There is a huge change taking place in Telugu cinema, where not many new films are being launched of late, as compared to the last few years, where one could witness a new film launch almost every fortnight! In the last few months, only three films were launched — Prabhas’ next with director Sujeeth, and two of Ravi Teja’s films.
If one observes the latest releases closely, you would realise that these films were, in fact, launched long back but are being released only now. For instance, Dwaraka was supposed to release last November, and so was Kittu Vunnadu Jagratha.
The Suriya-starrer Singam 3, too, was scheduled to be a November 2016 release, but was postponed thrice and was finally released last month. Every year, nearly 180 films are being produced in Tollywood, but this year, the numbers are abysmal!
Some big films — Pawan Kalyan’s Katamarayudu, Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2, Allu Arjun’s Duvvada Jagannadham and Venkatesh’s Guru, will hit the screens before May.
Sudhakar Reddy, a leading producer and distributor says, “Every actor is taking time to begin his next. Earlier, stars would announce their next even as they shoot another one! Now that has changed. Look at Ravi Teja — he waited for a year to get a good script. Even Nithiin, who tasted success with A... Aa is taking time. Same’s the case with other stars. That’s why there are not many new launches.”
He adds that earlier, many new producers tried to enter the industry. “Now it is different. Even though there are new producers, they are not making new films unless they find a notable star as their lead actor!”
There are only about 20 to 25 actors in Tollywood, who get decent openings. Earlier many producers would launch newcomers, but now with the satellite rights not being very encouraging as they eye only films with big stars, even new producers are looking for dates from superstars.
“Many big films bomb at the BO and distributors incur huge losses. The producers obviously don’t want to put their money on these films. Sometimes, films are completed but don’t release. They have to wait for finances and in the meantime, end up paying huge interests on the funds borrowed,” says director B. Jaya. Jaya, who is launching new faces in Vaisakham, adds that except for a few top producers, not many are ready to launch new faces.
Prabhas worked for nearly three years on Baahubali, while other actors sat idle for long — Jr NTR’s Janatha Garage released last September; he waited for six months for a new project.
Ram Pothinen’s Hyper released last September; he is yet to launch a new film. Venkatesh’s Babu Bangaram released last August and his upcoming film Guru will release next month. His next is not decided yet.
“Audience are now encouraging innovative films. Some of the regular films have not done well, and hence everyone is looking for new concepts. The costs also shoot up and new producers often cannot handle it. Finally, the producers who have been around in the industry since long are the ones producing films with the available stars,” says Tagore Madhu, producer of the upcoming Mahesh Babu-A.R. Murugadoss film. He added that apart from the big stars, not many actors are showing interest to do commercial flicks.
“We need good stories and innovative subjects. These are the reasons that the industry is moving at a slow pace,” says Madhu. He adds, “Because of the delay in shooting, the release dates get adjusted and at that time, some small films can’t be released. So, they wait for long and thus, you will see lesser releases.”
Whatever the reasons, in the last six to eight months, the number of films that have been launched have been relatively less as compared to earlier years....