Wednesday is not going to be your run-of-the-mill mid-week day. If Rajinikanth celebrating his 63rd birthday isn't enough, history will be created as Sivaji 3D releases, marking the first time that the two landmark occasions come together. Given the penchant for the Superstar's fans to make a big deal out of fancy dates and numbers — the fact that it's 12-12-12 has just added to the frenzy. The closest that a film has come to being released on his birthday was 26 years ago, when Padikkathavan released in November 1986.
Rather surprisingly, when City Express checked theatre websites on Tuesday, there wasn't the customary 'sold out' tag that accompanies a Rajini film release. "As this is only a 3D conversion of the thalaivar's movie in 2010, regular cinema fans will not come on Wednesday. But every loyal fan of his will be there on the first day first show to watch his movie on his birthday. I am glad I am alive to see this day," said Saidai G Ravi, who heads the Saidapet Rajinikanth Narpani Mandram. Being a weekday, and a day when plenty of people have opted to tie the knot and have children, has also worked against the pre-ticket sales of Sivaji.
All that aside, AVM's ambitious plan to re-release Sivaji in 3D has ensured that less than a tenth of the theatres in the state can actually screen the film. "There are only 63 screens across TN that can screen 3D films, but we have made efforts to try and equip another 50 theatres with the necessary projectors," said a representative of the studio, a week ago. Chennai is one of the larger centres with 17 theatres signing on the dotted line and buying the 3D blockbuster from Shankar.
Buzz or otherwise, theatres will be confident that the Rajini factor and the excitement of 3D will draw the crowds over the weekend and the upcoming Christmas holidays. "It looks really good and believe me I have really high standards," said Mithun D'Souza, a special effects expert based in Mumbai.