Starless and powerless summer of 2012

However this year there is not going to be even a single superstar release. Says Film News Anandan, Kollywood chronicler: “For the first time ever in the history of Tamil box-office there is not going to be a single superstar release during prime summer season. In the past all biggies used to release in April-May, this year there is no star movies and only small hero films are releasing.”
The current lot of “stars with an opening” had a summer blockbuster in their career that got them membership in exclusive superstar club. Take a look- Rajinikanth’s Padayappa (April10, 1999), Kamal Haasan’s Indian (May 9, 1996), Vijay’s Ghilli, Ajith’s Citizen, Suriya’s Ayan and Vikram’s Saamy etc. Karthi established himself as a saleable star with his Paiyaa released during summer of 2010.
Annamalai, president of Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners association says: “From MGR and Sivaji days, a summer release is a must for a big hero. Films released during this period always make an extra 10% at the box-office. Since schools and colleges are closed during this period, a summer hit becomes a family outing. Theatres are very unhappy that for the first time in history no major star films is releasing during summer of 2012.”
Why no star driven releases this summer? Ajith’s Billa 2, Suriya’s Matraan, Kamal’s Viswaroopam and Karthi’s Saguni were initially announced as summer 2012 releases. But due to the strike in the industry, the shoot of these films got delayed and release got postponed.
The IPL 5 schedule from April 4 to May 27, give producers an excuse to postpone their releases. But IPL has no effect on the box-office as proved by previous summer hits. In fact this year the huge success of Udhayanidhi Stalin’s debut film as hero Oru Kal Oru Kannadi proves that IPL matches has not taken away audiences from summer releases.
And theatres across Tamil Nadu are feeling the heat, as most of the shows have to be conducted using generators due to power cut. Will small films with hardly any big names justify the cost of cinema theatre operations, as ticket prices remain static ?

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