Early previews are providing a huge boost to small/medium-budget Telugu films
The makers of Adivi Sesh’s Major took a major gamble to organise early previews of their film to audiences across the country a week in advance, but their risk eventually paid off. It took a while for the Telugu film industry to figure out the practicalities of the model and go ahead with it. Writer Padmabhushan, Balagam, Mem Famous, banked big on the idea this year too and tasted success with it.
Over time, producers have realised that the best way to promote small/medium budget films is to show their product to audiences and let the film do the talking. While there’s every chance for the idea to backfire - which has happened in instances like Shaakuntalam, Rangabali - it’s now a risk that filmmakers are increasingly willing to take. Samajavaragmana was another success story that benefited from the strategy.
Samajavaragmana’s performance deserves special mention here because it was locking horns with a biggie in the same weekend - Nikhil Siddhartha’s pan Indian film Spy. While Spy was clearly the frontrunner and the first choice of film-going crowds, the early premieres tilted the balance in favour of Samajavaragmana. While Spy opened well too, Sree Vishnu’s film gathered good momentum via social media, word of mouth and bettered its performance with every show.
Borrowing a leaf out of these success stories, two other films - Baby and Annapurna Photo Studio - are going ahead with early premieres this and the next weekends. Baby, whose premieres are being held in Telugu states on Thursday, has registered terrific occupancy already. The makers of Annapurna Photo Studio, starring Chaitanya Rao, that’ll be out on July 21, have already organised a free preview for crowds in Vijayawada and are doing the same in Vizag this weekend.
Baby and Annapurna Photo Studio’s OTT rights are acquired by aha and ETV Win respectively.