Movies with big stars open to lukewarm response

Movies with big stars open to lukewarm response

Despite movies with three big stars hitting screens this week, no frenzied crowds are in sight. Why so underwhelming?

With three big films hitting the screen in two days, you would expect city cinemas to be packed.

While Rajnikanth’s ‘Darbar’ received a massive response on its first day as fans celebrated, a lull set in on the second day, Friday.

Evening shows still were not too bad, but earlier shows were not as full.

Cinepolis in Orion Avenue, Banaswadi, had close to 20 shows on the first day, all of them packed. The second day had only nine shows and the halls were largely empty in the morning.

“Fans take days off from their work and school on the first day. Not many do that for a second day show,” said the ticketing clerk, explaining this drop.

Many who watched Darbar on the second day were watching it a second time. Pradeep and his family walked out of Mukunda theatre, MS Nagar, with wide smiles. He had not get enough of Rajini on the first day and so had gone back to see the actor “rip off” the villains.

“This is his best film so far. He has put in so much work at this age; it was a wonderful performance,” he said.

Deepika Padukone’s ‘Chhapaak’ and Ajay Devgn’s  ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ did not enjoy the kind of first-day-first-show craze that ‘Darbar’ did.

“There were barely 15 people for Chhapaak on the first day,” said an employee at Cinepolis, Orion Avenue. Bookings opened on Friday but demand was lukewarm.

But early shows on the first day don’t generally indicate the fate of a movie; later shows were filling up fast.

And despite right-wing calls to boycott the film after Deepika’s presence at the JNU protests, many theatres were filling up for the evening shows.

‘Tanhaji’ on the other hand, seems to have generated the least interest. Both morning and evening shows have had thin audiences, with the first show in Cinepolis, Orion Avenue, being cancelled as there was not even a single booking.

Mukunda in Banaswadi has been screening only ‘Darbar’ since Thursday. When asked about the lack of big Rajinikanth cut outs, one of the employees said they were asked to remove it after the first day fearing conflict.

Activists had demanded a Kannada-dubbed version of ‘Darbar,’ but the producers have released the blockbuster, directed by A R Murgadoss, only in the original Tamil and a Hindi-dubbed version.

From all accounts, ‘Darbar’ seems to be on track to be the best performer this weekend.

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