The pandemic completely paralyzed the Indian film industry in the year 2020. In 2021, Tollywood was the only major film industry that minted movie releases throughout the year (barring May, June and July, when the second wave had struck India). Bollywood couldn't make a comeback till after the mild third wave ended. Kollywood was not going great at all. Mollywood relied heavily on OTT.
The 2021 experience buoyed Tollywood. Most of the producers became over-confident after 'RRR' and 'KGF 2' attracted the Telugu audience in the domestic market like crazy. The over-confidence made several banners and distributors make mistakes since April. Films like 'Mission Impossible' burnt their fingers by going for high cinema ticket prices.
With films like 'Ante Sundaraniki', 'Virata Parvam', 'Sammathame' and '7 Days 6 Nights' bombing at the box office in recent weeks, it is now clear that, sometimes, even reasonable ticket prices can kick out a film from the box-office. (Note: Nani's film had high ticket prices.)
Director Maruthi, who knows the audience's pulse and the latest trends in the trade, has already sounded a warning bell. In his interview yesterday, the 'Pakka Commercial' director said that the film industry will be in trouble if cinema ticket prices are not made affordable once again.
Films like 'Happy Birthday' (July 8th release) are going to be available at pre-pandemic rates. This is a good sign.
But the fact is that not all producers are smart. Not everyone has reasonable expectations from their films. There will always be producers of films, both big and small, who will get carried away by the huge success of their teaser/trailer. Such films will be bought by distributors at massive rates. And, in turn, the distributors will NOT decrease the ticket prices even if the producer of the film wants to.
There is evidence to believe that only a few producers (like Dil Raju, Allu Aravind, D Suresh Babu, and Bunny Vas) are realizing what is at stake. They are smart and know that greed is not good.