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Onam to be dull; No superstar movies !

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Malayalees all around the world are in a festive mood as Onam is fast approaching. Shopping, visiting friends and relatives, floral decorations, grant onasadhya served in banana leaves with various dishes, curries, payasam and prathaman...! It is celebration all the way! Kerala is engulfed by a no-holds-barred festive spirit and Onam is hardly a few days away!

Like all other festivals, Onam also looks like a marketing hungama where everybody is prepared to use this season as the biggest opportunity to pull in the maximum revenue possible. Everything we attach to Onam is commercialized and Onam has a huge market today. Major Malayalam TV channels have already started their best efforts to meet the set targets.

It is said that the money that advertisers shell out for a period of 10 days is equal to the amount they normally spend during a three-month period. According to some sources, the total ad market for the Onam season is approximately valued at Rs. 150 million. Television grabs more than half of it, approximately Rs. 80 million.

Coming to movie releases, traditionally we expect the arrival of some of the best films from all top stars during this season, as Onam is considered one of the best seasons to release a Malayalam film. Unfortunately, superstars are not keen torelease at least a movie this year due to the coinciding of Ramzan days (September 2 to October 1 or 2) with the Onam season (From September 10 to 14).

In other words, no major star in Malayalam is ready to invest this year in Onam, this so-called biggest festival of Kerala, which will see poor collections in theatres, as people (mostly in Malabar) keep away from cinema as a part of their fasting in this season. Both Mammootty starrer Maya Bazaar and Mohanlal starrer Kurukshetra have been pushed to Perunal day either on October 1 (Ramzan) or 2 (Gandhi Jayanthi) or Dassera holidays (October 7 to 12).

In fact, Mammootty-Mohanlal fans, who love to watch movies of theirs favourite stars in theatres along with their families, are totally disappointed to have no releases in this Onam. Onam used to be the biggest feast for them in the theatres, but not this year!

The only relief is that Mollywood will have a few releases in this Onam from some secondline stars, who do not have too many marketing strategies to play. Two Prithviraj movies, Thalapavu directed by Madhupal and Thirakatha directed by Renjith, are releasing on the same day, September 12. The other major releases are Jayaram's Parthan Kanda Paralokam, Vinoo Mohan's Sultan, Robin Thirumala's Chembada and Sureshgopi's Thavalam. All are in the final touch-up stage to get into theatres for Onam.

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