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How Kandasamys: The Wedding marked a change in distribution

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Popular franchise, Kandasamys: The Wedding marked a change in its distribution, as it moved homes from Showmax to Netflix.

One of the most popular contemporary film franchises locally is the Kandasamys, having made its debut back in 2017 with Keeping Up With The Kandasamys. In the four years since the first installment, the franchise has produced two more films that are a part of the franchise, including Kandasamys: The Wedding and Trippin’ With The Kandasamys.

Kandasamys: The Wedding was pivotal in the longevity of the franchise as it marked a change in the distribution of the film, which arguably gave birth to Trippin’ With The Kandasamys. The availability of Kandasamys: The Wedding on Netflix South Africa (SA) was an indication that Netflix SA would be the new host of the franchise, which initially had movie theatre distribution.

Origins of the franchise

In 2016, the trailer for Keeping Up With The Kandasamys was revealed. The film was scheduled for a March 2017 distribution, with the months ahead of the premiere spent promoting the film. The premise of the first film was, “Love Thy Neighbour… But Don’t Get Caught! Shanti Naidoo and Jennifer Kandasamy are matriarchal rivals of neighbouring families, whose young adult children become romantically involved. And the last thing these two Chatsworth mothers need is to be related to one another!”

Leading the cast were Jailoshini Naidoo and Madhushan Singh, in the roles of Shanti Naidoo and Jennifer Kandasamy. Following the premiere of the film, it was an immediate box office success. Therefore, it came as no surprise when its director, Jaylan Moodley confirmed that the franchise was greenlit for a sequel, which was the making of 2018’s Kandasamys: The Wedding.

Kandasamys: The Wedding’s success and possibility of trilogy

In April 2018, Kandasamys; The Wedding made its movie theatre debut. The sequel was a continuation of the first film as the premise stated, “They’re back! Join the Naidoos and the Kandasamys for another fun, fabulous, and fantastic comedic romp as Jodi and Prashen try to plan their wedding, in the sequel to Keeping Up With The Kandasamys.”

Immediately after the premiere of the film, it was considered an overall success. This is as the film amassed a paying audience who went to go and watch the film. Three weeks following the film’s movie theatre release, it was reported to have already amassed over R10 million in revenue from ticket sales. The number was surprising, considering that the film was locally made and with a South African cast.

At the time of the second film’s success, when Moodley was asked about plans for a third instalment, he stated, “Right now we’re just finding some time to breathe. It’s been 18 months of nonstop work and right now we just want to take some time out and enjoy the cinema run. But if the fans demand a sequel, we would maybe sit back and say ‘we have to give them something else.”

Kandasamys: The Wedding finding Netflix home and significance

Considering that the tailend of 2019 was the beginning of global news on COVID-19, which eventually became a global pandemic, the decision of quarantining affected everything, including film projects. Moreover, with movie theatres being closed, production houses looked to paid subscription, on-demand platforms to fund the production of their films.

Showmax, which has both Keeping Up With The Kandasamys and Kandasamys: The Wedding, at the time did not produce original films. The platform functioned as a platform for past contemporary South Africa films. Therefore, despite the popularity of the Kandasamys franchise, Showmax was unlikely to produce the third instalment.

Therefore, when the availability of The Wedding was shared between Showmax and Netflix, it marked the beginning of the indication that there might be a revival of the franchise. True to form, in 2021, four years after the sequel, Showmax announced the third instalment of the franchise, Trippin With The Kandasamys.

The premise thereof was stipulated as, “The two besties have their own plans for this trip, specifically focusing on spicing up their marriages, but surprise, surprise, things don’t work out as they would’ve hoped (thanks Elvis and Preggy!) and an unexpected guest brings about turmoil and quick thinking on the women’s part.”

Following the release of the film in June 2021, it had a resounding success on the platform. Moreover, the placement on Netflix garnered the film international coverage, with publications like the Hollywood Insider covering the premiere of the film. Again, the third instalment was a commercial success. However, on the matter of whether there will be a fourth instalment of the franchise, no word has been shared yet.

Sabelo Makhubo
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