The Baahubali effect
S S Rajamouli’s epic drama, that is
having a great run in Kerala, has cut into
the revenue of new Malayalam releases
The fantastical run of SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali-2 on Kerala screens may be unprecedented, but its mega show has turned a bane for many Malayalam releases.With the crowd opting for Baahubali,
new releases are finding limited screens. To counter the effect to an extent, the release dates of movies have been pushed. While two big-budget movies - Godha featuring Tovino Thomas and multi starer
Achayans directed by Kannan Thamarakulam - have opted to postpone their dates from May 12 to May 19 so as to buy more time, small-budget movies like Lakshyam and Ramante Eden Thottam are losing a chunk of their niche audience, thanks to the Baahubali effect.In an earlier interview with Express, Basil Joseph, director of Godha, had mentioned how there were no screens, equipped with Dolby Atmos format available last week. He had said almost all screens in cities and suburbs were playing Baahubali.
Godha could get only 60 screens following which he pushed the release to May 19. By then, over100 screens would be available, he hoped. Kannan Thamarakulam, whose movie Achayans was slated for release last week, had to move his flick to May 19. However, the director said this was inevitable. “People think watching Baahubali is a must. As of now, Baahubali has not been held over in any screen. Though our distributor, Rajaputra, had a tie-up with theater owners, we mutually decided to wait for one more week. And, we had little post-production work left too,” he added. He said this was expected and considering the marketing the makers of Baahubali did, this was inevitable. In any other case, Dulquer Salman starrer CIA, directed by Amal Neerad, would have created a record initial collection. However, according to sources, the first day revenue was just Rs 3.25 crore, proving the Baahubali effect came into play again. Otherwise, CIA would have easily trounced the present record holder, The Great Father, in its initial collections. Director Ranjith Sankar,whose Ramante Eden Thottam hit the screens last week, said complaining about the Baahubali effect was meaningless.“Ramante Eden Thottam is a small movie compared to Baahubali. While there is a chance Baahubali’s wild run may have eaten into our shares,word of mouth is helping my movie. After the Baahubali effect, many people come to watch Ramante Eden Thottam because they want a contrast. Then, theatres aren’t doing social service. They need revenue too,” he said. The director said despite the odd circumstances, he decided it was best to move forward with the release on the said date. “Though pushing the release would have benefited us, we decided to stick to our initial release date. Either way, this is good for the industry as a whole,” he said. Anzar Khan, director of Indrajith- Biju Menon starrer Lakshyam, is focusing on the positive side. “Beyond doubts, Lakshyam would have grossed better, if not for Baahubali. But, let’s face the fact. Baahubali is a mammoth release and we couldn’t have helped it. One can’t blame families for preferring Baahubali. Having said that, Lakshyam is doing better than what we expected,” he added.