More the number of prints, better will be the return in the first week
Stalin released with a total number of 400 prints, the highest number of prints ever in the South Indian film industry. Boss was released with over 250; the highest for a Nagarjuna film and Rajinkant's Sivaji will see countless prints coming out. Every filmmaker wants to release his film with more and more prints, but those with modest budgets can't afford to the same.Producer and distributor D Suresh Babu says that our film makers are realising the importance of releasing their movies with larger number of prints to ensure maximum returns in the first week and also because it helps curb piracy. "If a film can take a large opening, one can recover the money fast. Ninety to ninety five percent of the money is recovered in the first run itself ," he says.
Multiplexes like Prasads and PVR Cinema have increased the number of their daily shows. Even the number of multiplexes are increasing and you require more prints to feed their needs. Suresh says, "The idea is not to send people back home disappointed. There are so many people who want to see one particular movie, but a theatre has only one screen. So you stop screening other films and show the same film everywhere. This way you will reduce the risk of flop, curb piracy and there is high publicity that helps the film."Why this hype suddenly and why flood the markets with print-jumps? The producer adds, "It's because we tend to think it's big. These prints are for the mass and youth because they guarantee better opening. A movie targeted at the women doesn't require so many. We released Laxmi, Jayam Manadera, Preminchukundamra with maximum prints and Raja, Vasantam and Sundarakanda with modest prints. We will release Sumant's film with 35-50 prints, Aadavari Maatalaku... will be between 175-200 and Venky's untitled film will have 250 plus prints."For more prints, a film has to be backed by a popular banner and maximum curiosity should be generated. Sometimes releasing more prints can boomerang but reduction of print costs help release more films. The cost per print today is Rs 60,000-Rs 70, 000. Suresh predicts that in five years time, prints will be discounted and will bewithin the 40-50 bracket. In next five to 10 years, films will be digitalised. All I can say is buyers have revolutionsed it. In US too, the scenario for Telugu films is changing. Our software people who have grown up on a staple diet of Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Venkatesh films ensure that their families give it a decent opening in the weekends."Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY