Films made in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam outclassed those made in all other Indian languages in India in 2022, accounting for 54 per cent of all releases and 52 per cent, Or Rs 7,800 crore, of the overall revenue pie of Rs 15,000 crore. This was revealed in a report released by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Wednesday.
In South India, theatrical revenues would contribute to 60 per cent and non-theatrical rights, to 40 per cent, pre-Covid-19. This changed to 43 per cent for theatrical and 57 per cent for non-theatrical revenues in 2022. During the year, of the 1,691 films released in the country in 14 major languages, 916 films, or 54 per cent were released in South Indian languages.
Interestingly, the South Indian film industry is expected to sustain the momentum in 2023, despite a likely dip in revenues in the Kannada industry. Tamil films, on the other hand, are expected to maintain the momentum and post 15 per cent growth. However, with little chance in 2023 of another pan-India film like RRR, the Telugu film industry is looking at a marginal growth of 5 per cent. Malayalam films are expected to remain buoyant, while Kannada film revenues may decline as the industry does not foresee another KGF 2 or a Kantara being released this year.
“The market correction will happen in 2023 and then it is expected to grow well in 2024 on that corrected base. Overall, despite no biggies like RRR, KGF 2 or Kantara expected in 2023, the southern region is still expected to maintain its 2022 revenues in 2023 at around Rs 7800 crore,” said the report, titled ‘South India – Setting Benchmarks for the Nation’.
“Domestic theatrical (theatrical revenue share from each of the states for that language) contributes to 27 per cent, followed closely by Digital/OTT rights at 24 per cent. Such is the importance and command that Digital/OTT rights have over the overall revenues of South Indian film industry,” the report said. Satellite rights follow at 17 percent, Hindi dubbing rights at 14 percent, Other states’ theatrical revenues at 9 percent, overseas rights at 7 percent and music rights at 2 percent contribute to the rest.
As per the report, India as a country has 8,700 screens as of 2022, and out of them, 4,216 screens, or 48 percent of the screens are in only five Southern states. “The potential is much higher as these 4,216 screens amount to 16 screens per million population. Even if the region achieves 20 screens per million population, the Southern region should reach 5,500 screens,” the report added.
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It highlighted that if there is a concerted effort by the production teams involved, growth is a possibility, similar to how Team Hombale achieved with their films KGF 2 and Kantara and Team S.S. Rajamouli achieved with RRR. “When the market opportunity is available only for top actor’s big-budget films, a nativity-based, medium-budget film Kantara showed way for everyone that if there is strong content (even if it is nativity based), it can achieve a breakthrough and bring in massive revenues from across the country,” the report added.