Another primary recommendation is for big stars to be held accountable for box-office failures.

Release films to OTT platforms only after 100 days in theatre TN theatre owners
Flix Kollywood Wednesday, December 25, 2019 - 17:47

Tamil Nadu’s west zone theatre owners believe that big stars in Tamil cinema should be held accountable if their film fails at the box office. This was among the three main recommendations discussed in a meeting held by Tamil Nadu’s west zone theatre owners, comprising Coimbatore, Erode, Tiruppur and Melagiri on Tuesday.

“A major portion of the production costs goes towards the salaries today and producers struggle when the film fails at the box office. It is only fair for the big stars to contribute in some way to ease the pressure on the producers and distributors,” says Tiruppur Subramaniam, president of the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association.

The recommendations will be taken up with the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association meeting, which will be held in January next year.

“I am not asking the stars to work for free. Their salaries will have to be justifiable. They can give their next call-sheet to the producer if their previous film did badly. This isn’t unprecedented. MGR and Shivaji used to do it,” he continues.

“Rajinikanth also used to do it earlier. When his Sri Raghavendrar (1985) did not do well, he did another film next called Velaikkaran (1987) for free,” he points out.

The theatre owners are also against a big star’s film releasing on online platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime within weeks of their release. “Profits from theatres, as it is, is very low these days. Imagine the plight of small theatre owners. We strongly feel that a big star’s film should not release on OTT before completing its 100-days run in theatres. We are not asking about all films. Only for those with the big stars, who pull in the crowds. This again isn’t new. The Hindi industry functions in this way,” he adds.

Among the notable films that released this year, Dhanush’s Asuran that opened in theatres on October 4 released on Amazon Prime in just a month, even as the film continued running in theatres in the city. Several new releases have found their way to OTT platforms within weeks of their release. Kaithi, which released for Deepavali this year, also released on Hotstar even before completing a month, on November 28.

The third recommendation is the quick waiver of the 8% local body tax levied on films in the state. “It is only done in TN and nowhere in the rest of the country,” Subramaniam says.

These three points will be put on the table for further discussion during the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association meeting on January 15 next year. “The other zones too will have to discuss and we will take it up during the meeting in January,” he says.

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