Thala vs Thalapathy fan clash to come to a head on Pongal?

After nearly nine years, the reigning ‘mass’ stars of Tamil cinema will be clashing onscreen this Pongal, with Vijay’s Varisu and Ajith’s Thunivu both releasing on Wednesday.

Published: 11th January 2023 05:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2023 05:45 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: After nearly nine years, the reigning ‘mass’ stars of Tamil cinema will be clashing onscreen this Pongal, with Vijay’s Varisu and Ajith’s Thunivu both releasing on Wednesday. Family drama Varisu, directed by Vamshi Paidipally, and heist-thriller Thunivu, directed by H Vinoth, have both raised expectations among fans. The last time such a clash occurred Jilla vs Veeram in 2014 fans were left wanting more.

According to Ruban Mathivanan, managing director of GK Cinemas, “Such a clash might not happen again in the near future, and the hype is unreal.” He confirms bookings have been phenomenal. “It is such a neck-to-neck race. If Thunivu tops the booking charts one day, Varisu climbs up to sell more tickets the next day.”

While a same-day release is sure to scale up the promotional momentum, Ruban thinks the films would have benefited from a solo release. “These films are splitting the audience numbers with a same-day release on the same day. They could each lose around `15 crore in the process.”

Distributor Tirupur Subramaniam echoes the sentiment. Nikilesh Surya, the director of operations at Rohini Cinemas, provides a different perspective. “Back when (Ajith’s) Valimai released, they had the same amount of bookings and that was a solo release.” He explains how the hype around the Thunivu-Varisu clash reached unprecedented heights.

Putting aside whether a clash is necessary or not, Nikilesh believes a Pongal clash has become a necessity for both these films. “Both trailers failed to stir up excitement to a satisfactory level for the fans, so the hype for the films now largely rests upon the idea of a clash.”

Asked how screens are being split between both films, Nikilesh says. “Both are incredible stars, and the distribution for both films is being handled by Red Giant Movies, so we took a careful decision to provide a good balance.”

Probed about the nature of this mutual agreement, Nikilesh says, “It has been agreed the preference for the early shows is to be given to Thunivu and a higher number of shows will be added later for Varisu.”

Spl duel, no spl shows
The state denied permission for screening special shows at 4 am or 5 am for both films in all districts from January 13 to 16.  The order, issued by the Commissionerate of Revenue Administration and Disaster Management, stated that action will be taken against theatres that sell tickets and extract parking charges exceeding the rates fixed by the government


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