NEW DELHI : Theater owners and trade experts attribute the surprisingly high box office collections of recent South Indian language films to pent-up demand from audiences who have returned to the cinema for rates that have usually not had such traction. Recently, Telugu films such as Seetimaarr, Love story and Jathi Ratnalu featured actors who are complete newcomers, or those whose pre-covid versions had performed below par.
The Hindi market, which is expected to rebound after Diwali, could generate similar results, film trade analysts have said, requiring the release of both large and small films.
Even after the first wave of covid 19 last year, actors such as Pawan Kalyan and Ravi Teja, whose pre-covid film release fell short of expectations, had seen box office hits such as Vakeel Saab and Krack.
All of these seemingly “surprise hits” are a real reflection of the inherent demand and enthusiasm of viewers to return to the big screen, Ashish Saksena, COO, Theaters, told ticketing site BookMyShow. People want to watch stars in the traditional theater setting, want to come out of extended confinement at home to return to “the social experience of watching movies on the big screen with their friends and family,” he said .
This, coupled with a good script, convincing work by the cast and crew under the restrictions brought on by the pandemic, made it possible to deliver rich content to impatient moviegoers, Saksena added. “More importantly, the flexibility in the criteria for selecting films and content to watch in theaters is something that we have noticed among audiences across the states,” he said.
While southern India has traditionally had a greater appetite for big-screen entertainment, the performance of some recent films has exceeded expectations, agreed Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of PVR Pictures. “People are dying to grab commercial content and that’s a big factor in making these films surprise everyone,” Gianchandani said. Tamil star Vijay, who has had an impeccable box office run for the past five to six years, even saw her release in January. Master beat the opening records of some pre-covid tubes such as Darbar, Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and Tanhaji-The Unsung Warrior.
Despite pent-up demand, film producer, trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar said there was no appeal for half-baked stories and that the films in question had worked thanks to the content. and not just the presence of stars. “Everyone needs theatrical release validation and once things stabilize even the Hindi market should see smaller films hitting theaters although audiences have been well exposed to OTT,” Johar said.
Saksena added that audiences in northern India are open to many more styles and viewing options than their southern peers, which should serve creators experimenting well in the coming months, as with the franchise. popular horror comedy. Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 which comes almost 15 years after the original and features a completely different all-star cast led by Kartik Aaryan.
“The reason these films worked well was the content, and because the directors made the decision to release them even during those times and set a good example. We are happy that such chances have been taken and the same will work and should work for the Hindi film industry as well, ”said Rahul Puri, Managing Director of Mukta Arts and Mukta A2 Cinemas.
Along with the unexpected reception of some films, independent business analyst Sreedhar Pillai pointed out that the collapse of unappreciated content also accelerated after the covid. “Previously, movies could kind of last the first week. But now, if there’s no positive word of mouth, by Monday there’s no one in theaters, “Pillai said.
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