Dry spell in Tollywood

The Tollywood summer started off with a bang with Balagam and Dasara, which turned out to be super-successes. But later it lost its way. Films like Ravanasura, Shaakuntalam, Agent, Ramabanam, Ugram, Custody, Anni Manchi Sakunamule, Spy, etc., didn’t do well. Amid the chaos, Virupaksha came like a breath of fresh air. The film’s success gave Tollywood a much needed boost. While Adipursh disappointed big time, Samajavaragamana, a small film, was a sleeper hit.

Dull summer

Ace producer and distributor Sunil Narang describes the season as a ‘dull and dry summer’ for Tollywood. “Not the brightest of the summers, but I think the content-consuming pattern of audiences is changing. They are not settling for anything less than good,” he says. Unfortunately no A-lister’s film except Prabhas’ was released. Blame it on the federation employees’ strike that went for two months last year and affected the dates of the film releases. Most of the stars opted to postpone their films because of the clash of dates,” he adds, though he admitted that the content of most of the films that failed was mediocre.
Sunil is optimistic that things will change in the coming fall season. With films of top stars like Chiranjeevi, Rajinikanth and Pawan Kalyan set to release, he is hoping for bigger returns.

Onus on production houses

Director and producer MS Raju says that with major production houses distributing their own films in several areas, the onus is on them to make successful films. “These major production houses are releasing films on their own, possibly because of problems with distributors or exhibitors. So if they have to sustain the momentum and keep the cash flowing, these films have to be hits. And if there are no openings for a small film in many areas, it will be removed on the first day itself,” Raju explains, adding that his film Malli Pelli did not do well at the box office but created a huge record on OTT.

A-listers stay away

What’s summer without A-listers’ films? They are very significant for the box office. But unfortunately this time most of the stars have stayed away. And as a result, single screen theatres suffered. “The volume of business was very low comparatively, and this summer was a disappointing one,” says film critic Jalapathy Gudelli, adding that from the revenue point of view, this time the numbers are low.

“Had there been a few star-studded films, the footfalls for them would have been big in theatres for the first three days. So the volume of business too would have been big. People thought that Adipurush would do well, but it’s a Hindi-dubbed film,” Jalapathy adds.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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