Saudi Arabia is all set to re-open its cinema halls from this March and if all goes according to the plan, Rajinikanth starrer 2.0 will be released here.
With theatres all set to open in Saudi Arabia in March – and with 2000 screens planned by 2030 – Tamil films may well add another lucrative feather to its cap – which now stretches far and wide in the Middle-East and South-east Asia. Countries like Singapore and Malaysia with a huge Tamil population (in fact one of the official languages there is Tamil) have been highly profitable for south Indian movies.
Raju Mahalingam, Creative Head of Lyca Productions, said: “The overall revenue for a big film production can increase by 30%. Since movies have now begun to open in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu in India, we hope to release them in all three languages in Saudi Arabia too. A new market in West Asia, where a substantial number of Tamil and Malayalees stay, will be a big boost for our movies”.
Vishal, actor and president of the Tamil Film Producers Council, averred: “West Asia is a huge market for the Tamil movie industry. Saudi Arabia opening its doors will surely lead to an increase in revenue. We are also planning to study how this market is and what kind of films we can show there. We can even co-ordinate with the movie and tourism boards to take our films there.”
Rajinikanth’s 2.0 is likely to be the first major south Indian movie to open in the Saudi Arabian market, and is likely to release in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
However, the producer of such hits like Kuttram Kadithal and Jyothika-starrer Magalir Mattum, Christy Siluvappan, sounded the first note of caution. “We don’t know what kind of restrictions will be placed on the films by the censors in the kingdom,”.