Made at a budget of Rs 200 cr, Kaala is Rajini’s lowest grosser in two decades.
The lukewarm reception of southern superstar Rajinikanth’s latest Tamil movie, Kaala, has dampened the spirit of his team, which is working round-the-clock for the grand launch of the actor’s political party in Tamil Nadu. The film, dubbed in Telugu and Hindi, is set to become Rajini’s lowest grosser in two decades.
If the trends at the box office continue, the superstar and his producers will have to refund the losses to the area-wise distributors who bought the film at whopping prices. The movie, made at a budget of around Rs 200 crore, hasn’t crossed the Rs 100 crore mark over the weekend that included Friday, 8 June and Saturday, 9 June. According to the distributors who had bought the movie in Hyderabad, Kaala’s collections in India have touched the Rs 80 crore mark only.
Trade analysts from Mumbai are optimistic of Kaala grossing a decent figure, but those from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are worried over the impact of the film’s poor show on his political career and his influence in next year’s Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu.
“We hadn’t expected such response to Kaala. Like in the case of Baba (another Rajini release), we may get some refund to make up for some of our losses if the movie fails. But our producers are more worried over the possible effect on Rajini’s political party in Tamil Nadu,” said a spokesman of Sri Venkateswara Creations, a Nizam area distributor of Kaala. The Nizam area covers entire Telangana including Hyderabad city and Venkateswara Creations is owned by a leading producer, Dil Raju. Raju is learnt to have bought Kaala at Rs 22 crore, but so far the movie has collected only Rs 10 crore in the Nizam area. Barring the first day first show, the movie is running at below 70% occupancy over the weekend.
Compare this with previous Rajini movies like Kabaali or Robot for which tickets were sold in black for Rs 1,000 each.
“This is the first time that there is not much demand for a Rajinikanth film and public is treating it as any other normal movie,” said Kishan, general manager at Prasad’s IMAX in Hyderabad.
The movie, directed by Tamil director Pa Ranjith, revolves around a Tamil gangster, Karikaalan (Rajini) in Mumbai’s Dharavi slums.
It goes on to show how this gangster turns a hero and takes on the powerful local baddie politician Hari Dada (Nana Patekar). Huma Querishi is the heroine. Ranjith earlier directed Rajini’s Kabaali where the Tamil origin gangster fights baddies of Malaysia.
Even in Tamil Nadu, the movie is going slow, as the weekend collections haven’t crossed Rs 35 crore and revenues from Karnataka are still to cross Rs 15 crore. The Hindi market share is around Rs 25 crore on the first two days.
Overseas, the response is better, with US collections crossing US$ 1.8 million and Australia collection pegged at US$ 1.9 million.