Mersal: Vijay, Atlee's Diwali release crosses Rs 150 crore in pre-release business
Tamil superstar Vijay 'Ilayathalapathy' is all set to cast his charm over millions of followers across south India as his latest film Mersal is all set to release tomorrow on 18 October. His star power has already set the cash registers ringing and that is to stay. The film's pre-release business has so-far minted the makers a whopping Rs 150 crore-plus, reports the International Business Times (IBT).
The report explains that the Vijay-starrer has made a pre-release business of Rs 156 crore, as per Andhra Box Office, a well-known South Indian films' trade analysis organisation. Some industry experts already proclaim that Mersal will see a minimum 35 per cent growth in terms of pre-release business, in comparison to Vijay's recent movies including Theri (Rs 109 crore) and Puli (Rs 102 crore).
The film's release was hanging on the Animal Welfare Board of India's decision to pass the film with a no objection certificate, which the Vijay-starrer got on 16 October, reports The Indian Express.
With this, the film is all set to hit the screens this Diwali on 18 October. Another major roadblock for the film was the ongoing protests in the state regarding the extra entertainment tax on film tickets, in addition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
But many single screen theatres in the state have already started the advance booking for the film, that too with increased prices, reports The Hindu. The film will have a massive release, in approximately 3292 screens even surpassing Baahubali and SPYder.
"Most theatres have increased the ticket prices for Mersal. The tickets began selling fast even as the theatres kept opening their inventory," says Ramkumar Nammalvar, founder and CEO of the online ticketing platform, TicketNew, as per the report by The Hindu. At the same time, there are many theatres which decided to wait for the new entertainment tax rate (8 per cent) to become applicable officially.
Mersal's growth and business rates have taken the film and Vijay just next to Rajinikanth's Kabali and 2.0 which have both made Rs 200 crores in their respective pre-release business. Regardless of the fate of Vijay's previous films, the makers of Mersal had it pretty easy demanding high prices even before the film released.
A trade analyst told IBT, "Two factors have driven the distributors to quote high prices. Firstly, the success of Atlee-Vijay's previous film Theri and the second is that the Vijay-starrer is releasing on Diwali without any competition."
Mersal features Vijay in a triple role opposite Nithya Menen, Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Kajal Aggarwal. According to the hansindia.com report, The Telugu version of the film, Adirindi, also releases on the same date as the Tamil film — 18 October.