The Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday passed an interim stay on the release of the films Ennai Nokki Paayum Thotta and Sindhubaadh, in response a petition filed by Baahubali producer and Arka Media Works’ partner, Shobu Yaarlagadda, seeking unpaid dues from producers of these films.
The Baahubali films had made a huge profit, earning over 500 crore for its producers and distributors. Chennai-based P Madan of Escape Artists Motion Pictures and SN Rajarajan of K Productions had bought the distribution rights for Baahubali: The Conclusion, reportedly worth Rs 52 crore, in 2017. However, as per their agreement with Arka Media works, dues worth Rs 17.6 crores are yet to be settled.
In the order copy dated May 8, the court says that Ennai Nokki Paayum Thotta, co-produced by Madhan, and Sindhubaadh, produced by Rajarajan, cannot release till all dues are paid. The advocate for Arka Media Works, Pugitha G, told Silverscreen, “The matter has been posted after four weeks, which is the first week of June, after the court reopens. The movies cannot release pending the adjudication of the matter by the High Court.”
Director Gautham Vasudev Menon’s ENTP, starring Dhanush and Megha Akash in the lead, created a lot of buzz when it was first announced. The teaser for the film was out in 2016, and the film was supposed to release during Valentine’s 2017, and later during Diwali 2018, but was pushed to April 2019 after it got its clearance from the Censor Board. The film’s delays have been due to financial issues. In March, the South Indian Film Financiers Association (SIFAA) also decided to stop funding Gautham Menon’s films till he releases his pending projects – ENTP and Dhruva Natchathiram.
Despite the temporary stay, the makers of Sindhubaadh, meanwhile, are likely to release the film in second week of June, reports Times of India. The film’s lead actors, Anjali, who was last seen in Peranbu, and Vijay Sethupathi, who is fresh from the success of Super Deluxe, have a handful of films awaiting release currently. Director SU Arun Kumar’s Sindhubaadh went on floors in May 2018, and was scheduled for release on May 16, 2019.
Financial disputes, unsettled dues, last-minute clearances have been a hindrance to many Tamil film releases recently. This week alone, an important summer holiday weekend, four films, 100, Ayogya, Kee, and Neeya 2 were supposed to release. Atharvaa and Hansika Motwani-starrer 100 could not release due to the stay obtained by 70 MM Entertainment, seeking settlement of dues worth Rs 1 crore from MG Auraa, the producers of 100. Vishal and Raashi Khanna’s Ayogya could not release due to financial issues which are unknown as yet. As of now, bookings for Kee alone are open in the state, and the screen count for other language films like Maharshi, Student of the Year 2, Detective Pikachu have increased.
The director of 100, Sam Anton, and actor and Producers’ Council president Vishal took to Twitter to express their disappointment, saying that they have given their best to make these films.
Thanks for all the wonderful reviews for #100 .. me and my team have given our heart and soul for this film .. we r really sorry we cudn release our film in time .. sorry guys 100 won't release tomorrow ..
My job is done
Moving on to GURKHA 🙂
— sam anton (@samanton21) May 8, 2019
As I wait. For my hardwork called #ayogya to release. I did my best.more than an https://t.co/nThd9d438M always. I groomed my child since it came on my lap.BUT.not enuf??? #gajjnimohamed. My time will come. I continue my journey Gb pic.twitter.com/yjKHQitJ7O
— Vishal (@VishalKOfficial) May 9, 2019