Overseas Box-office: Killing the golden goose!

Monday, May 23, 2016 - 10:00

Terrible low collections of three recent big movies in overseas market have sent shockwaves in Tollywood. The USA distributors of Telugu movies have already pressed the panic button. From the past couple of years, the overseas market for Telugu films is going north. In the last 12 or 15 months, Telugu movies had seen the bountiful of dollars so distributors have started betting high on our movies.

As the films bringing in millions for the distributors, producers have turned greedy. They have started demanding more money for the movie’s rights. Equally, USA distributors have also lost business sense and started taking huge gamble. 

Forgetting the market range, the low chances of return on investment, distribution houses like Idream/Eros and Classic Entertainments took a gamble and paid huge money for the rights of ‘Sardaar Gabbbar Singh’, ‘Sarrainodu’ and ‘Brahmotsavam’. While ‘Sardaar Gabbar Singh’ was bought for whopping Rs 10.5 Cr by Idream/Eros, ‘Brahmotsavam’ was bought by Classic Entertainments (belonging to the producers of ‘Srimanthudu’) for Rs 13 Cr.

‘Sardaar Gabbar Singh’ was released in more than 42 Countries but the movie failed to rake in any good money. In the core territory of USA, it has ended up with mere one million dollars gross. The movie is a huge loss to the overseas distributor and local exhibitors in USA.

Now, ‘Brahmotsavam’ is turning out to bigger dud in overseas market which is Mahesh Babu’s citadel. The film in its opening weekend has grossed one million dollars but it might not add much in next week or days. The distributor and exhibitors will end up losing more than 50 percent.

The same distributor also bought Allu Arjun’s ‘Sarrainodu’ for Rs 6 Cr (inclusive of all expenses) and the movie merely grossed 870k dollars. It is also a big dud in USA, though the film ran well in India. It is true that USA market has become one of the biggest earning territories for Telugu movies now but the greedy distributors and producers are trying to kill the goose that is laying golden eggs (dollars). 

The market opened up with the great success of ‘Baahubali’ last year. ‘Baahubali’ set all-time record by grossing more than six million dollars. A small-budgeted movie like ‘Bhale Bhale Magadivoy’ also grossed one and half million dollars. ‘Srimanthudu’ and ‘ Nannaku Prematho” surprised everyone by grossing more than two million dollars. 'Oopiri' also was a big success in USA as it has collected nearly 1.70 million dollars. Small movies like 'Kalyana Vaibhogame' and 'Kshanam' did great business in USA and return of investment on the movies was extraordinary.

It is time that producers and distributors sell or buy the movies in realistic manner where both can be in win-win situation.