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Hollywood heroes reign supreme

AS PER trade reports, "Gemini", "Run", "Thulluvatho Illamai", "Sundara Travels" and "Azhagi" have been rated as the five hits of 2002. All these films have been classified so because they were made on a budget of Rs 1 to 3 crore, and the return to the trade was three to five times their investment.

Some of the superstars claim that their films are hits, taking into consideration theatrical rights of Tamil Nadu, rest of India, the overseas, and music and satellite rights. Today, film business is all about recovery, and making profit in minimum time possible. Earlier, if a film completed 100 days, it was labelled as a hit. But now, theatres tend to drag films that have flopped, as they want to recover at least a part of the huge Minimum Guarantee (MG) they have paid earlier. Business has been so bad this past year that nearly 35 theatres, mainly in rural areas, have closed down or have been converted into marriage halls. In fact, such is the uncertainty that theatres have stopped advancing money to distributors, which has choked production. Nearly 100 films are lying in the cans due to financial problems and may never see the light of the day. Almost all leading producers are now directly releasing their films in the main circuits, as they are not able to get distributors at their price.

More alarming is the fact that the number of dubbed films has crossed the 100 mark, and is eating into the collection of straight Tamil films. Today, the Tamil speaking "Spider Man" and "Bond" are becoming more popular in rural areas than our own superstars.

"Die Another Day" was released with 60 prints and in the first week, it has done better business than any original Tamil film released in December!

SP

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