Watch it at home?
The DVD format as an offshoot of the film industry has potential and is waiting to be utilised correctly.A report...
Today cinema is the biggest source of entertainment. It has reinvented itself in so many myriad ways to suit growing demands. Its packaging and presentation have changed with time. The DVD is one such, and is important in movie distribution and retail. In Mollywood and Bollywood, DVDs of movies get released closely following the mainstream releases. However, in Kollywood, DVD rights are offered months after the theatrical release. Says Vetrimaran, director of the National Award-winning film Aadukalam, "DVDs have a strong market even in Hollywood. But here, satellite channels that bag rights for major films, view this format as competition. The sad fact is that pirated copies are available on the second day post release of the film."
Saravanan, Deputy Manager, Moser Baer Entertainment Ltd says, "Nearly 40-50% of the market is in the hands of pirates. We did a survey in 2006 to understand the reason for piracy. We found that people who are ready to invest in a good DVD player are not ready to buy the original DVD prints because of the cost. So we addressed the price point and brought the price down to Rs.28-Rs.34, and people have started buying originals now. In fact piracy has come down considerably even in the Pondy and Madurai markets."
Those who cannot afford to spend time and money on tickets are the perennial consumers of DVDs. But now, with advanced versions such as blue-ray, microchips available in the market, says ShivaKripa, a die-hard Rajni fan, "We watch Thalaivar's films in theatres on the first day of its release. We buy original copies for our permanent collection."
Saravanan explains the market trends thus. "Basha, a 1995 film has sold nearly one lakh DVD copies. But the DVD of Chandramukhi, a 2005 blockbuster has been released only now. This will certainly not make fans happy and producers are losing revenue without understanding the potential of this market."
According to Saravanan, piracy can be controlled by a prudent and planned course of action. "Out of the 85 films that release in a year on an average, only 15-20 are declared hits. For them, 30% of producers' revenues come from satellite rights, 10% is from home videos, 5% is from audio sales and 15% is through overseas distribution. The rest 35% comes from the theatre collection. The producers can give the DVD rights three months after the release and the rights can be renewed from time to time."