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The Road to Box Office Hell? (Dec 14th Weekend)

December 8, 2012

Please don’t be offended by the title of my blog post. One of the Hollywood Box Office Blogs I regularly read in MovieCityNews (MCN) is the “The Road to Box Office Hell?”.. I always wanted to write a similar one for Kollywood.. Dec 14th weekend seems to an apt one with 3 biggies Sivaji3D, NEP and Kumki vying for the Box Office glory..

1. Sivaji3D

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AVM is releasing Sivaji3D on Superstar’s birthday 12.12.12. Two things that are different this time: 1.Its not a new movie. 2. Because it is in 3D, the number of screens in Tamil Nadu are restricted to 100+ compared to 500+ for a new #Superstar 2D movie. But it is still a Superstar movie. No one else dare to release their movie on the same weekend. Ask Yash Raj Films who released Jhoom Barabar Jhoom on June 15th 2007 the same day as Sivaji’s release despite repeated calls from Bangalore and AP distributors who begged YRF not release JBJ. Sivaji thrashed JBJ on all the markets where it went head to head from North America to Middle East to India (South & Many cities in Rest of India) to Asia-Pac.

Sivaji3D will do well with all the age groups.  (I know — Its like saying Sun will rise from the East.) In particular Families with Kids will prefer Sivaji3D over NEP or Kumki. Since the number of screens releasing Sivaji3D are limited, those who can’t get tix have to wait or watch NEP or Kumki. After the press show on Saturday evening, Sivaji3D buzz went sky high in the Social Media. AVM has already started the press campaign. Once the promos hit the TV, Sivaji3D‘s buzz will reach sky high.

In Chennai city and suburbs, Sivaji3D is releasing in 12-14 multiplexes and 6-8 single screens. (One sad news  – Albert Theater in Chennai’s Egmore which is a Temple for Thalaivar fans will not screen Sivaji3D since it is not equipped to screen a 3D movie. Instead, it will screen NEP.)

Once the Wednesday morning shows are over, the WOM (Word Of Mouth) will spread like wild-fire about the 3D experience and all hell will break loose at the Box Office including  repeated audience only Thalaivar can guarantee. Filling 100+ screens instead of the usual 500+ all over TN is a cake walk for Superstar. Somewhere in R.S. Infotainment/ Photon Kathas and Studio Green/Tirupathisamy pictures offices, they are thanking God for that small mercy.

2. NEP

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I have hardly seen girls excited about any movie – of-course the exceptions being Sharukh or Ranbir’s movies. If there is one Tamil movie that is on Girls’ must watch list from Chennai to Chicago for 2012 – then it is NEP.

After VTV which was a phenomenal success at the BO all over, everyone expects Dir GVM to deliver one more VTV. Mastero Ilayaraja is making a comeback with Dir GVM. It is an understatement to say the music is a huge hit. Jiiva, Chennai’s own gal – Samantha (who has recovered from her illness and has lot of sympathy for her) and the comedy super star Santhanam are added attractions to NEP.

Abhirami Ramanthan is releasing NEP in Chennai city in 13 multiplexes/theaters. AGS Entertainment is releasing in Chengalpattu area in about 11 mutliplexes/theaters. The final screen count will be higher depending on how many screens will play NEP in the multiplexes.

Just for comparison, For ThuppakkiGlobal One Media Entertainment through Abhirami Megamall has saturated (literally carpet bombed) Chennai city with 28+ screens excluding the suburbs. Aascar Fims has gone even one step higher releasing Thuppakki in 50+ screens in Chengalpattu area including Chennai Suburbs.

The school, college going and educated youth will lap NEP big time all over Tamil Nadu. Dir GVM’s romantic musical has become a Franchise in Tamil Nadu. So expect a hurricane like start at the Box Office.

3. Kumki

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Of all the 3 movies, Kumki is the underdog going into Dec 14th. But let’s all remember it was Dir Prabhu Solomon‘s Mynaa which opened as an underdog on Diwal 2010 when it took Dhanush’s Uthamaputhiran, Mirchi Shiva’s VA Quarter Cutting and Arjun’s Vallakottai and emerged as a Giant Killer at the Box Office. But Times are different now. Sivaji is a proven hit. NEP has all the right things going on for it.

Lot of people are expecting another emotional romantic drama from Dir Prabhu Solomon after Mynaa. Thanks to Music Dir Iman’s brilliant work, the Kumki songs are chart-busters. Vikram Prabhu – 3rd generation from the First Family of Tamil Actors — Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji — has a lot of goodwill among the people Tamil Nadu which will be a plus. Also Lakshmi Menon who debuted in Sundarapandiaan was appreciated well. She has picked up a good fan following with just one movie.

While Kumki should do well with all segments of the audience, the semi-urban, rural, those who are non-College educated and working in various trades will prefer Kumki for repeated viewing in the long run.

Movie buffs will watch all the 3 movies. The general public who might see 1 or 2 movies per month have to choose wisely. They will have a tough time choosing between Sivaji3D Vs. NEP Vs. Kumki. At the end, all the 3 movies are expected to do well at the BO. It’s the question of who comes out as the winner on the opening weekend and who sustains for the long run

My Final Prediction:

#1 Sivaji3D – 95% to 100% Occupancy (100+ Screens in TN)

#2 NEP – 90% to 100% Occupancy (250+ Screens in TN)

#3 Kumki – 80% to 100% Occupancy (200+ Screens in TN)

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