Selective release of new Malayalam films: practical or not?

Asha Prakash January 08, 2017, 06:30pm

A new twist has come about in the film strike issue, wherein the producers have decided to release the pending Malayalam films in theatres outside the warring group, the exhibitor's federation, from this Friday onwards.

The producers have also decided not to give the Tamil film, Vijay-starrer Bairavaa, to the theatres under the federation. However, all is not well within the industry, in terms of the revenue.
Strike causing huge losses to the industry as a whole
Director Siddique, whose Jayasurya-starrer Fukri is on hold owing to the film strike, is also the producer of the movie, his first venture as one. Thus Siddique is of the view that a selective release of films will lead to losses and is thus hoping that the film strike will end before his film releases.
'We will be releasing Fukri only after the strike is resolved. And it is not just about my film. For a producer, the interest of the investment is rising with each day of the strike. The Christmas vacation, of course, was the biggest loss, as a lot of NRIs land in Kerala during the season. The collections usually rise by at least 25% during the festive season. Thus the losses are huge for the producers, the distributors, the exhibitors and the government too, all due to the stubbornness of a handful of people,' he says. The stoppage of the shoot of new movies are also causing losses to the producers, as well as those who are unable to begin new movies since their current ones are on hold, Siddique adds.

'Wanted to release Kamboji somehow, select theatres or no'
Meanwhile, director Vinod Mankara, whose film Kamboji was the first to be on hold owing to the strike, is happy that the film is releasing somehow, even if in select theatres.
'The film will release this Friday. We don't know how many theatres we will get as Bairavaa will also hit the screens on the same day. Kamboji will be released in the five government theatres in the State, multiplexes and those which don't come under the federation,' he says.

'We don't have access to the Malabar area as all the theatres there come under the federation.
In total we will be getting only around 45 theatres as against the original 60 to 70 we planned, but I'm glad we at least got to release the film first. I stand by the producers' decision.'

Won't let Bairavaa be released in federation's theatres: Producers
The producers are adamant in their decision that they won't allow the Tamil film Bairavaa to be released in the Federation's theatres. Suresh Kumar, senior member of producers association, says, 'The exhibitors tried to buy the film but luckily the distributor was part of our organisation and so gave the film to us. They thought they could extend the strike by running Bairavaa but we won't allow it. To be honest, there are many from among the federation who are not stubborn in the 50:50 stand but they are silenced by the President, Liberty Basheer. We will be giving the film to such theatres.'

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