‘Thalapathy’ Vijay’s master coming on screens tomorrow has a bigger purpose than just helping its producers recover their investment. The crowd is expected to come back to the theaters.
“Master is the first potential large-scale blockbuster film to be released after the lockdown. I think if this movie does really well a lot of producers will be encouraged to get their big movies out. In a way, the whole entertainment industry of this country is geared towards the master doing well and heating the engines of the industry, ”said film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi.
The film distributor Tirupur Subramaniam also expects a great response, as Master comes out at a festival (Pongal) and has a huge cast.
And if the advance booking has not yet been completed, the master has got off to a very good start. Earlier this week, hundreds of young Vijay fans brave the pandemic and overcrowded theaters in Chennai to buy tickets for the master. The images from various theaters showed that there was no social distancing, many weren’t even wearing masks and there was no fear of the virus. The only fear they must have had would be to go home without the tickets.
– Lokesh (@LokeshJey) January 10, 2021
“Since we’re only selling half the tickets, we’re all booked until Sunday,” said Rakesh, who manages the Vettri theaters in Chennais Chromepet. However, he is well aware that he should raise his hopes not only because of the eagerness of die-hard fans to welcome the master to theaters. Once the initial rush subsides, the family audience will come in. The sale of the master next Monday will help trade experts decide whether or not this film has revived public interest in going to cinemas.
People will appreciate a good movie no matter what
Rakesh’s informed caution was contrasted with his belief that audiences will come to the theater even during the pandemic if the film is good. And film trade experts across the country share the same sentiment.
“Now the fear of the virus is decreasing, the spread of the virus is slowing down and the vaccination is coming. And if you give them ( socialmediagossips) good content, it will come to theaters. The tradition of watching films in theaters will not go away, ”said producer and film analyst Girish Johar.
The master is opened on nearly 900 screens in Tamil Nadu alone. And the film is set to give Vijay its biggest opening to date in other parts of the country. In Kerala, around 80 percent of the 600 or so screens will display the master. And, despite some competition (Ravi Tejas Krack, Ram Pothinenis Red), the film has also received a good percentage of screens in the states of Karnataka and Telugu.
“The response to booking in advance was exceptional. There are requirements for additional shows. It will be the largest opening for Vijay in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The collection will be huge in the first four days and all distributors will be making a profit in no time, ”Vamsi Kaka, PRO of Master (Telugu) told indianexress.com.
Vamsi’s predictions of Master’s phenomenal box office performance were based on the success of Solo Brathuke So Better, led by Sai Dharam Tej. “It was the first major Telugu movie to be released during the pandemic. It was released on December 25th and ended its theatrical run with a total raise of 20 rupees, ”he said.
And Vijay is a lot bigger business now in Telugu. His last three films – Mersal, Sarkar and Bigil – were big hits there. Vamsi believes Vijay’s growing fan base and excitement over the film created by the teaser and subsequent promos is enough to draw socialmediagossips to the theaters.
Not enough advertising in the north
However, the trade experts in the North Indian markets believe that Master’s advertising team has not done enough to raise public awareness of the film.
The Hindi dubbed version of the master can work well if it receives good word of mouth in the days to come. However, trade experts believe that there will not be a large opening in north India due to a lack of publicity.
“The problem here is that the producer releases the film in theaters with a capacity of 50 percent. And they don’t want to spend a lot (on advertising). As an exhibitor / audience, I think they should make the film well known, ”said Nitin Dattar, President of the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India.
“You did a half-hearted job. Otherwise it could have worked wonders, ”he added.
The film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi agrees that the makers of the master should better reach out to the public in northern India. However, he’s also optimistic that the reputation and familiarity Vijay Sethupathi enjoys with North Indian movie viewers would make up for the sloppy marketing.
“Some of Vijay Sethupathi’s films like Vikram Vedha and others have done very well with their dubbed Hindi versions on satellite and OTT platforms. This ensures that the North Indian audience will have some level of familiarity with him. Regarding Vijay, I think it was a matter of time before he was materially exposed to the North Indian audience. And I’m sure he will get the same level of love and hysteria that he gets in Tamil Nadu across the country, ”said Akshaye.
He noted that pre-booking in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities was very encouraging despite the lack of publicity.
About 50 percent of all screens in northern India were reopened after the lockdown. Of these, 80 percent of the screens will show the master from January 14th.