With content now king, Onam movie releases hold promise

According to industry watchers, audience preferences have changed, with content, not celebrity, deciding the success of movies.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File | Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File | Photo)

KOCHI:  Mammootty and Mohanlal may be conspicuous by their absence from this festive season’s much-awaited movie releases, but there’s enough for audiences to look forward to. Dulquer Salmaan’s King of Kotha and Nivin Pauly’s comeback vehicle, Ramachandra Bose and Co, have been buzzing for a while. RDX, starring Neeraj Madhav, Antony Varghese and Shane Nigam, is another movie that could keep the cash registers ringing this Onam season.

According to industry watchers, audience preferences have changed, with content, not celebrity, deciding the success of movies. “Box-office collections do not depend on actors now. It is a subject matter that has precedence. If the content is good, people will flock to the theatres,” said Ziyad Kokker, former president of the Kerala Film Distributors Association. “Low-budget movies such as Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya He and Romancham are proof that success is now not dependent on big banners or artists.” 

The success of other language movies such as Jailer, Barbie and Oppenheimer across the state also attests to this point of view. According to K Vijayakumar, president of the Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala, a mass movie in any language can attract viewers. “King of Kotha, RDX, and Ramachandra Bose and Co are much-anticipated movies. Unlike earlier, audiences are not game for big names. If content and treatment are appealing, people will definitely come to theatres. In fact, Mollywood does not have the movies that will rake in the numbers,” he said.

There are also social factors in play, he said. “Onam vacation plans used to revolve around either the cinema or the park. Now, there are many events taking place. Audiences have more choices, and this can affect the success of any movie,” said Ziyad. There are various reasons behind the success of movies such as Jailer, Oppenheimer and Barbie, he adds. “Jailer, a Tamil movie directed by Nelson Dilipkumar, is a multi-starrer. Moreover, Rajinikanth has a huge fan base in the state. Many youngsters were looking forward to Barbie and Oppenheimer,” said Ziyad. Good family movies will bring families back to theatres, he said.

Vijayakumar added that a movie like Jailer helped the theatres survive. “Until the release of Barbie and Oppenheimer, the situation was miserable. Jailer is a big hit. It helped us survive,” he added.

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