With the Kollywood box-office at an all-time low, all hopes are pinned on these two summer releases to rake in the moolah
First the bad news. The Tamil box-office is at an all-time low as none of the new releases have been able to bring in the audiences to the theatres. And with the exam season setting in, there is not going to be much improvement in footfalls in March unless the content is extraordinary. The first two months of 2020 have been comparatively quiet, with only Psycho and Oh My Kadavule turning out to be multiplex hits.
The good news is that all this might change come summer, when all hopes are pinned on Vijay’s Master and Suriya’s Soorarai Pottru to bring back the viewers. The buzz in the trade and among the fans is that both the biggies are likely to hit the screens on April 9 (Thursday) for the Easter, Vishu, and Tamil New Year weekend. It’s a perfect five-day holiday weekend and the beginning of summer, probably the best season to release films.
The big clash
Now, the big question is: will there be a confirmed face-off between Master and Soorarai Pottru, which are both eyeing the April 9 holiday weekend?A section of the trade believes that there is nothing wrong in it and feel that it will only make the box-office boom. They point out the success of same day double–header at the box-office: Rajinikanth’s Petta versus Ajith’s Viswasam for Pongal 2019 and Vijay’s Bigil clashing with Karthi’s Kaithi for Deepavali 2019. However, another section, mostly representing single screens, terms it a bad move and feel that the films will eat into each other’s collections.
But, the clash looks inevitable, as the shoot of both the films are over and post–production work is going on. As per sources, both films are racing towards getting their censor done by middle of March before officially confirming their release dates. The CBFC laws and regulations do not allow the producers to announce the release date before the issue of censor certificate: in fact, a Tamil biggie recently ran into trouble with censors after it was found that theatrical length of the film was shorter than the actual run time shown in the certificate!
At the ground level, distributors of both the films are trying to block the screens for an April 9 release. For Suriya, Soorarai Pottru is a crucial film; it will be his first April release, 11 years after blockbuster Ayan (April 3, 2009).
Sudha Kongara, the director of the film, says, “The first copy is getting ready and we should be ready for censor by mid-March. The film has heavy VFX and special effects as the story is set in late 90s and early 2000, when the Indian aviation opened up to private players, so we had to give that period look to runways and airports we shot. We feel it will be a perfect summer release as it will be an inspiring and emotional story of a common man (played by Suriya) in pursuit of his reams.” Rajsekar Pandian of 2D Entertainment, one of the producers of Soorarai Pottru, confirms that it is going to be an April release and adds that it would release in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada simultaneously.
Things are not very different at the Master camp; the producers had announced long ago that that it would be an Easter –Tamil New Year summer release. Vijay, after three successive Deepavali hits — Mersal (2017), Sarkar (2018) and Bigil (2019), is going back to an April release (his last big April release was the super hit Theri in 2016). A source close to the producers of Master says, “Everything is working to clockwork precision for an April release. We have wrapped up the film in 118 days and post–production work is in full swing. We will announce the release date after the censor in March.”
Exciting months ahead
If the end of March sees two biggies in other languages (Akshay Kumar’s Hindi flick Sooryavanshi and Mohanlal’s Malayalm film Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham) April will see more of them. Ranveer Singh’s 83 Movie, based on India’s historic cricket World Cup win in 1983, has a Tamil dubbed version and is slated for an April 10 release. And the biggest of them all is going to be James Bond Hollywood action entertainer No Time To Die hitting screens in India on April 2. Whichever way you look at it, April seems to be a packed month for movie-goers.
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