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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Economics of Indian (tamil) Film Industry

Thiru Thiru (திரு திரு)
Ayyappasami (அய்யப்பசாமி)
Thaniyae Thannandh Thaniyae (தனியே தன்னந் தனியே)
Mullil Roja (முள்ளில் ரோஜா)

Doesn't the above names resemble some of the upcoming TV serial names in Sun TV or Jaya TV? Your guess may be right.. They may be taken for future yet-to-be-planned serials. But prior to them, our Cine producers have taken movies with these names and released them already.

Are you astonished, since you have not noticed their releases?

I got irked when I went to a video library yesterday evening and observed the display of above VCDs. The reason was that I went there with expectations of some interesting new releases. Pandiarajan was the hero for the first two movies and 'Kolangal' Ajay for the third. I couldn't identify anyone from the fourth one. These are not the only list of movies displayed in that library. I saw some more ......

Ulla-kadathal ('Kutti' Radhika) - உள்ளக்கடத்தல்
GomathiNayakam (Ponnvannan) - கோமதிநாயகம்
Girivalam (Richard, Shaam) - கிரிவலம்
Kadhal FM ('Boys' Manikandan) - காதல் FM
Sindhamal Sitharamal (Abbas)- சிந்தாமல் சிதறாமல்
Gurudeva (Jai Akash) - குருதேவா
Sevvel (Jai Akash) - செவ்வேல்
Macchi (Sivaji's grandson) - மச்சி

In addition, I observed some dubbed movies like 'Yaar Ivaro?' 'Anumaan' etc., It seems, all these were the movies released in the last few months of Year 2005. Some of them might have been observed by you in TV promos. For your info, the following is the list of some more movies which are likely to be added to our Video library soon. They are yet to be released officially.

Amputtu Emputtu Imputtu (அம்புட்டு எம்புட்டு இம்புட்டு)- I saw the trailer of this movie in SUN TV recently. Not sure, if it is a Kannada-dubbed version.
Katrulla Varai (Jai Akash) - காற்றுள்ள வரை
Pathavi Paduthum Paadu (Ranjith) - பதவி படுத்தும் பாடு
Sorry, Enakku Kalyanam Ayiduchu (Sriman, Sornamalya) - Sorry,எனக்கு கல்யாணம் ஆயிடுச்சு

When Oprah Winfrey introduced Aishwarya Rai, in her show couple of weeks back, she briefed about India's cine industry which has surpassed Hollywood in terms of number of movies released annually & number of viewers for those movies. When I heard it, it seemed to be great. But, isn't it a myth?

Out of the so called 150-200 movies (all over India) released every year, only 20% turns out to be hits. Balance are either classified as average grossers or wash outs. Who is the sufferer? Obviously, the producers and distributors. The Technicians & Artists may not be affected so much, monetarily.

Even now, When we go to Chennai, we can observe so many film advt. paintings (like the above unknown names) on all the Compound walls & Bridges (eg.,Doraisamy bridge, Panagal park, Poonamallee High Road etc.,) I used to think as to why these guys are wasting money unnecessarily? Atleast, if they spend it on something else, there is a possibility to have guaranteed returns. But, it is the magic pull of the film industry, which is creating this trap for these guys. They even fall into the financiers' (particularly 'under world') trap and get destroyed by the end of the game. Just recall, the fate of producer GV (Maniratnam's brother), who committed suicide due to the monetary pressure.

The only solace for these guys is that several low budget movies make decent profits in the 'B' & 'C' centres, with which they are happy and the artists as well (like Pandiarajan). Reason is the low investments and several skin-show based stories. (some of the above list had some provocative stills)

The end result is nothing but poorly made movies, which people are forced to watch in 'n' number of satellite channels. Even if they avoided to watch these movies in the theatres, they will be treated by SUN TV advertisements like 'New film, released only few months back now in TV' ('திரைக்கு வந்த சில நாட்களே / மாதங்களே ஆன' அல்லது 'திரைக்கே வராத'). I am allergic to even those advertisements. (sometime back, I remember seeing one ad for a Pandiarajan movie which never saw the theatre lights).

Even in Hindi, there are so many junk movies getting released consistently. All these junk or the small budget movies, are merely the distractions for the position Indian Movie Industry is trying to get in the International arena. Even if our stars get prominence in Cannes film festival or Amsterdam's Tamil Film festival, only the Quality will bring the stature which the Industry is vying for. Not the quantity.

But who cares about the quality? Economics plays the role, since so many people (technicians) are dependent on this glamour industry. When there are so many poor quality Chinese products in the market, I used to compare certain of them with our Indian low quality films. Eventhough, I may not take it.. there are buyers for those products. Till then products (films) will be churned out... It is upto you to decide whether to consume it or not.


Blogger virumandi said...

muttrilum unmai..i dont know y these movies are being made..for example..take the recent vijay movie 'sachin'..man it was horrible..i dont know y big stars like vijay act in such horrendous movies. yeah, as u said..these money would be useful in someother avenues!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger PVS said...

It is the magic of filmdom that keeps people going this way...Also the current trend/fever of introducing their hiers to the film industry has made some of the fathers desperate, leading to a number of crap movies. Earlier if a new comer didn't do well in the first movie, the chances of him getting another movie was very slim. But now, the parents are willing to go to any lengths to make their sons/daughters stars.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 5:55:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...

Viru / PVS

I may classify the junks into three categories

1) Junks being delivered by well-known stars like Vijay, Ajith, etc., which fail to make money due to lavish production costs and a weak story line.

2) Junks being delivered by the heirs of yesteryear stars.. I heard Pandiarajan's son and Comedian Senthil's son are standing in front of the camera, next as the hero. Most of them fail eventually, like Sivaji's grandson, Satyaraj's son, Bharathiraja's son.

3) Junks being delivered by the unknown artists. These movies may make monies due to small budget and high realisation in B & C centres. Sometimes, exceptional movies by unknown faces click in the B.O.

I was talking about the thrid category in this post. Anyhow thanks for your comments..

Thursday, May 26, 2005 6:32:00 PM  
Blogger Balaji said...

ram, some of those u have listed r quite old. 'machi' and 'sindhaamal sidharaamal' r both old and r actually better than some other junk movies u have left out. 1 movie which i saw in my video library but not in your list is murali's 'arivumani'.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 6:44:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


I too noticed 'arivumani'...somehow, I omitted to include it.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 6:51:00 PM  
Blogger GS said...

With the standard of tamil movies degrading badly, I guess the junks help us identify with the okay ones! :)

There are a lot more movies we dont hear about ... I read recently that Danush's latest movie with Balu Mahendra didn't have any takers!

Film industry is a gamble, buddy! When you score, you score it big! Or you just lose it all!

Thursday, May 26, 2005 7:37:00 PM  
Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Why BABA? Why Pudukottaiyilirundhu saravanan? Why Kurumbu, Jithan. Aye, etc..etc.!! I think it is to save Income tax dollars.

We've seen people like GV commit suicide thanks to his failed production..even his last production Chokkathangam was a failure.

On the other hand only if these nonsense films comeout will people know what quality is. !!

But then films like 'NEW' etc. which just run for flesh are a shame to the Kollywood film industry.

By the way, have you heard these films, which never got released ( I think).

Vaanga Tea sappidalam.
Pannai puraththu pandavargal.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 8:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


I agree that it is purely a luck (plus some more real stuff) to win in this gambling industry

Thursday, May 26, 2005 8:59:00 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...

I was told that some of the flop movies are made in order to book losses. I came to know from somebody that AVM took Perazhagan to book some losses in their books. Wonder why they do such stuff? All the recent releases (except for Gemini) were flops.

Some of the new "unknown" heroes pay money to the producer in order to be featured in the movie. In such cases the movie might flop but the producer would have made his money.

Some of these low budget movies also go on to get grant from the government.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


Pannaipurathu pandavargal - I remember seeing the info somewhere...

Vaanga Tea Saapidalam - Unique name, which I am coming across for the first time!!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


Black money normally plays a role, before any voluntary loss making venture. But I am wondering whether AVM will get involved in Black money deals.

Since they are growing big in the small screen, it is possible that they might hv wanted to hide some of the profits being made there.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:17:00 PM  
Blogger Chez said...

Well, isnt it obvious that black money should be involved in the multi-crore business?? if they themselves are in to book losses, then there is nothing wrong in me having watched all the Tamil new year releases, CM, ME and sachien by downloading from the net...

Thursday, May 26, 2005 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


It is a tricky situation...Some people bleed..some people make a lot of money. As we had discussed earlier, it is a mere gambling. We are simply the spectators, who either pay for it or watch them without paying :-) :-) :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2005 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger வெங்கி / Venki said...

Ram, one recommendation, you can compile all this info as a book with the title 'Cinema- oru parvai - by Si.Ra (C Ram)'. You have so much of information about past,present and future cinema. Good. Keep it up. People like me who doesnt know cinema can know from your weblog.

Friday, May 27, 2005 1:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ram C said...


Long way to go....

I can consider this idea as well, for my future livelihood... :-) :-) :-)

Friday, May 27, 2005 1:24:00 AM  
Blogger IBH said...

Ram, nicely written...the age of Bharathiraja,Balumahendra and ofcourse KB were considered the golden era!who would forgetPadinaru vayadhinele,Veedu and apoorva ragam.... Then came along Mani who was and is churning out good movies...but look at the irony! his bro committed suicide coz of heavy loss incurred..but the loss incurred is not due to any of his film flopping..he had invested helluva amount of money in the Michael Jackson fiasco....and there he was losing all the money in one shot...

it is such a vicious circle out there in cinema industry..but i think it is not just in this industry...

but the standards of movie has drasticaly come down...

Friday, May 27, 2005 5:02:00 AM  
Blogger Ganesh said...

Tamil film stands have gone to dogs
cheap stories and vulgarity rule the day.
I wont be surprised if they do softprn films too. Days of Mahendran, Balu are over :(

PS RAM en english blog update pannirukken parunga :)

Friday, May 27, 2005 8:16:00 AM  
Blogger saranyan r said...

the point is the producers and distributors who are in the industry now have lost so much that they are forced to recover it by making new films. its either quick money or quick sand. many get lured by the former, always.

never watch SUN TV, its one of the most crappiest channels that you can get.

Friday, May 27, 2005 9:29:00 AM  
Blogger Woodooz said...

Ram, did you miss out Kannamma or did I fail to notice it. Phew ! A well researched post !!

Friday, May 27, 2005 1:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


I saw Kalaingarin... Kannamma & Mannin Maindan VCDs too. I thought many people will be aware of that. That's why I didn't mention them.

Friday, May 27, 2005 3:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


I hardly watch SUN TV nowadays.. thanks to lot of other diversions like blogging, plus, plus...

Friday, May 27, 2005 3:23:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


For the last couple of years soft porns are coming out in some way or the other, even with some known artists in those movies. It will be difficult to stop them, in the future..

Friday, May 27, 2005 3:24:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


I can recollect that Michael jackson fiasco which had ruined GV completely. It is a pity that the soft spoken guy's life has ended like this.

Friday, May 27, 2005 3:25:00 PM  
Blogger Krish said...

Hi Ram:

You are on camera at Chennai Central's weekend post (sorry to use a canned comment for all the bloggers for informing about that post since I don't have time to write individually to each). That post itself was many hours in the making :-)

Friday, May 27, 2005 7:47:00 PM  
Blogger che sara sara said...

cenema...and TV pathi ennaku onnum theriyathu...enga veetla TV is prohibited stuff

Saturday, May 28, 2005 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger Ram C said...


that was an excellent work.. thanks for the prominence given for Dreamstores.

Saturday, May 28, 2005 7:24:00 AM  
Blogger Ram C said...


I used to believe that it is not only the parental guidance, which makes people a Cine/Tv addict. May be the personal interest too, is a driving factor.

I'm always a Cinenews addict..Eventhough i reduced watching more films & TV soaps, my interest on cinenews continues...

Saturday, May 28, 2005 7:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure how many of you have seen the Hindi movie 'Meh Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahati Hoon'. Its abt a small time village girl who imitates Madhuri n tries to make it into the movies.Its interesting to note the ending of the movie.Although she doesnt make it big in the cities, her movie is a blockbuster in a lot of towns n villages.This goes to show that many a times, we presume just because a movie hasnt made it big in the city its prob a flop.But that might not really be the case.

Just a thought

Sunday, May 29, 2005 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


thanks for visiting...I believe that movie was frm RamGopalVarma house and he marketed it very well. As I mentioned, B & C centres are the backbones for these kind of low budget movies, where the producers can recover the money definitely.

Monday, May 30, 2005 12:11:00 AM  

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