Tamil films put on a lacklustre show

The Tamil film industry, the third largest in the country after Hindi and Telugu, has just seen one of its worst quarters in terms of business. Of the 30-odd films released between January and March 2008, only Anjathe managed to book reasonable profits for all stakeholders in the chain.
While an estimated Rs 90 crore, including print and publicity cost, rode on these films, the stakeholders would have together lost anywhere between 40 per cent to 50 per cent of their investments, industry estimates reveal. Only Anjathe gave back reasonable return on investments, that too on the strength of its run in the urban markets.
A quick interaction with producers, distributors and exhibitors revealed the lack of insight into some of the basic theories on which successful corporates run their business are to blame for the poor show at the boxoffice. Factors such as cost overrun, failure to identify the right product, expectation mismatch, lack of marketing and the absence of bankable stars played spoilsport to the industry’s fortunes. “The performance was disappointing to say the least, as most of the films lost money,” says Anandha Films’ L Suresh, a leading distributor-producer, who gave 2007’s last hit Billa, a re-make of Bollywood’s Don. Lack of big stars is touted as the major reason for a poor show, as almost all the films had new faces in the lead.