In 2019, Tamil films at the box office recorded overall earnings of Rs 2,000 crore, up from Rs 1,800 crore in 2018.
After having a productive last year, the film industry is all geared up for 2020 with a strong line-up of movies. In the second week of January this year, there’s a clash between three major films including Deepika Padukone’s Chapaak, Ajay Devgn and Kajol-starrer Tanhaji and south superstar Rajinikanth’s Darbar.
Reportedly made at a budget of Rs 200 crore, the success of Darbar will decide whether Kollywood is off to a good start this year. After all, 2019 yielded good revenues at the box office with an overall collection to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore, up from Rs 1,800 crore in 2018.
Whether or not the Tamil film industry will maintain the 10 - 15 percent growth momentum this year is to be seen, but the opening matters a lot for the south film space.
Talking to Moneycontrol, film trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai said that Darbar has the potential, and should open well as the expectations are huge because the film is a solo Pongal release.
Pongal is considered as Tamil Nadu’s biggest festival and in the last few years, films have become a big part of the celebration. Usually, there are 2 - 3 films sharing screens during the Pongal season.
The big-ticket venture Darbar will release in four versions – Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi – on January 9. The film's Hindi version, will compete with Bollywood offerings Chapaak and Tanhaji, another big-ticket film approximately made at a budget of Rs 150 crore.
Hence, Darbar could become the third movie option for cinephiles, which could impact the film's collection for the Hindi version. Plus, Rajinikanth is not as popular in northern markets as he is in the south. Yet, his south fan following will maintain the film's growth momentum.
Last year, Rajinikanth’s Petta was pitted against Ajith-starrer Viswasam. While both the films managed good scores at the box office, a no-clash situation would have let the films realize their full potential at the box office.
This is why Darbar is in a sweet spot this year. Last year, the actor’s Pongal release Petta had managed to earn around Rs 250 crore worldwide.
In addition, Darbar, being the solo Pongal release, will get more screens especially in Tamil Nadu.
The cop drama will open in around 4,000 screens across India. Excluding Tamil Nadu, Darbar will release in around 1,500 screens. Plus, the film will see an addition of around 500 screens on the first day (January 9) as it is releasing a day earlier than Bollywood ventures Chapaak and Tanhaji (January 10).
Hence, the opening day numbers are expected to be more than that of Petta, which collected around Rs 21 crore in India on day-1.
Darbar is keeping the spirits high, but the Tamil film industry also needs to pay attention to the lessons from 2019.
According to Pillai, “Star-dominated films are running and people with good content are finding it difficult to market their films.”
Stars opting for profit-sharing could be beneficial for the trade as half of the production budget accounts for a star’s fee.Pillai added that Kollywood should focus on promoting quality content and small to medium size films.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.