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pizza sundarapandian


The lifespan of movies at the box-office has dwindled to just a span of few weeks. Even a superhit film finds it tough to complete 50 days at the box-office due to the number of releases every other week. Plus, the audiences have also become very stingy in appreciation and they decide the fate of a movie while the show is in progress itself, thanks to their smartphones and Twitter, FB accounts. So, the ‘hit’ or ‘superhit’ or ‘megahit’ or ‘blockbuster’ tags aren’t bestowed upon every other film by the audiences. Only if they are really satisfied, do they care to check out the film in theaters. Else, they either download the film thanks to the plethora of pirated sources or they wait for the TV premier.

But even in these times of smart phones, smarter audiences and innovative movie marketing strategies targeted at this gen-next crowd, certain things about Tamil cinema never change.

With the audiences becoming such a smart lot, one may be led to believe that the people who handle the post-release publicity of a film are also smart. But, sadly that isn’t the case. Going by the post-release publicity ads of new Tamil releases that are splashed across all the newspapers, we may get a false sense of Tamil cinema’s good health and wellbeing. Every film’s ad unfailingly comes with the ‘Superhit’ tag or the ‘Megahit’ tag on the very next day of release as if gaining audience acceptance is such an easy thing.

In some cases, it is laugh-worthy seeing a film that has been totally dismissed by the audience come out with ads day after day, week after week with such false tags. Why waste so much money when your movie is hardly running a few shows across the state? We agree that you have big bank balances thanks to big studio backing but this money can be used for better purposes.

What’s even more questionable is the theater listings in these ads. All the theaters that screened the movie on Day 1are listed in these ads even after many weeks of its release. The truth as everyone knows is theaters don’t bother keeping a film for more than a couple of weeks if it doesn’t perform well at the box-office.

Such ads have been in order since ages and new phrases like Adhiradi Hit, Saravedi Hit, Marana Hit, Terra Hit, Twin Hit and Bumper Hit have been introduced thanks to such ads. When the way audiences have been responding to films is undergoing such a sea change, why can’t such ads be pushed into the archives. Year after year, this practice just seems to be gaining strength. It’s a good marketing strategy for sure, coming up with newspaper ads thanks to the undisputed reach of the print medium but the point is these ads aren’t ethical and are blatantly false.

Since the beginning of the year, the number of unanimous hits can be counted with just the fingers in one hand. Sundarapandian is one among this illustrious list. Sasikumar and co. don’t feel the need to give such exaggerated verdicts along with their publicity ads in newspapers.  They are also honest and ethical enough to lead the audiences in a proper manner only to the shows and theaters in which their movie is actually running. Today, they have come out with a simple ad celebrating their 7th week saying “Successful 7th week”. Successful, it sure is.

In the same way, the team of the successful Pizza has come out with a simple “Successful 2nd week” ad with the message “Thank you all for the overwhelming support”. All of us know the positive wave of appreciation that Pizza has been getting and this paper ad only substantiates this fact.

But, in the case of big heroes’ films, we get to see paper ads which don’t have a semblance of truth with false verdicts, false theater listings etc. Are these ads just to appease the egos of such star studded teams? One gets this feeling because spending so much money to get such big slots in leading newspapers and giving such exaggerated verdicts and tags isn’t influencing the literate audience one bit. Why waste so much money when no one is going to believe what your ad says? 

Pre-release, all sorts of flowery ads can be given to up the anticipation levels but post release; audiences get to know the truth about the movie in a matter of hours.  We know that this is a business where the stakes involved are high and film makers go to any lengths to get their movie visibility and publicity. But, when such publicity ads become a joke due to their stupidity and unethical nature, why continue the practice?

Wish all of them toe the Sundarapandian line and leave the verdict in the audience’s hands rather than cook up newer innovative tags and verdicts.

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