Earlier filmmakers used to worry  about scathing reviews and blame the critics for drop in collections. But this Sankranthi festival, distributors  are facing a new menace - trolls - which is taking the sting out of star - studded movies with mocked pictures and videos

Trolls take toll on star-movies: Distributors
Trolls take toll on star-movies: Distributors

According to distributors, more than film critics, it is the trollers who dented the collections of two big releases ‘N.T.R’ and ‘Vinaya Vidheya Rama’ as more than Rs 120 crore are riding on these movies this Sankranthi festival.  Whereas, another Rs 40 crore on ‘F2’ and Rajini starrer ‘Petta’ together. 

The trollers slammed director Boyapati Sreenu for some of his over-the-top scenes in ‘Vinaya….’  and even compared him to Albert Einstein while others made scathing attacks on a few getups of Balakrishna in his dad’s biopic. 

“Trolling has become a new menace and it has affected collections to some extent,” admits distributor Rama Seethaya and adds “Sensational opening collections are important to recover big investments but mocked pictures and videos of big films circulated in social media after the first show has affected collections. Apart from piracy, social media has become a new threat to Telugu cinema ,” he adds. 

Actually, ‘N.T.R’ was hailed by critics as a tribute to legendary actor-turned-politician, while ‘Vinaya Vidheya…’ was panned by critics. “The biopic received loads of appreciation from film critics. 

In contrast, ‘VVR’ was torn to shreds by critics,” says distributor Ramakrishna, who feels that the biopic has chances to pick up. “VVR’ created ripples at the ticket windows on Day One, but subsequently there is dip in collections, Whereas, the biopic which had a sedate start is expected to pick up as we are waiting for family audience to turn up in big numbers during festival holidays. 

Nonetheless, it would be unfair to predict the fate of star movies at this point of time. We are hoping that Nandamuri and Mega fans will be watching their favourite stars this weekend,” adds Ramkrishna.

Giving a new take to the dampened collections of other new releases including ‘Petta’ and ‘F2’, distributor Venkateswar Rao says “Actually, Sankranthi festival is yet to begin, right now, people are travelling from Hyderabad and other cities to their respective villages, hence collections are not upto the mark for four films.  

Actually, the festival days are from January 14-17 and  theatres will wear festive look across the two Telugu states. With some section of Telugus preferring cock fights over movie=watching, then it would be another obstacle to surpass. 

On the whole, we can assess the fate of each of these films only after January 18. Any film that survives beyond this festival mania, will be declared a genuine blockbuster.”

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