Kaala advance booking picks up drastically due to controversies around release, round-the-clock news coverage

Sreedhar Pillai

Jun 06, 2018 17:46:13 IST

The controversies surrounding Rajinikanth’s Kaala and whether it will release in Karnataka or not has hyped up the film. Round the clock television news channel discussions on the film has improved its advance booking. After a dull start, advance booking has picked up for the weekend in Chennai and surrounding areas. The leading multiplex players in Chennai city, SPI Cinemas, said that they have sold nearly 1 lakh tickets in their properties, on the eve of the film’s release.

The Rajinikanth film got a clearance from the Karnataka High Court, who has asked the state government to provide security at theatres that wish to screen the film as it releases nationwide tomorrow (7 June). However, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said he will abide by the court ruling though he feels “the atmosphere is not conducive for the release of the film and it can cause unnecessary trouble” .

Rajinikanth in a still from Kaala

Rajinikanth in a still from Kaala

Kaala is facing stiff opposition from pro-Kannada groups who have threatened to stall the release of the film and want to stick to Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC)'s earlier decision to ban the film in the state. The KFCC and pro-Kannada elements are upset by the superstar's remarks on the Cauvery water row. The pro-Kannada parties held dharnas in front of a few multiplexes and also burnt posters of the film in Bengaluru.

On 6 June morning, just before taking off to Siliguri for the shoot of his upcoming film with Karthik Subbaraj, Rajinikanth told the media in Chennai, “I understand the situation that Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy is facing. This is not good for Karnataka. When the film is released around the world, the Karnataka ban would highlight the issue (Cauvery water dispute) in Kannada, asking them to allow the release of the movie." He also sent out a video in Kannada to KFCC telling them, “The Film Chambers is supposed to ensure that there's no problem for distributors. It is not right that the Karnataka Film Chamber demands Kaala ban”.

Meanwhile, Kaala Karnataka distribution has changed hands from Goldie Films to leading producer and distributor Kanakapura Srinivas. Srinivas is a veteran Kannada film producer and has good understanding of how the market functions in Karnataka. He had earlier distributed films like Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijjjaan, which also had problems with external fringe elements. He is confident that he will release Kaala on 7 June in atleast 100 screens in the state.

Kaala will premier tonight (6 June) in key overseas markets like USA and Dubai and it will open in India with usual early morning shows slotted at 4 am in Chennai suburban theatres. As Rakesh Gowthaman of Vettri theatre in Chrompet, a suburb of Chennai, said: “The controversies have been able to create some hype around Kaala. If the content of the film is better than the director Pa. Ranjith’s previous Rajinikanth film Kabali, it will take off with a flying start. Let us wait as we will know the results in a few hours.”

Updated Date: Jun 06, 2018 17:55:54 IST