Gone are the days of mere audio functions and a couple of promotional events just before a Telugu film was released. Now, every producer is spending crores of rupees on publicity, irrespective of the film’s budget. Even top actors, who earlier shied away from attending promotions are going the extra mile. This is a rare feat in the Telugu film industry as promoting films was limited to Bollywood alone. Sources now say that producers here are setting aside nearly Rs 2 crore, just for the sake of publicity.
Sathamanam Bhavathi, a small-budget film, which released on Sankranti, along with Chiru and Balayya’s films created much buzz because of its publicity.
“Any film generates the maximum revenue in the first week and if the film is good, then it survives another week. So to get a good opening, you have to reach the audience through promotions,” says Dil Raju the producer of Sathamanam Bhavathi.
He added that he knew two big films were releasing and to compete with them, he spent a huge sum of money. “Whatever money those two big films set aside for publicity, I made sure we had a similar amount for our film. We are now following the Hindi way when it comes to taking the film to audiences,” says Dil Raju.
The film’s promotions started in October, followed by effective hoardings and touring of cities. The film’s budget was nearly Rs 9 crore and he spent Rs 1.5 crore on publicity alone. Trade pundits predict the film will cross the Rs 25 crore mark, which is phenomenal for a small film.
Even the big films Khaidi No. 150 and Gaut-amiputra Satakarni spent a big sum on their publicity. Both those films held their audio functions in places such as Tirupati and Vijayawada. Earlier the functions were only confined to Hyderabad, but now it is spreading to other cities too. Superstar Balakrishna was seen at every promotion of his film. “Actors only used to prefer to speak about their films, but now they share personal anecdotes too,” says a source.
“Now with multiple screens and several films releasing at the same time, the revenue comes mostly in the first week. When we sign on a film, the publicity clause is included in it too,” says producer Bellam-konda Suresh who is known to have spent Rs 5 crore on promoting his son Srinivas’s debut film Alludu Seenu.
“I had a top director like V.V. Vinayak and using his name, I wanted to promote my son so that the film would open well. As expected, the film created so much buzz that the openings were like a big star’s. Even today, people call my son Alludu Seenu. I always put some budget aside for the publicity, before the start of the project,” adds Bellamkonda.
“Earlier, many top actors didn’t come for the publicity as they felt the film is good and people will definitely come to watch. But now things have changed and all the top actors are eager to promote their film. They are allotting few days only to promote the film which is a good thing here,” says director B. Jaya. She adds that if the film is getting average talk, one can take it forward and make it a hit film with good publicity....