Festival season always rings in cheer to box office

If Eid, Diwali, Christmas are big festival holidays, which bring in huge moolah at box office for Hindi cinema and deliver super hit films every year, for Tamil cinema, it is Pongal, Republic Day, Tamil New Years’ day, Eid, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ayudha Pooja and Deepavali, which bring in lot of cheer and good collections.
G Dhananjayan
G Dhananjayan

Chennai

Films released in festival season mostly succeeded irrespective of whether the film received positive reviews or not. In 2015, films like I, Darling, OK Kanmani, Kanchana-2, Vedalam, Thoonga Vanam were all festival releases, which became successful. In 2016, there were four films for Pongal (Kathakali, Gethu, Tharai Thappattai and Rajini Murugan). Of these, Rajini Murugan became a blockbuster, while other films did reasonably well. Theri, a Tamil New Year release, became biggest hit of the year. Remo released during Ayudha Pooja festival holidays also achieved big success. The two Deepavali releases (Kodi and Kaashmora) also earned well due to festival holidays. 
Clearly, a festival season is a guarantor for box office success compared to any other release dates in a year. Hence, for years, on festival days, especially during Pongal and Deepavali, at least 4 to 5 films will release and most of them achieve commercial success. The main reason being this: a festival season brings in positive mood among people and they are ready to spend money and time watching films in theatres. On festival days, watching a new film is a must for most families in South and new films cash in on that mood. 
However, we have to keep in mind that festival days are meant to celebrate and enjoy and hence only films that can make the entire family happy have the possibility to win at the box office. Intense, gloomy and too realistic a film do not find much favor, as festival days require galloping type of films to connect easily with family audience. 
Leading trade analyst Taran Adarsh said in an interview, “Today, release dates are very important. You have to take full advantage of the initial performance of the film at box office. You release it during a holiday period or a festival season so that you get maximum footfall, maximum screen and undivided attention of the audience.” All the three, maximum footfall, maximum screen and undivided audiences’ attention are key to achieve commercial success. While Aamir Khan releases his films regularly on Christmas day and achieves huge success (Taare Zamin Par in 2007, Ghajini in 2008, 3 Idiots in 2009, Dhoom 3 in 2013, PK in 2014 and Dangal in 2016), Salman Khan blocked Ramzan (Eid) as his festival day and every year came out with a film and achieved big success (Wanted in 2009, Dabangg in 2010, Bodyguard in 2011, Ek Tha Tiger in 2012, Kick in 2014, Bajrangi Bhaijaan in 2015 and Sultan in 2015). Salman and Eid have become synonyms in the last seven years. 
Pongal or Eid or Deepavali or Christmas is not just a festival but they bring in festive mood among people with multiple holidays and families get time to watch films together. Like Aamir Khan (Christmas) and Salman Khan (Eid), in Tamil, of late, big stars like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Vijay, Ajith and Suriya have not had such a festival focused release date for their films. They believe that any day their films come in, it is a festival day for their audience. While it may be true for their hardcore fans, for a large part of the audience, it is not true as they have their work to attend to. The multiple holidays during festivals, coupled with the rising positive mood is the best time to release a big artiste film and achieve high success. For this Pongal, Vijay’s Bhairavaa was the big release and with six consecutive holidays, the film earned record breaking collections, which has brought cheer and relief to Tamil film industry. Hope we are showered with such big artiste films regularly in upcoming festival days to add to the cheer. 
—The writer is Film Producer, National Award Winning Author, Columnist and Founder-Dean of BOFTA Film Institute in Chennai

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