2019 has so far been a disappointing one for Tamil cinema. Of the 150-odd movies that hit the screens this year hardly half-a-dozen managed to recover costs. Ask producers they say piracy is a major reason, while a few say the rising cost of remuneration for actors is the biggest hurdle. Amidst such a scenario comes ad-hoc committee of the Tamil Film Producers Council holding discussions with State government on the possibility of fixing the salary of actors and directors based on the theatrical collections of their films.
Is this possible? When there are no ways and means to come out with accurate theatrical collections of a movie, it is certainly not a viable idea, say industry experts. But members of ad-hoc committee says that if ticket sales are computerised across theatres in Tamilnadu, it would become a reality. “Once the online ticketing process is set up, it will become easier for us to know the exact collections of a film as all ticket sales will be computerised. We are even going to install head count cameras (which capture the head shots of the audiences) inside the theatres to curb the practice of theatres selling a certain percentage tickets through online and selling the rest over the counter at a different price. This way, we will know the actual opening week and total collections of a star’s film,” they add.
However actors have blamed producers for the fiasco. “On many occasions, we were not paid what we were promised. Also it is they who approach an artiste and fix their salary. Once they agree to what we demand, they begin the project. Now to blames us is ridiculous,” a few actors say. The government cannot interfere in fixing a salary of an artiste. Can they do this for those working in private companies is the question doing rounds.