The Malayalam film industry is expected to have suffered average losses to the tune of over ₹300 crore in 2022, according to estimates by the Kerala Film Producers’ Association (KFPA).
Only 17 profitable projects
Of the 176 movies that reached cinemas between January and December last year, only 17 clicked at the box-office. More than 90% of the films tanked, revealing the widening gaps in the return on investment for the producers and distributors. The number of movies that earned an average above ₹10 crore share for the producers from theatre collections was less than 10 in 2022, it said.
2022 Malayalam releases that earned an average above ₹10 crore return for the producers
“The year 2022 did not offer much for the industry in the overall analysis as the number of flops was far bigger than the successful movies. As the content remained the king, there has been a perceptible change in the choices of the audience,” said M. Renjith, president of KFPA.
OTT changing the game
“They decided to watch many small and mid-scale budget movies with good content at the time of its release on the over-the-top (OTT) platform and stayed away from watching it on the big screen. Some of the producers, whose films that failed at the first day of theatrical release, were able to plug the loss by fetching a reasonable price for its digital release,” he added.
With OTT players tightening their purse strings and choice of selection of movies, Mr. Renjith said that the returns from the sale of digital rights may dip further in 2023. “Malayalam film industry will have to think differently to bring the audiences into the theatres. We cannot further afford a revenue model that merely depended on the sale of digital rights as theatre collections continue to remain the key in the survival of producers,” he said.