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Cinemas set for box office clash with big movies

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NEW DELHI : Cinemas are going to have a big box office test this week with the release of a major Hindi film, Gangubai Kathiawadi which comes up against two costly southern offers –Valimai (Tamil) and Bheemla Nayak (Telugu), the three together perhaps constituting a crucial step in the recovery of the company.

While single screens in the heart of Hindi are confident in the draw of Sanjay Leela Bhansali known for hits like Padmaavat and Bajirao Mastani, critics say Alia Bhatt’s star appears to be a more specialized and experimental film for mass audiences. It will also have to compete with Valimai which expects a huge draw for its Hindi dubbed version thanks to large-scale action in addition to the fact that it is likely to dominate most of South India, with first shows in Tamil Nadu and in Kerala already full.

Bheemla Nayakon the other hand, features Pawan Kalyan, one of the most popular faces of Telugu cinema whose latest film Vakeel Saab had the cash registers ringing just before the second wave of covid.

Trade experts estimate the number of opening days at more than rupees. 30 crore for both Valimai and Bheemla Nayak and about Rs. 6-7 crore for Gangubai Kathiawadi.

“We’re pinning high hopes on what’s shaping up to be a very strong week,” said Kamal Gianchandani, managing director of PVR Pictures Ltd. While Bhansali is known to audiences for his larger than life artistic cinema with his film likely to capitalize on the northern and western markets, the two southern films will dominate Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh-Telangana respectively, as well as a level playing field in Karnataka and Kerala.

The phenomenon of big movies releasing on the same day plays to the strength of exhibitors, Gianchandani said, as it gives people more reason to return to theaters and the counter-scheduling of movies helps support titles instead of snuggling up. gnaw at each other. business.

The Box Office India shopping website said Valimai recorded huge advance sales in Tamil Nadu, beating the Rs. 24 crore numbers of Rajinikanth’s Diwali outlet Annaatthe in major cities like Chennai, Madurai, Salem and Pondicherry. The affair of Gangubai Kathiawadion the other hand, will be carried by Maharashtra and Gujarat who have contributed well to the collections of the two big hits in Hindi language so far, Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi and the dubbed version of Allu Arjun Pushpa.

Both films are expected to reach over 2,000 screens. Independent exhibitor Vishek Chauhan, however, pointed out that Bhansali’s film may have limited appeal and only find favor with older, mature audiences. , alienating young people. Dramas, essentially, added Chauhan, are now better suited to streaming platforms. At his single-screen cinema in Bihar, Chauhan said there was three times the demand for Valimai which boasts of fast action, smooth stunts and lavish production scale.

Gangubaialso dubbed in Telugu, will have to rival that of Pawan Kalyan Bheemla Nayak, the latest version of which made around Rs. 37 crore on its first day last April. Additionally, states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are operating at 100% capacity unlike Delhi and Maharashtra where seats are still capped at 50%.

Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, cinemas at ticketing site BookMyShow, said early consumer feedback across the country has been favorable and promising, supported by strong content and pent-up consumer demand. “This eagerness was also reflected in the way shows were scheduled on screens, with theaters evenly spreading their shows across Gangubai Kathiawadi, Bheemla Nayak and Valimai through major Indian cinema chains. Building on the resounding success of Pushpa, these two upcoming films from the south will compete for pan-Indian attention,” Saksena said.

This weekend’s releases will continue to contribute to theaters’ upward growth trajectory with attendance expected to steadily increase over the coming weeks, in addition to heralding the start of a very busy and prolific movie season for 2022, he added.

“The three films are not in direct competition with each other. The good thing is that there is something for everyone and this should be a good test for the box office in this third cycle of recovery,” said Rajendar Singh Jyala, Programming Director at INOX Leisure Ltd.

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