For long, the neighboring Andhra Pradesh has always patronized Tamil films in a big way. Most of the Tamil films witness their simultaneous release of the dubbed Telugu version on the same day of their release in Tamil Nadu. Superstar Rajinikanth‘s many movies have done exceeding well in their original Tamil version as well as in the Telugu-dubbed versions. Rajini’s ‘Enthiran: The Robot’ reportedly grossed Rs.45 crores in Andhra Pradesh alone.
Bala’s latest film ‘Avan Ivan’ (Vaadu Veedu in Telugu) reportedly collected Rs.18 crores; ‘Rangam‘, the Telugu-dubbed version of the super-hit ‘Ko‘, did very well. So did Karthi’s films such as ‘Naan Mahaan Alla(Naa Peru Shiva in Telugu)’. Raghava Lawrence’s ‘Kanchana‘, which released in Andhra a week before the release of its Tamil version, was sold at Rs.4 crores and according to industry sources, the film has so far collected over Rs.15 crores!
The Telugu distributors have grossed Rs.35 crores in the past two months by releasing Tamil films. Obviously, distributors and theatre-owners prefer direct and dubbed Tamil films as their profit is more than original Telugu films. Even in capital Hyderabad, good cinema halls are said to be ‘preferring’ Tamil films, neglecting Telugu films. The trend has obviously not gone down well with leading Telugu actors and producers.
As a result, a huge voice is raised in Tollywood to increase the 20% tax, which Tamil films pay now, to 50%. The Telugu Films Producers’ Council has also asked the State Government to ‘regulate’ the number of Tamil films released per year. This would not only affect the relationship between Kollywood and Tollywood but would also cut into the profits of distributors and theatre owners!
Observers point out that the tax hike is an act of desperation instead of ‘raising’ the quality of Telugu films on the whole!