CHENNAI: Two years after the country was enveloped in the Baahubali craze, a similar phenomenon seems to be unfolding. Avengers: Endgame, the 22nd film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe marks the end of 12 years of story-telling and world-building. Expectations are sky high, and exhibitors, wary of the craze for tickets for last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, opened bookings on Sunday as against the usual Tuesdays for new movies. Tickets sold out in a flash, with ticketing portal BookMyShow selling a record one million tickets in just over a day. Compare that to the record set by Infinity War last year — it sold a million tickets too, but reached that number only a day before the release.
Reuban, owner of GK Cinemas, which has emerged as one of Chennai’s popular theatres thanks to its early morning shows, said the opening for Endgame is comparable to what they saw during the release of Viswasam and Petta. “The pressure is unprecedented. We are running 8-10 shows per day, nearly double that of Infinity War. We have only had this kind of opening weekend twice this year — one during the Viswasam/Petta weekend and the other for Kanchana 3. And the demand for Monday and Tuesday too is considerable, so we expect this film to have a run.”
BookMyShow’s spokesperson said there are nearly 2000+ shows over the weekend across 60 theatres throughout Tamil Nadu as of now, and all of these are sold out on the first day. “The weekend shows are 90 per cent sold out and you can already see the occupancy for the next few weekdays at close to 50-60 per cent. IMAX shows are the first to get sold out followed by 3D shows.”
The film is releasing in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu in the country. Last year, Infinity War got 200 screens in Tamil Nadu. But this year the number for Endgame is much higher. Tirupur Subramaniam, the President of Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association (TNTMOA), said, “Endgame is releasing in close to 400 screens in TN, of which around 250 are 3D-enabled.
Tamil-dubbed versions alone will be playing in close to 200 screens.” Infinity War collected close to Rs 300 crores in India last summer. Tirupur Subramaniam believes its too early to put a number on Endgame, but he sees this as a definite 10-day run a la Viswasam and Petta.