November 18, 2016
There are more people at queues in front of banks to exchange old currency notes and with no money with audiences, film theatres are wearing deserted look. Many releases of films this week have been put off to December
Chennai: Sudden withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes from the hands of the people through demonetization has hit the South Indian film industry hard. Shooting of several films in all the four south Indian languages of Tamil, Telugu, Kannadam and Malayalayam have come to a grinding halt as the industry is largely cash-driven.
Just like the fate of Hindi film Rock On 2, the films released last week bombed as people were standing in queues to take money from banks or exchange their old notes. With the public busy with livelihood issues arising out of the war against black money, entertainment industry as also the hotel and restaurant businesses was bound to be adversely affected.
Theaters in the four states wore deserted look and few multiplexes where card money is accepted and online ticket bookings are on had few spectators. For a Rock On 2 show, only 12 spectators out of a capacity of 540 was present for a noon show.
Audiences turnout in theatres in Chennai, other parts of Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka fell drastically.
A leading Telugu film producer T Bhardwaja told press persons in Hyderabad that “there were no collections as money was not in circulation. Several film makers have postpone d the release of their films in view of the current situation. Among them, is Allari Naresh film Intlo Deyyam – Naakem Bhayam.
Tamil film industry witnessed cancellation of shootings of several films. Mostly the ones being produced by small producers and first time producers – real estate businessmen and jewelers – have come to a halt. Only the traditional big film production houses are still carrying on with shootings as they are in the business longer and have long association with worker and film stars.
Cable Shankar, a film star and producer himself said, three films released last week failed miserably at box office as there were no viewers at theatres. He said at least 10 films scheduled for release this week (November 18) have been put off Among them are, major film Shaitan, a Vijay Antony starrer was to open on November 18 which now has been put off to December 2. Likewise Kadavul Irukan Kumaru has also been postponed to a future date. Vijay starrer Katti Chandai that was slated for release this week would be released some time in December.