Last Updated: 11.23 PM, Feb 17, 2023
After an eventful 2022, when the South Indian film industry garnered over 50% of overall box-office collections in the country, it is staring at a dull summer as big-budget movies starring Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Mahesh Babu or Vijay are mostly slated for release later this year.
In fact, there is no big movie from either the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam or Kannada industry before April when Ponniyin Selvan-2, will hit the theatres..
Though during the Pongal weekend southern films fared well, they barely managed any traction in the rest of the country.
Unlike the three hits of last year, dubbed versions of several southern films met with a tepid response in the north.
Theatre owners are pinning their hopes on Hollywood and expect the dubbed versions in south Indian languages to gain traction. They also expect Bollywood to make a comeback after the success of Pathaan.
However, Bollywood’s next big title starring Salman Khan will arrive in cinemas on Eid.
“Urban, niche films targeted at multiplex audiences do not find pan-India acceptance and while the two Pongal releases, Vijay’s Varisu and Ajith’s Thunivu, did decent business, the next few weeks appear dull,” independent trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai said. Most southern stars will not see any theatrical releases soon, he added.
Rajinikanth’s Jailer is likely to release in August, Kamal Haasan’s Indian 2 is slotted for Diwali. Vijay’s Leo is scheduled for October, while Ajith’s untitled venture will hit theatres next year.
Telugu star Allu Arjun’s Pushpa 2: The Rule is still under production, while Ram Charan and Jr. NTR have not announced dates of their projects. Mahesh Babu has a film tentatively titled SSMB 28. It will be directed by Trivikram and will hit the theatres after June.
Considering that in the first few weeks of 2022, theatres were shut across India due to the third covid-19 wave, 2023 has started on a better note, Rajendar Singh Jyala, chief programming officer at INOX Leisure, said.
“We saw three outperformers from southern India last year: RRR, KGF 2 and Kantara. Though the trend of releasing dubbed Hindi versions of south films in north India will continue with filmmakers seeing the potential of the Hindi belt, and audiences are more familiar with content and faces all south Indian films will not click in Hindi,” he said.