would be between  January 15 to January 25. But it totally collapsed big time.” The directors’ union, the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI), the film workers’ union, producers’ council and SIAA supported the pro jallikattu movement. A few film shoots, and promotional events like audio launches, press meets (Lawrence-starrer Shivalinga) were cancelled during the protest period. Even postproduction work of movies were disrupted. Sources reveal that the post production work of Rajinikanth’s 2.O,  which was going on in a brisk pace was disturbed as well. We hope that the film industry bounce back from this hiccup soon.

 

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