As North boils over Padmaavat, cinemas in South run packed

While parts of North India were up in arms against the release of Padmaavat, it’s been smooth sailing for the film in the South since its screening on Tuesday.

Published: 25th January 2018 07:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th January 2018 09:42 AM   |  A+A-

Police personnel guarding the premises of Aries Plex SL Cinemas where Padmaavat is screening in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday | Manu R Mavelil

By Express News Service

While parts of North India were up in arms against the release of Padmaavat, it’s been smooth sailing for the film in the South since its screening on Tuesday.

Given that the initial reviews have not highlighted any controversial content in the film, the peace doesn’t seem to be under any imminent threat.

Among the few theatres screening the film in Hyderabad is Sree Mayuri 70MM. A source in the theatre said policemen were deployed as a pre-emptive measure. “Word of mouth doesn’t indicate any concerns, and the film is running to packed houses,” he said.

ALSO READ: Padmaavat review- A visual treat sans a soul

The controversy perhaps may even have indirectly benefited the film. Ramkumar of Pan Cinemas Nucleus Hall in Kochi thinks so.

“Our premiere shows yesterday ran to a packed house. I think it’s on account of all the hype around it,” he said.

Rohini Silver Screens has one of 150 screens in Tamil Nadu — 24 in Chennai — that are playing Padmaavat. Nikilesh Surya, owner, said more than the controversy, the positive word of mouth has helped with bookings.

A firefighter tries to douse flames after Karni Sena activists torched a car during a demonstration against the release of the movie Padmaavat in Bhopal on Wednesday | pti

In Karnataka, the bandh played a dampener. (With inputs from Murali Krishna CH, Arunkumar Sekhar, Sharadhaa A, Meenakshy Menon)

BENGALURU: Padmaavat runs to packed houses on first day of release

While parts of the North seem up in arms against the release of Padmaavat, it’s been smooth sailing for the film in the South since its screening on Wednesday. Given that the initial reviews have not picked up any controversial content from the film, the peace doesn’t seem to be under any imminent threat.
Among the few theatres screening the film in Hyderabad is Sree Mayuri 70MM.

ALSO READ: Multiplex Association of India declines to screen Padmaavat in four states as violence escalates

A source from the theatre, under condition of anonymity, revealed that despite the calm surrounding the release, a few policemen were deployed as a preemptive measure.

“The word of mouth doesn’t indicate any concerns, and the film is running to packed houses,” he says. On the limited number of theatres that are screening the film, Uma Maheshwara Reddy, Manager of Vijetha 70MM, doesn’t think it has too much to do with the controversy surrounding the film.

“As far as we are concerned, one of last week’s releases, Balakrishna’s Jai Simha, is still running to packed houses. So, Asian Films, which has taken our theatre on lease, has decided against bringing in a new film like Padmaavat,” he explains.

ALSO READ: Protesters go on rampage in movie hall in Jammu

The controversy perhaps may even have indirectly benefitted the film. Ramkumar of Pan Cinemas Nucleus Hall in Kochi certainly thinks so. “Our premiere shows on Wednesday ran to a full house. I think it’s on account of all the hype around it,” he says. The Kerala distributors, Capital Cinemas, are planning to get the film released in 63 theatres in both 2D and 3D formats. In most malls in Kochi, Thrissur, and Thiruvananthapuram, advance bookings are going on in full swing.

Rohini Silver Screens has one of 150 screens in Tamil Nadu — 24 in Chennai — that are playing Padmaavat. Nikilesh Surya, owner of the multiplex, thinks that more than the controversy, the positive word of mouth, following the press screening that occurred on Wednesday, has helped with the bookings. The theatre which is playing the Tamil dubbed version registered close to 60 per cent occupancy.

SPI Cinemas is running at a slightly higher occupancy — 70 per cent. A spokesperson from the theatre denied that there was any concern over a potential law and order issue. Meanwhile, Jazz Cinemas is probably the biggest beneficiary, given that it ran to packed shows on Wednesday, and looks set to do so for the remainder of the week. The film, which is being released in both 3D and 2D, is said to be best enjoyed in the former format.

While Karnataka is observing a bandh on Thursday, the paid premieres went on peacefully on Wednesday evening. Advance booking for the film opened on Monday with tickets priced anywhere between `250 and `1,000. The bandh, however, has proved to be a dampener. A spokesperson of PVR Cinemas believes, for this reason, that the occupancy will pick up from Friday onwards.

It’s a sentiment also echoed by Vijay KR, manager of Sri Vinayaka Theatre. “I’m learning that the viewers so far have had only good things to say,” he says. “We didn’t run full on Wednesday but I imagine that’s because people expect the film to get released only on Thursday, which is a bandh. So, I expect that the weekend shows will do a lot better.” Nikhilesh of Rohini Silver Screens in Chennai is more optimistic. “I expect Padmaavat to emerge the big winner, this weekend,” he predicts.
(Contributions from Murali Krishna CH, Arunkumar Sekhar, Sharadhaa A, Meenakshy Menon)



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