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NEW DELHI: Malayalam film Thallumaala starring Tovino Thomas and Kalyani Priyadarshan will release in cinemas on 12 August.

Thomas made his debut in 2012 with Malayalam film Prabhuvinte Makkal. His breakthrough roles were in the films ABCD (2013), 7th Day (2014) and Ennu Ninte Moideen (2015). In 2018, Thomas was cast in a major role in Maari 2 with Dhanush which was his Tamil debut.

Kerala is home to about 545 theatres, including single screens and multiplexes. The Malayalam film industry has been one of the worst affected by the covid-19 pandemic, with revenue losses in the state estimated at about 500 crore. Kerala releases roughly 100-120 movies in theatres. While several stars of the region such as Fahadh Faasil have found a ready audience on OTT (over-the-top) streaming platforms, many other films remain stuck, unable to find buyers with no clarity on whether they will find space in theatres that may not be able to accommodate and play the backlog of films that has accumulated.

Revival for the theatre industry seemed quite bleak with Malayalam cinema having developed a strong OTT streaming market during the pandemic even though it has always had a good theatrical presence, according to trade experts.

While many audiences have discovered the charm of Malayalam cinema on video streaming platforms, trade experts say these titles were primarily being snapped up by three major players—Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar. A film starring Fahadh Faasil or Mohanlal may be paid even close to 20 crore today, depending on the appeal of the content and an average Malayalam film, too, will be picked up for 4 crore to 5 crore, making good money for the producer.

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