2019 is coming to an end and it is time for the year end listicles - 10 best performances of 2019, 2019 top 20 box office hits, 10 must watch films made this year etc. But you may have to hold your horses because there are 14 more films that are due for release in the coming days.
The sheer number of films that have confirmed their release this month means that there will be at least three new films every week. Take December first week for instance. Harish Kalyan’s Dhanusu Raasi Neyargale, Pa Ranjith’s second production Irandam Ulagaporin Kadaisi Gundu directed by Athiyan Athirai, Sundar C’s Iruttu and Kathir’s sports film Jada will be hitting the screens on December 6. All four films have well-known names in them.
Lined up for December 13 are director SA Chandrasekhar’s Capmaari starring Jai, cop drama Kaalidas starring Bharath and director Suseenthiran’s sports drama Champion. On December 20, in addition to Sivakarthikeyan’s Hero, Jiiva’s Seeru and the Karthi-Jyothika starrer Thambi, there’s also director Ezhil’s Aayiram Jenmangal starring GV Prakash in the lead which are up for release. How’s that for a crowd?
And the month is not done yet. Two most awaited films - Amala Paul’s Adho Andha Paravai Pola and Mysskin-Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Psycho - will be releasing on December 27. Compare this with November when we had about nine well-known releases including Vishal's Action, Vijay Sethupathi's Sanga Tamizhan, Dhruv Vikram's Adithya Varma and Dhanush's Enai Noki Paayum Thota.
Film critic and box-office tracker Sreedhar Pillai is of the opinion that the producers are in a hurry to release their films by the end of this year. “The producers might want to recover investments or if they haven’t had any release this year, now is the time for them. Moreover, for a film to be sold to satellite channels, it must have a theatrical release. The film must run in theatres at least for a day,” he explains.
With the number of films slated for release, that might very well be the case. “In 2019, until November 30, we’ve had 180 releases so far. About 30 have threatened to release in December of which 15 will make it. This is still a very high number and it means that 4-5 films will release every week. If all 30 have to release, then on an average, we should have one film every day, which is ridiculous,” he points out, adding, “Most of these films will end up running for just one day. That is the fate for such films. Theatre recovery is almost nil these days.”
Take, for instance, the films that released on November 29 - Samuthirakani’s Adutha Saattai, Prakash Raj, Revathi, Archana’s Azhiyatha Kolangal 2, Aarav and Radikaa’s Market Raja MBBS in addition to Gautham Menon’s long-delayed Enai Noki Paayum Thota. A cursory glance at BookMyShow will tell you that on Monday, just three days since it released, Azhiyatha Kolangal 2 has just one show in five different theatres in Chennai. Most theatres in the city also have only one show for Market Raja MBBS on Monday. Imagine what might happen next week when four news films are releasing.
However, producer SR Prabhu explains that this does not mean that there’s a sudden surge in the number of films hitting the screens. “There are about 600 release centres in the state and a small film will not need more than 150 screens for a good release. Four films can release comfortably in our state,” he reasons.
SR Prabhu also adds, “We produce 200 films a year. If a big film releases, only one small film may be accommodated. This might be a reason for smaller films to share release dates.”