Thottal Thodarum

Mar 6, 2015


2.Business of Tamil films

            The task is not complete for the producers with last day of shooting or the day when the movie’s editing is completed. It has to be traded. That is where a producer could recover the money he had invested in the making of the movie. As a matter of fact, the difficulties of making a movie are equal to that of trading it. The expenses incurred in the production would equate the expenses incurred by the distributors.

            So how the movie trading business works? How do they start the business of selling the movie? Generally if it is a movie with big names in it, putting it in market would be smooth. Big starrer movies such as Rajinikanth, Kamalhasan , Ajith, Vijay, Surya and Vikram will be sold off almost immediately among competition within the distributors. In case of small budget films, it would be a great difficulty for the producer to sell the movie. It would tire the producer out and make him pity himself before he sells the movie off for all areas.

We have already discussed that Tamil movie trade is included in seven areas.

1.    City (Chennai city)
2.    NSC (Erstwhile North Arcot, South Arcot and Chengelpet districts)
3.    Coimbatore
4.    Salem
5.    MR (Old Madurai and Ramanadhapuram districts)
6.    TT (Trichy and Tanjavur districts)
7.    TK (Thirunelveli and Kanyakumari disctricts)

Let us quickly discuss about each of the above here

1. City
This most important movie rights are rights to screen a movie in the theaters of Chennai city. It is not present expanded city but old Chennai city boundaries are still considered as city rights in movie business. City South ends with AVM Rajeswari Theater. Screens beyond that like of Koyambedu, SSR Bangajam, Devi Karumari, Kasi, Jyothi would be included in Changelpet area. Similarly in North Chennai region, theaters ahead of Thiruvotriyur would be with City area and beyond them would be with Changelpet.  Chrompet, Thambaram, Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, Prarthana and Mayajal screens also would be considered as Chengelpet.

2.  NSC (Old North Arcot, South Arcot and Chengelpet districts)

            Many movies are bought with the NSC area rights and sold individually for North Arcot, South Arcot and Chengelpet districts. As Chengelpet includes majority of the expanded Chennai city, the rights are sold at good prices for Chengelpet area. (We purchased Vijayakanth’s ‘Engal Anna’ Chengelpet rights alone for INR 60.00 Lakhs)

3. Coimbatore
            Coimbatore is considered as the biggest area in Tamil movie sales as of now. Earlier the release centers were only up to Coimbatore city belt and surrounding regions. However, now it is the biggest area because, apart from Coimbatore city, the release centers include as many as 35+ surrounding towns such as Pollachi, Tiruppur, Udumalpet, Mettuppalayam, etc.

4. Salem
            This area comprises Salem and Dharmapuri districts. One of the important areas to judge the collection of any film, main reason being the majority of floating population.

5. MR (Old Madurai and Ramanadhapuram districts)

            This area is the deciding factor of most of the movies. It is well known fact that if Madurai area receives a movie well, the whole state would also receive the film the same way. In Madurai and Ramanathapuram districts movie craze fans are more. Since the times of MGR and Sivaji, this region comprises the cine goers and movie lovers. That is the reason for why MR is given the status of success defining area.

6. TT (Trichy and Tanjavur districts)

            TT area comprises the districts around Tanjavur and Trichirappally. TT area is one of the deciding factors of a movie’s success.

7. TK (Thirunelveli and Kanyakumari disctricts)

            This area has Thirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts in it.

A movie, across these seven areas, can be sold individually. In other version, by a company or a individual or through outright, a film can be purchased and sold individually or all areas put together. Confusing? Never mind! We shall see what is outright and selling together later.

Apart from the sales in Tamilnadu through the above areas, a Tamil film is sold in other states across the country and mainly for neighboring states of Andhra, Karnataka and Kerala. Beside this, international sales called FMS (Foreign, Malaysia and Singapore) also earn revenue for a Tamil film. Earlier, Tamil movies were sold independently in Srilanka (like Malaysia and Singapore). Movies, which had clicked in Tamilnadu, have become super hit in Srilanka as well and returned excellent revenue. Post Eelam issue, that individual business for concluded.

Due to globalization, now native and LankanTamils are spread across the globe and Tamil films enjoy global demand and thus, doors of global business have been opened. Latest examples for this fact are Endhiran and Dasavatharam. These two movies were released across Europe and USA in the same date of Indian release and collected millions of Euros and Dollars.

Other revenue sources for a movie are,

·         DVD and VCD rights
·         Audio cassette and CD rights
·         Satellite channel and Cable TV broadcast rights
·         Internet broadcast rights
·         Other language dubbing rights
·         Other language remake rights
·         Passenger Bus/Train/Aircraft screening rights
·         Merchandising rights

At present Tamil movie industry scenario, merchandising rights, merchandise sales are becoming possible. Merchandising rights are the rights to print and sell the movie logos, stills in consumer items like T-shirts, Caps, bags, etc.

Who determines or fixes the selling price (rate) of a movie? For instance, the movie Dasavatharam was produced in a budget of INR 60.00 Crores. It’s rate is determined considering the salaries of Kamal and other actors, salaries of director K.S.Ravikumar other technicians, cost of shooting, cost of advertisement and other expenses. The rate fixed by the above formula is collected in selling the movie through multiple ways. They are
MG (Minimum Guarantee)
More on them in the next chapter.

Cable Sankar - Translation Of My Book In Tamil "CINEMA VYABARAM" Done By Rangs. Published in 

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'பரிவை' சே.குமார் said...

சினிமா வியாபாரம் ஆங்கிலத்தில் வந்து விட்டதா...
வாழ்த்துக்கள் அண்ணா.

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