CHENNAI: With Kaala set for release on Thursday, social media has been abuzz with reports that ticket sales for the Rajinikanth-Pa Ranjith venture has been lukewarm. Unlike the duo’s previous outing Kabali, which was released in over 4000 screens, Kaala is being released in 2000-2500 screens, 600 of which are in Tamil Nadu and about 1000 in North India. Theatre owners broadly agree that the advance bookings, while good, have not been as good as expected for a Rajini film. This is being attributed to the low-key promotions, Rajini’s political career, and the release date, even as theatre owners express cautious optimism in bookings improving.
“The Kaala trailer is subtle unlike Kabali, which was overhyped and backfired spectacularly. I would say that the bookings are really good for an ordinary film, but considering this is a Rajini sir film, the bookings are nowhere close to Kabali or Endhiran. Kaala has received only 50 per cent of the bookings of those films. I strongly feel the audience is waiting for the reviews,” said Rakesh of Vetri Theatre, who also believes that the Rajini-Ranjith combo didn’t go well with the audience. He adds that Rajini’s political entry may have fractured his fan base.
Nikilesh Surya, owner of Rohini cinemas, believes that the release date is to blame for lower than expected advance bookings. “The film would have gotten a much better opening if it had been released during the summer holidays as initially planned. We are expecting a 70-80 per cent occupancy on the weekends. Kabali had massive advanced bookings and the tickets for the weekend were sold out days ahead of release,” he said. Tirupur Subramaniam, who is distributing the film in Coimbatore, is optimistic about the film’s success. “We didn’t get a lot of repeat audiences for Kabali, but we are sure Kaala will get repeat audiences as is usually the case witha Rajini film,” he said.
Ambedkar, Che ‘pose’ with rajini
Tiruchy: Promotional posters for Rajinikanth starrer Kaala featuring BR Ambedkar and Che Guevara have evoked laughter among the public and activists, who point out the actor-politician’s recent remark that protests would turn Tamil Nadu into a graveyard. Though there are many posters with politically charged slogans and the superstar’s stylish pictures, a certain 20-foot-long poster is turning more heads as it features the Dalit icon and the Argentine Marxist revolutionary. Ariyamangalam M Jagadeeshwaran, whose team of Rajini fans pasted the posters, sought to explain, “Kaala is about revolution by the oppressed. So it reflects the stance of Ambedkar and Che. That is why we put their images.”