Profit

Sun Pictures' future on shaky ground

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The success of Kaadhalil Vizhunden, the maiden film production venture of Sun Pictures, probably scripted the dream run of the broadcasting media conglomerate.

Started in 2008, the movie production and distribution arm of the Maran brothers has been a runaway success – a success steered by Kalanithi Maran ably assisted by COO, and a trusted right hand man Hansraj Saxena - a long time friend.

Backed by the might of the Sun TV network and political clout, movies of every topmost star of Kollywood – like Surya's 'Ayan' and Vijay's Vettaikaran and Sura, caught the fancy of the movie goers.

But it was Rajinikanth's Endhiran that catapulted the company both in terms of popularity and revenues making it the top production house in Tamil Nadu.

Owned by the listed entity Sun TV, Sun Pictures has until now distributed 18 movies and produced and distributed one movie.

The only movie produced and distributed by Sun Pictures, Rajinikanth's Endhiran, had revenues of Rs 179 crore in 2010-11.

In percentage terms, Sun Pictures contributed 11.5 per cent of Sun TV's FY 10-11 revenues.

The dream run though came to a screeching halt with this movie Engeyum Kadhal released on May 6, just a week before Jayalalithaa came back to power in Tamil Nadu. There has been no movie since from Sun Pictures.

Instead there have been a deluge of complaints against Sun Pictures ranging from cheating, criminal intimidation and arm-twisting. Be it actors, producers, directors or theatre owners the entire Kollywood is an angry community.

Now, Hansraj Saxena, who is in jail, faces complaints from as many as 15 complaints against him and the company.

The Tamil film community though is relieved that the stronghold is fading away.

“They have to pay for what they did. They were treating the whole Tamil film industry like their own,” said Sarath Kumar, Actor and Politician.

Analysts say it was to secure the TV broadcast rights FOR FILMS that Kalanithi wanted to establish the movie production company in 2008.

But as long as the DMK had its clout both in the state and centre, Sun TV had its way.

With a case of corruption on the one side, cheating and coercion on the other, it's a three year success story short-lived.

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