The battle of screens for Tamil films releasing in the state has begun again, with as many as 18 films set to release this February.
Director Ram’s Peranbu, Sundar C’s Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven, Bala’s Varma, Cheran’s Thirumanam, actor Karthi’s Dev, Rajiv Menon’s Sarvam Thaala Mayam, Seenu Ramasamy’s Kanne Kalaimaane, actor Jiiva’s Gorilla are some of the major releases, along with other films like Sagaa, Podhu Nalan Karuthi, 100 Percent Kaadhal, Dha Dha 87, Kazhugu 2, Agni Vs Devi, Ayngaran, Dhilluku Dhuddu 2, Kalavaani 2.
Last year, during the Deepavali weekend, small budget films struggled to find a place while the release of other language films were stalled.
Scheduling 18 film releases over four weeks might be a challenging proposition for TFPC, however, producer and the treasurer of the council, SR Prabhu tells us that this release scenario is “usual” for them. “18 films releasing in February is quite a normal trend now. We have streamlined them to have one major film release every week. In this manner, we have paved way for other films too. Nearly 200 Tamil films release in a year and we are trying our best to ensure a decent platform for every film. The problem arises only when too many major films release in a week. Deepavali chaos was a miss, but we have already fixed the issue. Everyone is thinking that we are not giving enough space for small budget films but that’s not true,” he says.
But with a little over a 1,000 screens in Tamil Nadu, and most of the multiplexes concentrated in urban areas like Chennai, Coimbatore and Chengalpet, producer Dhananjayan G, in an article authored by Sreedhar Pillai for The Hindu, calls it a “huge fight”. “Except for big-artiste films, others will suffer at the box-office in this process.”
Pillai goes on to add: “Medium and small-budget films do not get a good release and are out of theatres even before word-of-mouth gets around. There is also a huge gap between the audience’s preference in the urban 3 Cs (Chennai, Chengalpet and Coimbatore) and those residing in semi-urban towns and rural areas. Small films with offbeat content have only a chance in urban multiplexes, while in rural areas full of single screens, they do not get playing time.”
MM Chandramouli, the director of 100 Percent Kaadhal, which is lined up for a February release, tells us: “We have planned to release the film on February 14 as it is the Valentine’s week. We have obtained approval also. But I don’t know about the other films, or how many screens I will get for my film. I am not supposed to comment on it. So I just hope for the best.”
At the end of day, it’s all about business, says SR Prabhu. “It’s all about supply and demand. Everyone will watch the movie they like. If a film is good, it will certainly have its own selling space.”
The Christmas weekend saw the releases of five big Tamil films including Jayam Ravi’s Adanga Maru, Dhanush’s Maari 2, Vijay Sethupathi’s Seethakaathi, Vishnu Vishal’s Silukkuvarpatti Singam and Kanaa.