Sunday, May 07, 2017

Commitment and Results

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

For more than 10 years I have been blogging with time off when I really got sick.  Much of my weekly columns revolve around AP, India and the USA.  Some politics, some personal stories but I try not to get promotional.  I used to write movie reviews when the south Indian movie watching was still in its infancy, and getting a few hundred people to the theater was a big undertaking.  There was no email internet and programmed advertising was not existent.  Sticking posters, flyers and calling with some email was the only way to reach out to the audiences.  We did write reviews right after the first show, and was never sure if the reviews were very effective, but clocking into 2017 the movies are promoted in every medium, reaching to every possible regional language.  They are also shown in 100 of screens and in all markers where the target audience is.  Digital copies are delivered on time (rather than massive 16 reels) and location doesn’t matter as digital copies can be delivered in all locations.  The movie making is expensive, advertising and promotions also very expensive, and cost of distribution is only for the elite and rich.  I don’t think I could be a distributor in this market, but I know the scale of the business 10 years later is massive.  This is true for every Indian language movies.

The spring of 2017 has really been an eye opener for even the well-versed moviegoer.  Baahubali 2 The Conclusion is just into its second week in the theaters.  It has amassed over 1,000 crores in about 9 days.  The first part Baahubali 1 The Beginning was a massive hit which made over 650 crores at the box office, but the conclusive version is massive.  A combination of both movies might tough 2,000 crores by the time the theatrical run is complete.  It could be higher.
No matter what you say about the movie, the audience acceptance and the box office reports of a regional language movie is unparalleled.  For 2,000 Crores, you could create a nice sized and very sophisticated town in India.

To go back to my earlier days in blogging and writing, I thought that the regional films and issues we given little importance in the national media.  Irrespective of the importance or success regional news got little press or somehow tied to someone in the north Indian market as a catalyst to the regional success.

Baahubali 1 and 2 had absolutely no contribution from anyone from Bollywood, except someone purchased both the movies at an excellent price and made huge profits on both.  Still, the national media will unabashedly attribute the success to the distributor.  Neither the media nor the guy who bought the movie/s can simply attribute sole success to the movie makers.
The real makers, director, actors and all people involved in the massive success of the movie/s have not just investment money but also 5 years of their life into the success of the enterprise.  Perhaps the movies did not need the help of the national media as the internet does the magic to get out the word on anything good.  The success of the Baahubali enterprise is not just unparalleled for a Telugu movie, but also in the entire Indian movie market.  Not just because of my native language and the treatment that is meted out to the regional enterprises and people, the success of Baahubali is only because of the commitment of the people who made it, and the results are obvious.

When we experienced the success of Baahubali the beginning, we knew the conclusive version of Baahubali will be as successful.  The result is astonishing.  The reception by the national media limiting the box office success and the people who made it happen is also not astonishing.  What is not astonishing is the magnitude of economic success to everyone involved in the franchise.  It will no longer make me wonder about the national coverage of regional success stories, even when they are earth shattering.  What makes me feel emphatic is that the grounded nature of the main characters of this massive business, marketing and profitable venture, which not just made money but also movie goers watch the movie/s in awe.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

success has many fathers and many more uncles. Only one mother.

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