CHENNAI: Vijay-starrer Kaththi, the release of which remained uncertain till Tuesday afternoon, enjoyed a trouble-free release on Wednesday.
Unlike the attacks on SPI Cinemas and Woodlands Theatre the previous nights, not even stray incidents of violence were reported. Under a watchful police presence outside almost every one of the 445 screens it was released on, crowds flocked to catch shows from as early as 5 am. Most multiplexes cashed in and managed to wangle 6 shows, despite the movie’s run time of 2.46 hours.
Propped up by holiday fanfare and a lot of hype generated by the controversy, the film opened to “overwhelming” collections for the producers.
Though there were reports of the film raking in Rs 12.5 crore on release day in Tamil Nadu, which would put it past the earnings of Rajinikanth’s Endhiran in 2010 — these remained uncorroborated by producer K Karunamoorthy. Meanwhile, trade analysts used their machinations to estimate that the film has raked in an additional Rs 4 crore in Kerala and Karnataka and another `5 crore from overseas markets.
While these remain to be individually ratified, distributors from the US, France and Malaysia tweeted that this has been a record breaking opening for a Tamil film. MM Cinemas, which has released Kaththi on 105 screens across the USA have posted that the premiere show alone raked in over $1,45,000.
In the run-up to it’s release, Kaththi had been stalled by pro-Eelam groups who demanded that the producers name be removed. Only after Lyca Productions acceded to that were the decks cleared for the film’s release. However, Lyca’s CEO Subaskaran Allirajah was still listed as Producer in the ‘cut title’ version that released, but did not elicit any trouble from the protestors. Also, Gnanam, (a foundation run by Lyca) was used as a title card, in place of their logo.