Petta vs Viswasam box office race proving tough to predict; Pongal holiday collections will be key

Sreedhar Pillai

Jan 14, 2019 16:31:23 IST

Superstar Rajinikanth’s Petta versus Thala Ajith’s Viswasam was billed as a classic confrontation at Tamil Nadu’s Pongal box-office. Both the films released on the same day, Thursday, 10 January, with first day first shows starting as early as 1 am in Chennai suburbs.

The early Pongal weekend collections clearly indicate that both films are hits. But the box-office pattern of collections is different. Viswasam leads in Tamil Nadu, but Petta is way ahead in Rest of India (ROI) and overseas markets.

Ajith in a still from Viswasam and Rajinikanth in a still from Petta. Twitter

Ajith in a still from Viswasam and Rajinikanth in a still from Petta. Twitter

In the semi-urban and rural areas in Tamil Nadu, Viswasam, a rural family entertainer, is ahead as it has more number of screens and prime shows. But in the urban areas of Tamil Nadu, mainly Chennai city and its suburbs in Chengalpet, Petta leads.

However, clear numbers have not been given by trade sources so far, as both films have big stars and they do not want to create a fan war.

Rakesh Gowthaman of Vettri Theatres in Chrompet, a suburb of Chennai, said: “After four days it’s evident that both Petta and Viswasam are super hits, and the whole industry is happy about this. Instead of dissecting which film is a bigger hit, let audiences watch both and enjoy Pongal holidays. We do not want any fan fights on who is bigger.”

In Chennai city, where collections are totally computerised, Petta has grossed Rs 4.81 Crore approximately while Viswasam has grossed Rs 3.83 Cr, playing in lesser number of screens and shows. In many semi-urban and rural areas it is a different story, with Viswasam having more shows and screens.

The final collections will be known at the end of 10-day Pongal festival and both films are likely to get the same share from the Tamil Nadu box-office.

Meanwhile, as per trade sources, Petta has grossed a worldwide approximate of Rs 105 crores, while Viswasam has done roughly Rs 70-75 crores with bulk of its collection coming from Tamil Nadu. Viswasam has released only in Tamil, with Telugu version postponed to 25 January, due to lack of screens in Andhra and Telangana, because of the Sankranti Telugu releases.

In the case of Petta, it had three versions: Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Among the lot, it is the Tamil version that is doing well in the Rest of India and overseas markets. In USA, Petta has done $ 1.9 million (Rs 13.5 Cr) including Wednesday premiers. The three Telugu films and Viswasam put together does not come near Petta collections in USA. Rajinikanth’s last release 2.0 had collected $ 5.5 million.

Both Petta and Viswasam will make profits for its right holders in Tamil Nadu as the Pongal holiday season starts from today (14 Jan) to next Sunday. The maximum footfall in Tamil Nadu theatres are during Pongal holidays. No wonder both the films released on the same day and capitalised on the festivities.

Updated Date: Jan 14, 2019 16:31:23 IST