Protests cost 'Kaala' distributor

Protests cost 'Kaala' distributor

Picture for representation only

Protests by pro-Kannada activists that scuppered Kaala's grand opening on Thursday has hit the pocket of Kanakapura Srinivas, the movie's distributor in Karnataka.

Srinivas was aware of the risks, but he bought the movie's distribution in the state. It was supposed to have a grand opening across the state, but Kannada groups threw a spanner in the works by demanding the movie not be screened in the state following actor Rajinikanth's remarks on the Cauvery issue. After cancellations of shows at several screens on day one, Srinivas is said to have suffered Rs 5 crore in losses.

"I expected Kaala's box office collection in the state to cross Rs 5 crore on the opening day," Srinivas told DH. "The protests and uncertainties have left us with a huge loss. Rajinikanth's films are (usually) screened round-the-clock in single screen theatres and more than 15 shows (per day) in multiplex theatres. Box office collections would soar."

Though he refused to disclose the amount he paid to buy Kaala's distribution rights for the state, Srinivas admitted, "I paid a whopping sum."

"Rajinikanth's market is always high. I hope I can recover the loss in the coming days," he added.

The movie may be running without the threat of protests on Friday, but Srinivas rued the dent in day-one collections, which is huge for a big hero like Rajinikanth.

"First day is the D-Day for the box office. The movie reviews and threat of protests had a direct influence on the collections."

Srinivas said the movie collected a meagre Rs 30 lakh on day one in the state. "Rajinikanth's movies will have 200-250 screenings in multiplex theatres across the state on the release day, but this time, it is just 30 screens," he said. "While it was expected to be released in 150 single-screen theatres, it was eventually screened in five. So, you can imagine the extent of the loss."