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“Tamil Nadu Theatres Struggling To Pay Electricity Bills”: Trade Analyst

A picture of a theatre hall. (courtesy: Pexels)

New Delhi:

Film industry tracker Sreedhar Pillai has shared concerns about the challenges faced by theatres in Tamil Nadu. In a detailed post on X (formerly known as Twitter), he stated, “Not a great start for Tamil cinema at the box-office in the beginning of 2024. The theatrical run has been reduced to a week and in some cases the opening weekend! Theatres in TN [Tamil Nadu] are struggling to pay their electricity bills as shows get cancelled especially at noon and matinee on working days. Canteen sales are at an all time low as audiences are keeping away from cinemas.” 

Sreedhar Pillai also emphasised the growing preference for OTT platforms, which has led to a decline in theatre attendance. He mentioned, “Most people realise in less than a month after a film’s theatrical release it can be watched on OTT! Meanwhile the show must go on as more than a dozen Tamil films are scheduled to hit the screens in the next two months!”

This post came hours after Bollywood trade analyst Taran Adarsh shared his big take on the division within the film industry. Through a detailed note on X (formerly Twitter), the film critic delved into how recent releases like Shah Rukh Khan’s Dunki and Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone starrer Fighter have created a noticeable gap between “urban centres” and “mass pockets.” He wrote, “URBAN CENTRES VS MASS POCKETS: THE BIG DIVIDE… The Box office response to Dunki [December 2023] and Fighter [January 2024] —both driven by star names, on and off screen—clearly indicates the significant divide in the film biz today.”

Taran Adarsh also stressed that the responsibility for this disparity does not rest with the audience but rather with filmmakers who struggle to generate content that resonates beyond metropolitan areas. The film critic mentioned, “The fault *doesn’t* lie with the moviegoing audience, but filmmakers / storytellers, who aren’t able to deliver content that strike a chord with audiences *beyond metros*… The disparity in film business is for all to see, with urban centres embracing the films, but mass centres staying away from it.” 

Meanwhile, the next big Tamil release, Laal Salaam, will hit the big screen this Friday, February 9. Directed by Aishwarya Rajinikanth, the film features megastar Rajinikanth, Vishnu Vishal, and Vikranth in key roles.

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