The master of ‘Thalapathi’ Vijay, who hits the screens tomorrow, has only one big objective to help its makers get back their investment. It is expected to bring the crowd back to theaters.
“Master is a massive first, a potential blockbuster film to be released after the lockout. I think if this film does really well, a lot of producers will be encouraged to release their big films. So at some stage , The entire entertainment industry of this country is good to master and to heat the engines of the industry, ”said film exhibitor Akshay Rathi.
Film distributor Tirupur Subramaniam is also expecting a great response as the Master is coming on a festival (Pongal) and has a large star cast.
And if advance booking happens at all, the master is ready for a very good start. Earlier this week, hundreds of young Vijay fans watched Pandemic and thrilled theaters in Chennai to buy Master’s tickets. Footage from various theaters shows that there was no social disturbance, many did not even wear masks, and there was zero fear of the virus. The only fear is that they will be returning home without a ticket.
– Lokesh (@LokeshJey) 10 January 2021
“Since we are only selling half the tickets, we are all booked till Sunday,” said Rakesh, who manages the Vetri Theater in Crompet, Chennai. However, he knows that he should not raise his expectations based on the die-hard fans’ eagerness to welcome the master to theaters. Once the initial crowd subsides, the family audience will come in. So the sale of the master next Monday will help trade experts decide whether the film has rekindled public interest to visit cinema halls.
People will appreciate a good film no matter what
Rakesh’s stated caution was contrary to his conviction that if the film is good, the audience will come to the theater even during the epidemic. And film trade pundits across the country share similar sentiments.
“Now, fears about the virus are waning, virus spread is slowing down and vaccination is coming.” And if you give them (people) good material, they will come to theaters. There is no tradition of watching movies in theaters. Said producer and film trade analyst Girish Johar.
Master will open around 900 screens in Tamil Nadu alone. And the film is set to give Vijay its biggest opening in other parts of the country as well. In Kerala, about 80 percent of the 600 screens will master screens. And the film has got a good share of screen in Karnataka and Telugu states despite some competition (Ravi Teja’s Crack, Ram Pothineni’s Red).
“The response to the advance booking has been exceptional. There are demands for additional shows. This will be the biggest opening for Vijay in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The collection will be massive in the first four days, and all distributors will make a profit in no time, ”Prof Vamsi Kaka of Master (Telugu) told indianexress.com.
Vamsi’s predictions about the master’s unprecedented box office performance were based on the success of Solo Brathuke So Better, with Sai Dharam Tej in the lead role. “It was the first major film in Telugu which was released during the epidemic. It was released on 25 December and completed its theatrical run with a total collection of Rs 20 crore.
And victory in Telugu states is now a big deal. His last three films – Marsal, Sarkar and Bigil – were big hits there. Vamsi believes Vijay’s rising spirits and excitement about the film made by the teaser and the subsequent promos are enough to pull people to theaters.
Not enough publicity to reply
But trade experts in North Indian markets feel that Master’s publicity team did not do enough to create awareness about the film among the public.
The Hindi dubbed version of Master can do well if it comes to the mouth in the coming days. But, business pundits feel that this will not be a big start due to lack of publicity in North India.
He said, ‘The problem here is that the producers are releasing the film in theaters with 50 percent capacity. And they don’t want to spend much (on advertising). As an audience / viewer, I think he should have given good publicity to the film, ”said Nitin Dattar, President of Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India.
He said, ‘He has done half-job. Otherwise, it could work wonders, ”he said.
Film exhibitor Akshay Rathi agrees that the makers of Master should have done a better job to reach the masses in North India. However, he is also optimistic that the reputation and familiarity Vijay Sethupathi enjoys with North Indian filmmakers is for scavenging.
“Some of Vijay Sethupathi’s films like Vikram Vedha and others with their dubbed Hindi versions have done really well on satellite and OTT platforms. This ensures that there is a degree of familiarity with the North Indian audience. With regard to Vijay, I think this was before it was sufficiently exposed to the North Indian audience. And I am sure they will start to find the same love and frenzy in Tamil Nadu across the country, which Akshay said.
He said that despite the lack of strong publicity, advance booking in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities has been very encouraging.
About 50 percent of the total screen in North India has reopened after lockdown. 80 percent of which will be master screens from January 14.