Releasing a niche film ahead of a mass market movie like 'Baahubali' is suicidal.

Kannada filmmaker blames Baahubali for his film losing out Is the accusation fairFacebook/PC Shekar
Voices Sandalwood Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 12:41

I have been reading statuses on social media that say the people of Karnataka should not support Baahubali because it has taken up a lot of screens and, this, in turn, has made a recently released Kannada film Raaga, lose its power at the box office.

The director of the movie, PC Shekar, shared an emotional video a couple of days ago on a social networking site, moaning about the fate of his film. His line of argument is that it's unfair that a Kannada film in Karnataka is not even getting one show.   

Ladies and gentleman, allow me to bring some facts to the fore.

Hating a movie because it’s doing better business is like Bhallaladeva envying his younger brother Baahubali, for being more loved by the people of Mahishmati. This is not going to take you anywhere.

Audiences can watch movies of their choice. Nobody can stop that.

Kirik Party, which released on December 30, 2016, is still running due to its ability to draw audiences to the theatres. It was a known fact that Baahubali was going to be a massive release across the country. Releasing a niche film ahead of a mass-market movie is suicidal. What’s the use of pointing fingers now?

If Raaga has lost screens on Friday, it's because of the filmmaker's lack of foresight. Blaming Baahubali for that makes no sense.

The paid previews for Baahubali: The Conclusion ran to packed houses all over the country. Comparisons between Baahubali and Raaga are not at all feasible as they belong to completely different families.

The ticket prices for The Conclusion were on the higher side. Nevertheless, hordes of people walked into the theatres with happy faces. That’s because of the interest the audiences have toward this particular movie. The first film set up their expectations and built up the anticipation for the second.

Shekar, in his video, says that Raaga has been made with heart, and his intention is not to make money, but to make a name in the industry. On the contrary, theatres don’t operate that way. They’ll open doors for fairies that bring them pots of money. Baahubali is going to do that (ticket sales, F&B, parking, etc). It’s a business call at the end of the day.

Instead of complaining, filmmakers should focus on making good movies and releasing them on the right dates and at the right platforms.

The Kannada thriller Rangi Taranga released a week before Baahubali: The Beginning in 2015, and managed to run for a year in Bengaluru. If Raaga couldn't accomplish this, it's not Baahubali’s fault. 

A similar situation cropped up last month. Urvi and Shuddhi lost many of their screens to Katamarayudu. However, people need to remember that another Kannada film Raajakumara, also hit the screens on the same day. Raajakumara, too, like Katamarayudu, grew its feet in the city. But the hatred was reserved only for the Telugu movie. Finally, Shuddhi stood the test of time.

Again, the move (of screening Katamarayudu Raajakumara) by the theatres was clearly a business decision. Everybody needs to understand that.

Now, folks, go watch a film that deserves the price you pay for the ticket and the time you spend in the movie hall.

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