Sivakarthikeyan, Naga Chaitanya score career-best opening with Seema Raja, Shailaja Reddy Alludu
The four-day weekend of Ganesh Chaturthi turned out well for theatre owners as Seema Raja, Shailaja Reddy Alludu and U-Turn pulled in good numbers at the box office
The four-day festival weekend (13-16 September) of Ganesh Chaturthi turned out extremely well for theatre owners and distributors as Sivakarthikeyan's Seema Raja, Naga Chaitanya's Shailaja Reddy Alludu and Samantha's Tamil, Telugu bilingual U-Turn pulled in impressive numbers at the ticket window for both Kollywood and Tollywood.
However, the real test for all the three releases started from 17 September as the weekdays kicked off. While Shailaja Reddy Alludu and Seema Raja opened to lukewarm reception and mixed reviews respectively, U-Turn garnered unanimously good reviews from critics as well as the public.
Following the opening day debacle of Nayanthara's Imaikkaa Nodigal on 30 August due to a last-minute financial quagmire, Sivakarthikeyan's Seema Raja missed out on early morning shows scheduled across the state because of financial issues on 13 September. However, the makers of Seema Raja quickly resolved the problem and the KDM (Key Delivery Message) was issued to theatres worldwide at around 7.30 am.
Produced by RD Raja's 24 AM Studios, Seema Raja, which marks the third consecutive collaboration of Ponram and Sivakarthikeyan, has taken home earnings of Rs 27 crore from the extended four-day opening weekend in Tamil Nadu. The film, which was released in 550 screens in the state, also stars Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Simran in essential roles.
Seema Raja also topped the Chennai city box office for the weekend ending 16 September with a cumulative four-day total of Rs 3.03 cr (1.01+0.59+0.66+0.77). The project marks Sivakarthikeyan's first Rs 1 crore opening in the city and is now the sixth film to achieve the milestone, which was hitherto dominated by box office superstars like Rajinikanth, Vijay, and Ajith. Seema Raja is currently the sixth movie in Tamil to gross Rs 1 crore in its opening day in Chennai after Theri, Kabali, Vivegam, Mersal, and Kaala.
The consistent patronage of family audiences and kids for Seema Raja has once again substantiated the rising star power of Sivakarthikeyan and his ever-growing box office prowess in Tamil Nadu.
In the US, Seema Raja has earned $73.3K (Rs 53.24 lakh) from the opening weekend, including premieres. Karnataka is the second highest-grossing territory for the film with opening weekend earnings of Rs 2.23 crore from four days. Meanwhile, in Kerala, the movie has pulled in Rs 84 lakh from four days.
Among the overseas territories, Seema Raja has raked in the moolah in UAE-GCC with opening weekend numbers of Rs 2.76 crore from nearly 17,000 admissions. Malaysia, one of Sivakarthikeyan's strong offshore regions, accrued a weekend total of Rs 71 lakh from reported screens. The film has also earned Rs 40 lakh in the UK and Rs 30 lakh in Australia during the opening frame.
With a bevy of big films — Vikram's Saamy Square (21 September), Mani Ratnam's Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (27 September) and Vijay Sethupathi's 96 (4 October) — slated to hit the screens in Tamil for the next few weeks, Seema Raja will surely need to contend for screens from other distributors.
Samantha's U-Turn, which released in 200 screens in TN, has amassed a decent revenue of Rs 3.65 crore, thanks to a good word-of-mouth from the public and majorly positive reviews from critics. The film directed by Pawan Kumar was released by Dhananjayan's Creative Entertainers and Distributors (CED) in 200 screens in the state. Despite struggling to get screens because of the tough competition from Seema Raja, CED managed to showcase U-Turn in a lot of crucial money-spinning centers across various regions.
The Chennai city gross of the film is said to be Rs 57 lakh from the four days. The suspense thriller occupied the second position at the Chennai city box office for the weekend ending 16 September, followed by Nayanthara's Imaikkaa Nodigal, The Nun and The Predator at third, fourth, and fifth spots respectively. In Telugu states, U-Turn has earned nearly Rs 5 crore from the four-day opening weekend, with a share of Rs 3.1 crore.
Naga Chaitanya's family entertainer Shailaja Reddy Alludu has amassed Rs 25.4 crore from the four-day opening weekend worldwide, with a distributor share of Rs 14.3 crore. The film's theatrical rights were valued at Rs 24 crore, and it surely needs to pass the 'weekdays' test to sustain and emerge as a hit at the box office. Now, the stakeholders have recovered close to 60 percent of the cost of producing the film, worldwide. Since the movie was panned by critics unanimously, it's a reasonably good opening weekend for the film.
The opening day gross of Rs 11.5 crore is the biggest debut for Naga Chaitanya in his career. Directed by Maruthi, Shailaja Reddy Alludu was released in nearly 220 screens in the Telugu states.
Meanwhile, holdover hits such as Imaikkaa Nodigal and Geetha Govindam in Telugu and Tamil continue to score records in specific regions. Imaikkaa Nodigal headlined by Nayanthara is still running in 135 screens in Tamil Nadu despite new releases in Seema Raja and U-Turn. The film has crossed the Rs 5 crore mark in Chennai city with a cumulative total of Rs 5.02 crore after the third weekend. The Ajay Gnanamuthu directorial marks Nayanthara's second Rs 5 crore gross in the Chennai city after Kolamaavu Kokila, which has earned Rs 5.38 crore so far.
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