CHENNAI: The long-standing tiff between actor Vijay and theatre owners over compensation for ‘Suraa’, which was a debacle at the box office, is likely to affect the theatrical prospects of Vijay’s new film ‘Kaavalan’. The Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association, with a membership of more than 900 theatres in the State, has issued a red card against the actor, thereby agreeing to boycott the film.
Since May 2010, theatre owners across the State have been demanding that actor Vijay, whose 50th film ‘Suraa’ bombed, compensate the theatre owners for a part of the losses they incurred because of the film. They contended that a loss of Rs 10 crore was caused by ‘Suraa’, and asked Vijay to refund 35 per cent of the amount.
Though the actor, in the presence of South Indian Film Artistes Association president Sarath Kumar, held discussions with theatre owners, no agreement was arrived at. “At the meeting, actor Vijay had said actors should not be responsible for the losses incurred in a film. As we have been unable to reach an amicable solution to the issue, theatre owners of the association will uphold the decision to boycott the film,” explained Sridhar, joint secretary, Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association.
While a minority of theatres of the association has still agreed to screen the film, most of the others are reluctant, he said. Also, the release of two other anticipated Tamil films ‘Aadukalam’ and ‘Siruthai’ this Pongal, has given theatre owners more freedom to not screen ‘Kaavalan’, he explained. Reluctance among theatre owners is believed to be the reason for ‘Kaavalan’, whose release was originally slated for December 17, to be postponed by a month.
Even now, industry sources say only about 70 theatres across the State have committed to screening the film, while for a normal Vijay film, the number would have been four times higher.
Rubbishing these remarks, Shakthi Chidambaram, who has bought the distribution rights for ‘Kaavalan’ at a reported Rs 42 crore, said the film would be released in 400 theatres across Tamil Nadu this Pongal.
Meanwhile the television rights of the film have been sold to Sun TV, and not Jaya TV as rumoured, he clarified.