50% occupancy cap expected in Tamil Nadu: Trade weigh the North, South market for Kollywood & Telugu industry
Ever since the release of Bahubali franchise, the Southern films have been taking a step towards bringing their films in the North Indian markets as well. While some opt for dubbed release in Hindi, most go ahead with a subtitled version, to appease to the cinema lovers crossing the language barrier. Of all the cities in North India, it’s Mumbai, which is the prime location for South Indian films, and over the last week, the cinema halls have been shut across Maharashtra in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases. Will it impact the release of Tamil and Telugu films?
“It’s a very small market, contributing small percentage to the collections. The North market accounts for not more than 5 per-cent of total biz. The major market for South Indian films will always be the home states and films will continue to release irrespective of the closure in North,” shares trade analyst Ramesh Bala. He however informs that if government announcements a restriction in Tamil Nadu or the Telugu states, the release calendar of all films will go for a toss.
“Karnataka has announced 50 per-cent occupancy, ansd there is a talk about restriction in Tamil and Hyderabad too. We are expecting some restrictions and a communication from the officials soon. If these two states have the occupancy cap, the bigger films may not release. It would all boil down to medium and small budget films,” Ramesh Bala informs. With restrictions expected in Tamil Nadu, and uncertainty looming around in Telugu states too, will the release of Tamil film, Karnan featuring Dhanush and Telugu actioner, Vakeel Saab with Pawan Kalyan, be impacted?
“They have come to a stage of no return and will have to release irrespective of the restrictions,” Bala shares, and adds, “The slate from April 16 may be impacted. In-fact, the advance booking for Karnan is very strong and it may be the biggest opener for Dhanush. Same thing for Pawan’s film too.” Akshaye Rathi, and exhibitor from Nagpur, lauds the efforts taken by Southern producers and actors to revive their industry despite the Covid-Scare.
“They found a solution to get things going and let’s face it, the Southern Industry has maintained the concept of stardom. They have always been confident that the audience will step out to watch big stars film on big screen. I don’t know, how many stars here have that confidence,” Rathi sighs and signs off saying, “The Northern belt shutting down won’t have an impact on Southern films. 90 to 95 percent of their business happens from home territories. The North Market shutting down is however demotivating for the exhibition and production section in Bollywood. Lakh’s of livelihood are at stake.”
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