Filmmaker S.S Rajamouli announced on January 1, that his much-awaited Pan India project 'RRR' will not be hitting theatres on January 7 due to the rise of Covid-19 cases and theatres being shut in major markets of Mumbai and Delhi. Within the next 48 hours, as many as five Telugu films announced their release dates around January 14, making it a Makar Sankranthi release. Experts reveal that with a major player like Jr NTR and Ram Charan's 'RRR' off the grid, it is a favourable situation for Telugu films that target mostly Telangana and Andhra Pradesh film market.
Keeping the best interests of all the involved parties in mind, we are forced to postpone our film. Our sincere thanks to all the fans and audience for their unconditional love. #RRRPostponed #RRRMovie pic.twitter.com/JlYsgNwpUO— RRR Movie (@RRRMovie) January 1, 2022
Actors Prabhas and Pooja Hegde's 'Radhe Shyam' was also announced to be delayed on January 5.
While Naga Chaitanya's 'Bangarraju' were announced a Sankranth release long back, however the confirmation from Nagarjuna happened on January 5. But making the most of the situation, films like 'Rowdy Boys', 'Super Machi', 'Saamanyudu', '6 Nights 7 Days', 'Hero' have been announced for January 14 release as well.
Actor Siddu's film 'DJ Tillu' will release in theatres on January 13, whereas actor Adi Sai Kumar's 'Atithi Devo Bhava' will release on January 7.
Film producer Harshith Reddy, whose film 'Rowdy Boys' will release on January 14, feels that the situation is very unpredictable right now.
"I can't talk on terms of beneficiality but in form of trade I can tell you that as of now due to the situation, when big players are not able to come to theatre due to Covid 19, then at least from the industry, we have chance for other films, which can release in the region. So, in that category if you see, films which are coming for the festival will at least have a good chance to release in theatres. Otherwise it would be more tough. As of now, if you see the cases which are rising, they are doubling and going to unpredictable situations. So, what is happening right now might not be the same after eight days," he says.
Observing the flood of Telugu film announcements, trade analyst Atul Mohan tells us, "When 'RRR' was announced, a couple of movies were reshuffled twice. The kind of investment a film like 'RRR' is riding on, it needs a vast and wide release throughout India in every market. Looking at the current situation, the producers were helpless and had to shift the release date. Now, in the process, the smaller producers who are not dependent on the market outside AP and Telangana territory, can release because their budget is also not that huge. People know that when a film like 'RRR' comes, the audience will spend money to watch one big film instead of multiple films and that is the first choice of all exhibitors to showcase the film for not one week but at least two to three weeks."
With 'RRR' out of the frame right now, filmmakers have got at least two-three weeks for themselves to showcase their films.
Pushkar Ram Mohan Rao, Chairman, Telangana Film Development Corporation, says while this is an ideal situation for films targeting only AP and Telangana theatres, it can also have an adverse effect.
He says, "Earlier there were only three films 'RRR', 'Radhe Shyam' and 'Bangarraju'. More films are coming on Sankranthi. The films which have been postponed are pan Indian films. The films which are now coming are only from the Telangana market. They are small films but they now try to release in a big way. You have a disadvantage too. With Corona cases rising, people might feel that the risk is high if they go to the theatres and second guess. With such a big film getting postponed, people are more aware that the Corona problem is serious and that is why it's not getting released. With this mood, why would people want to come for a small film? You have to keep the audience's psychology also in consideration."