December 26, 2012

Kollywood Komplications

Kollywood or Kodambakkam (holly) wood, a euphemism for Tamil cinema industry, as I understand, is on a treacherous trajectory. Kodambakkam is a locality in Chennai (or Madras) city where a number of film studios existed/exist.

Here is the link to a well written story revealing the plights of Tamil cinema industry by TOI reporter Sangeetha Kandavel.

There is a new complication thrown in by a famous actor Kamal Hassan. Here are the snippets of this interesting case.

Kamal Hassan is in the process of releasing his new movie Vishwaroopam in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi (Vishwaroop). Yes, he is the producer, director, lyricist, choreographer, actor etc., In his own admission he appears to have spent Rupees 95 crores producing the movie.

To thwart any attempts at illegal distribution of his latest movie, Kamal Hassan is planning to release this movie on DTH network, 8 hours before it is released in the theaters, despite selling the distribution rights of the movie to the theater owners.

Well, for a moment I thought this is a good move and that this guy is generous that he is releasing the movie even before it hits the theaters. Hold on there is a catch.

- DTH operator will charge Rupees 1,000 for one view for Tamil and Telugu versions and Rupees 500 for Hindi version

There lies a financial ingenuity. In addition to the tidy sum that is paid by the theater owners, an additional sum (reportedly around Rupees 50 crore) is likely to be paid by DTH operators for a recording-disabled-only-one-view telecast.

Take a look at the economics just from Tamil telecast alone.

Total households in four metros: 94,00,000 (source article)
Households in Chennai (@15%):  6,20,000
Tamil Nadu population: 6 crore
Chennai population: 1 crore
Households for rest of Tamil Nadu at 6 crore population: 30,00,000
Total households in Tamil Nadu: approx. 36,00,000
1/6th buy the cinema on DTH: Rupees 60,00,00,000

In addition, there will also be money from Telugu and Hindi versions!

No wonder Kamal Hassan surprisingly appeared in a reality musical show Super Singer T20 on Vijay TV, telecast on 26th December,  to hard sell his concept.

The theater owners especially in Tamil Nadu, who paid their money are getting scared about losing money with this move.

Be prepared, once this model is successfully proved, the cinema viewing experience is going to be massively transformed.

And you need to be extremely careful of the button called 'VoD' on your remote control of DTH transmission and double, triple check your cable bills for any such one time charges.


  1. It doesn't sound like a smart move... No idea how far it will be successful either. I wonder whether people are really ready to pay 1000 rs, bcoz in chennai multiplexes itself, ticket price is around rs.200 only. Anyhow i'm not gonna go for DTH. Moreover, watching films in dth tv will never be equal to theatre experience.

    1. I have the same feeling. Either Kamal Hassan has been misled by wizkids with penchant for hyper hypothesis or he is super scared that the movie he has brought out after a long time is going to tank, he is resorting to this idea. To be frank I would not for sure pay Rs.1,000 for a one movie. Lets see.

  2. Though people these days are buying better home theater systems to enjoy movies in comfort of their home with equivalent visual and sound effects but idea paying RS 1000 per movie seems too far fetched.

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    1. Completely agree with you. In a country where cable subscription per month are between rs. 150-200, not sure who is given this misleading notion that he can make money out of DTH telecast and show his thumb to the same theater owner-distributors, who made him famous for nearly 50 years.

  3. Yeah. It seems an interesting try, cos for one time pay Rs.1000, the entire household can watch the movie in their comfort zone. Kamal Hassan is the name for new experiments. but we have to wait n see how this plan is gonna transform the whole movie watching experience in future..

    1. True it seems like a new idea. But certainly I would not pay Rs. 1,000 for one-view movie even if I am watching with a family of 6