hitlist takes a look at the films that have dared to take on the legendary actor’s latest release
The makers of superstar Rajinikanth’s much anticipated film, Kochadaiiyaan, have now announced May 1 as the new release date for their film. This big budget film — it has cost approximately R125 crore to make — will release in seven different languages all over India.
Rajinikanth in Kochadaiiyaan
It is hardly surprising that no other South films are releasing on this day. However, interestingly, some Hindi films have already declared May 1 as their release date. Clearly, they are willing to take on the challenge of competing against the Thalaiva (it means boss in Tamil). hitlist spoke to a few industry insiders to get their take on whether these films can pass the box office test on May 1.
Tanuj Virvani, Izabelle Liete and Aditya Seal in Purani Jeans
So far, a total of three films — Indra Kumar’s Super Nani, Asshu Trikha’s Koyelaanchal, Akhilesh Jaiswal’s Mastram, and Tanushri Chattrji Bassu’s Purani Jeans — are likely to release on same day as it is a holiday weekend. It may be pointed out here that May 1 is celebrated as Maharashtra Day as well as Labour Day and it falls on Thursday this year.
Apart from these films, a Hollywood film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, will also release in India on May 1.
Shweta Kumar, Rekha and Sharman Joshi in Super Nani
A source points out that it’s surprising that Purani Jeans is clashing with Kochadaiiyaan, as they are both Eros productions. “It is bit odd for both of them to release them on the same day. It is likely that one of them will be pushed ahead.”
Trade expert Komal Nahata points out that Hindi films releasing on the same day as Rajini’s latest film will find it tough to do well at the BO. “After Robot’s resounding success, Rajinikanth’s star power has risen multifold across India and not just in the South. I am sure some filmmakers will change their release dates, as it is not advisable to clash with such a big film. But some of them will end up releasing their films as there are hardly any free weekends available now and they will invariably eat into each other’s business,” he says.
Rajkumar Rao and Patralekha in Citylights
Anand Vishal, head of operation-sales, Fun Cinemas, says, “In some pockets of Mumbai, Rajini’s film will do well and we will factor this in while alloting screens. For example, in Matunga and some other Western suburbs, it will definitely do well. So we will give the film more screens in those areas. But yes, it is true that distribution becomes a tough task for us if more than two films release on the same day.” However, he is quick to point out that he expects Mastram to do well. “Youngsters like to watch such films as they deal with bold subjects,” he says.
Suniel Shetty in Koyelaanchal
Director Sangeet Sivan, who has worked in both Bollywood and the South film industry, feels that Rajini is a like a God in the South, so it is understandable that no will consider a box office tussle with him. “However in Mumbai or elsewhere, I don’t think his films create a similar mass hysteria. All said and done, it is an animation film. I agree that Hindi cinemagoers will watch it, but it should have a limited impact on other films. My guess is that Hindi directors will be more concerned about cricket (IPL) than Rajini.”
Mukesh Bhatt’s film, Citylights, that is being directed by Hansal Mehta, was supposed to hit the screens on May 1. But the film’s release has now been pushed ahead and it will release on May 23. When asked if the reason behind this move was avoiding a clash with Rajini, Bhatt denied it. He said, “Our creative team decided to delay the film’s release ten days ago. The film is not complete as of now, and we don’t want to hurry it.”
He also emphasised that with people having different tastes, all kinds of films can afford to release on the same day.
“One has to keep in mind that some films can’t avoid a clash as there are no free weekends available,” Bhatt said.
Tara-Alisha Berry and Vinod Nahardih in Mastram
Director Asshu Trikha offers a similar explanation for changing the release date of his film, Koyelaanchal. He says, “I am releasing my film on May 9 instead of May 1 and this decision was taken long ago. I didn’t know anything about the release date of Rajinikanth’s film back then.”
Producer Sunil Bohra, whose film Mastram is also slated to release on May 1, says, “I am not shifting the release date of my film. I think we have a different set of audience, so there is no harm in releasing the film on same day.”
Their confidence notwithstanding, how these films will actually fare remains to be seen.