Vijay’s 'Ghilli to Ajith’s 'Billa': Are Re-releases a Boon or a Bane for the Tamil Film Industry? | Exclusive

Re-releases have helped the Tamil film industry regain its mojo after a dry spell. However, they have also impacted new movies.

Vijay’s ‘Ghilli’ re-released in theatres on April 20, 20 years after it first hit the screens in 2004, and emerged as a blockbuster at the box office. The film grossed Rs 34 crore during its second run much to the delight of Thalapathy fans. Ajith’s ‘Billa’ and ‘Dheena’ were also re-released in theatres shortly after ‘Ghilli’ and made a decent impact at the box office. The positive response to these re-releases helped the Tamil film industry bounce back after a series of flops. However, this also affected the collection of new releases. So, is the over-dependence on re-releases a step in the right direction for Tamil cinema?

‘Ghilli to ‘Billa: Re-releases Help Theatres Regain Their Mojo

‘Ghilli’, which was re-released in theatres last month, emerged as a massive hit at the box office and marked the end of Tamil cinema’s woes. ‘Billa’ and ‘Dheen’a too found decent patronage when they re-released in theatres on Ajith’s birthday. According to Sreedhar Pillai, a trade analyst, re-releases are the need of the hour for the industry as most of the new films haven’t lived up to expectations at the box office.

“The trend is beneficial for the industry and is really working for them. Most of the re-releases of big star movies are doing well. Right now, most of the new releases are not doing well at all. So, these old films are hitting screens again and this is benefitting theatre owners,” he told News X.

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To put things in context, the Tamil film industry has had an uneventful 2024 so far. Most of the major films, barring ‘Captain Miller’ and ‘Aranmanai 4’, failed to meet expectations at the box office. To make matters worse, the likes of Vijay and Rajinikanth didn’t have a fresh release in the first half. ‘Ghilli’ proved to be a lifesaver for theatres owners under these circumstances.

Vijay’s ‘Ghilli’ Gave Competition to Vishal-led ‘Rathnam’

This overdependence on re-releases, however, has its drawbacks as well. According to tracker Ramesh Bala re-releases pose a threat to new films.

“The thing is that re-releases take the audience away from fresh movies. Moreover, audiences get a choice and this creates competition. So while theatre owners benefit, the producers of new films are affected,” he told News X.

In case you did not know, ‘Ghilli‘ affected the collections of Vishal and Hari’s Rathnam The actioner opened in theatres on April 26, a week after Vijay’s film, and received a mixed response from the audience.

The Tamil film industry is, meanwhile, set to continue its association with re-releases. Vijay’s ‘Villu’ is set to hit screens again in June on the occasion of the star’s 50th birthday. The action-comedy is a remake of Bobby Deol’s ‘Soldier’. Vijay fans have also expressed a desire to watch his yesteryear films such as ‘Saichen’, ‘Kushi’, and ‘Thuppaki’ on the big screen again.

This comes at a time when he is working on ‘GOAT’, directed by Venkat Prabhu. It is said to be a remake of the Hollywood film ‘Looper’ and will be released in October.