Saaho vs Kaappan: Prabhas' film likely to clash with Suriya and Mohanlal's big budget action thriller on 30 August
South Indian trade experts an alternative release date for Suriya's Kaappaan now that Prabhas' Saaho has been moved to 30 August.
The big question being asked in the south Indian film trade is – Will Suriya’s Kaappaan clash with Prabhas-starrer Saaho on 30 August? Kaapaan had announced its release and blocked the 30 August weekend a few months ago. But suddenly Saaho, which had been slotted for the 15 August Independence Day extended weekend, got its release date pushed to 30 August, owing to delay in post-production VFX works.
Now the trade is alarmed that both these big-budget action-adventure entertainers are heading for a clash at the box office. Saaho has an edge as it is Prabhas’s next release after 2017 mega blockbuster Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which made him an all-India star. And it is slated for a wide release in Telugu, with dubbed versions in Tamil and Hindi releasing simultaneously on 30 August. Kaappaan, a multi-starrer with Suriya, Mohanlal, Arya, Samuthirakani, Boman Irani, and Sayyesha, will release on the same day in Tamil, along with a dubbed Telugu version.
A leading trade expert, Salim Mohammad, said, “If Saaho and Kaappaan in the action genre releases on the same day, the business for both the films will get divided in South India and overseas markets. Agree that Saaho, the bigger of the two movies, changed its release date and is now putting pressure on Kaappaan to shift its release date. It’s better for all concerned in the trade that both the biggies don’t clash at any cost.”
However, sources close to Lyca Productions, the producers of Kaappaan and one of the biggest production houses in India (producers of 2.0, and the forthcoming Darbar, starring Rajinikanth and Indian 2 of Kamal Haasan) say they are in no mood to shift their release date, which they announced earlier. As of now, they will stick to the original release date and take a final call by mid-August. The audio of Kaappaan was launched last week in style by Rajinikanth in the presence of all its stars at a grand function in Chennai.
The KV Anand-directed Kaappaan is in the final stages of post-production with music director Harris Jayaraj doing the re-recording. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) process will take place in the second week of August. The area-vise business of the film and its promotional campaign are expected to start shortly. It is a very important film for Suriya, as his last few films have not performed up to the expectation at the box office. He is depending a lot on this film, directed by his favourite KV Anand, to resurrect his mass-hero image among his legion of fans.
A lot is riding on Kaappaan, a multi-starrer in which Suriya plays a Special Police Group officer, who is in charge of the security of the prime minister, played by Mohanlal, who has a terrorist threat to his life. The film is directed by Anand, for whom it will be his third film with Suriya. Suriya, at the audio launch of the film, said, “Kaappaan has shaped out well and it is truly a terrific action thriller and the story will be relevant from villages to foreign cities. Yes the film is very important for me, and I’m sure it would be a racy entertainer.”
Meanwhile, the trade is getting jittery over the proposed clash and distributors want the Kaappaan release date to be shifted. They point out that Suriya has a good dubbing market in the Telugu states and it would be difficult for the producers of Kaappaan to get a high price if it clashes with Prabhas-starrer Saaho in his home turf. Similarly, in the lucrative overseas market, Saaho will get preference over all other films. Today, for an actor like Suriya, his outside Tamil Nadu market is as big as his home state. So it does not make sense to compete. It is better to shift and get a solo release date.
However, sources close to the producers say that they do not want to shift their release date from 30 August, as they are confident that Kaappaan will work for its target audiences. And it is a long weekend as Ganesh Chaturthi in Tamil Nadu is celebrated on 2 September, a perfect time for a big film release. And if they shift the release date, there is more competition in September and October during festival months. An interesting battle is brewing, and now the question is who will blink first and change the release date.
All images from YouTube.
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