Release of many movies put off due to Samaikyandhra agitation

As far as Tollywood is concerned, Sankranti and Dasara are the two most important festivals. Most top stars are pitted against each other and their big budget movies are released during these two festival seasons to cash in on the holidays. But unlike the past , the box-office would miss all such action this festive season as not many movies with top billing are being released due to the ‘Samaikyandhra’ agitation.

The Sankranti season witnessed good business with the release of Ram Charan Tej’s Nayak and the Venkatesh and Mahesh Babu starrer Sitamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu among other movies. But the same cannot be expected this Dasara. Save for Pawan Kalyan’s Attarintinki Daredi, released well before the festival, Junior NTR’s Ramaiah Vastavayya, released on Friday, can be termed as the only Dasara release this year. The much-hyped Ram Charan Tej’s Yevadu and Nagarjuna starrer Bhai were postponed fearing poor collections, while Manchu Vishnu’s Doosukeltha is slated for release on October 17 .

Though, Attarintinki Daredi set the cash registers ringing at the box-office in the Telangana region, collections from overseas, Chennai and Bangalore centres were below par due to disturbances in Seemandhra. The movie was released in as many theatres in Seemandhra, but the agitations, cancellation of shows due to power cuts and other factors have impacted collections.

“Much will depend on how Junior NTR’s movie is received. Close to Rs. 200 crore is at stake as three to four big budget movies are slated for release in the coming weeks. If the agitation continues, then producers will not release the movies and eventually exhibitors and distributors will suffer huge losses,” explains Ramesh, a film distributor.

It’s a tricky situation for producers and distributors. The agitation has impacted Ram Charan’s Toofan and to some extent Attarintinki Daredi. This will force producers to postpone new releases. But if the movies are delayed, then the cash flow gets affected and they will have to bear the brunt, he says. The situation is no different in Telangana. Not many are being released. There are close to 1,700 theatres, including multiplexes, in the region and owners can’t just screen two or three movies for a long time, says M. Vijayender Reddy, president, Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce.

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