By Alokananda Chakraborty
Friday’s high decibel movie releases targeting the Navratri crowd proved to be a mixed bag for movie viewers. If Mani Ratnam’s dream project “Ponniyin Selvan – Part One” more than lived up to expectations, Hindi-language neo-noir action thriller Vikram Vedha proved to be a damp squib. Close to Rs 700 crore rides on the two this season.
As per trade reports, PS-1 — made with a ceiling-smashing Rs 500-crore budget and released on Friday in 5 Indian languages of Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada — beat the last big Tamil release Vikram (Tamil, released on June 3) day 1 with advance bookings of close to Rs 17 crore. Of PS-1’s day 1 total, Rs 14-crore-plus was logged by the Tamil version alone, followed by Telugu at Rs 1.84 crore. The Hindi and Malayalam versions failed to match up, but as an analyst puts it, “the northern markets gave it a start better than many Bollywood recent releases”.
Analysts expect the movie to log around Rs 25 crore (advance plus current) in home market Tamil Nadu on day 1, to become the third highest opening day grosser of 2022 in that market, after Beast and Valimai.
The biggest Tamil release of this year was Beast with day 1 advance sales of Rs 32 crore, followed by Valimai with day 1 advance sales of Rs 23 crore.
The worldwide day 1 collection of the Tamil flick is expected to be upwards of Rs 40 crore. That would be about Rs 120-150 crore in the opening weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday).
PS-1 was released on around 800 screens in Tamil Nadu alone plus 550 theatres in the two Telugu-speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The theatrical rights of the PS-1 had been sold at around Rs 10 crore in the Telugu states and the break-even target has been set at Rs 10.50 crore.
The second part of the two-part film will be released in mid-2023.
As for Vikram Vedha (budget Rs 1.75 crore), early indications showed had a fair opening at select multiplexes but overall occupancy remained low at around 15-20%. Some observers have compared the opening of VV at mass centres with that of Yash Raj Films’ 2022 Hindi-language period action film Shamshera, which had Vaani Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt in lead roles. But multiplex collections of VV are better especially in the East and South. What might also help is that VV has had a wider release than Shamshera which should lead to higher collections.
According to boxofficeindia.com, “The disappointment for the film (Vikram Vedha) are the collections from mass circuits and Navratri can be the reason for this in some some pockets but all mass circuits are low. This is basically as there is no music in the film and treatment seems to cater more towards the gentry.”