Kaala: Less hype, but bookings usual

Rajinikanth's film Kaala is scheduled to be released worldwide on June 7. PTI file photo

There is no excitement in the air. Though only a couple of days left for Rajinikanth to storm into theatres across the globe through Kaala, the hype that is quintessential to superstar's movie is conspicuously missing this time.

No special flight promoting the movie, which is set the Mumbai slums, no screaming from the rooftop by fans that they have secured the flick's first- day first-show tickets and IT firms aren't giving a day's off for its Rajini-fan employees on Thursday.

While social media was abuzz with messages on the superstar when Kabali released in 2016, same cannot be said for Kaala since the latest movie is likely to have the seal of acclaimed filmmaker Pa Ranjith than that of Rajinikanth — which would have his own share of punch dialogues and his signature style.

Though many would connect the missing excitement with the latest political developments concerning Rajinikanth, industry sources attribute the reason to the Tamil-film world trying to be back on its feet after incurring several loses due to the month-long shut down of theatres due to differences between exhibitors and producers.

And surprisingly, tickets for the first day in several theatres outside Chennai were available on Monday evening— this was not the case earlier, especially with the superstar's last movie Kabali.

But, multiplexes and theatres in the city said they have been completely booked out.

“We haven't yet opened direct booking. We have an option called pre-booking that allows customers to reserve their seats and the demand is quite good. We continue to get the usual requests,” a senior member of the customer relations team at a leading multiplex in Chennai said.

Tirupur Subramanian, a leading film distributor, told DH that the hype could be missing outside Chennai since people might fear that tickets in the first week would be very high.

“We have been told (by the producer) that we need to sell tickets only at reasonable rates and should not overcharge. Once this message reaches the public, maybe we can see good bookings online and over the counter.

"In Coimbatore belt, we never sell beyond the prescribed rate. Since the release is on a weekday, which could also be a dampener. We expect the bookings to pick pace over the weekend,” Subramanian said.

Industry sources told DH that the actor himself took a conscious decision not to allow “too much hype” to be created around the movie keeping in mind the Kabali experience.

Though Kabali received rave reviews, the film did not do well at the box office.

“He realises that he is not just an actor now since he has announced that he will launch a political party. He wanted less hype so that the film speaks for itself,” a top industry source said.

The film is already facing problems in Karnataka with exhibitors deciding not to screen Kaala due to fear of outfits that have announced agitation in protest against Rajinikanth's statement on the sensitive Cauvery issue.

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Kaala: Less hype, but bookings usual

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