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Money Talkies: Politics Eclipses Kaala, Muddies Its Performance

Rajinikanth-starrer Kaala opened in Tamil across India, along with its Telugu and Hindi dubbed versions. Box Office India spoke to a few distributors to find about the film’s first day and how it would stand up to Race 3.

Debashish Dey, West Bengal distributor

Kaala has released partly in Kolkata and its surrounding suburbs. The collections of the film have been around Rs 3 lakh and occupancy in theatres is not much to talk about. Since Rajinikanth is not as popular in these parts and also the fact that movie released on an odd day of the week, the numbers are unimpressive. Advance booking for the film is also below-average. With Race 3 releasing next week, the movie will be further affected.

Sunil Bansal, Rajasthan distributor

It is surprising that a Rajinikanth-starrer has done so badly. We never expected the film to perform the way it has. Occupancy is also below the mark, at less than 20 per cent. It appears that the controversy surrounding the actor and the film not being publicised well may have affected it. The advance bookings are not much. And with the release of Race 3, Kaala will not be able to sustain at the box office.

B H Basha, Mysore distributor

There is a lot of protest and disturbance around the release of Kaala and so the film has not opened properly. It has released only in a few multiplexes and most single screens have not yet released the film. Though the reports about the film are good, there is not much clarity on its collections due to the problems. It will be Sunday by the time we can have proper numbers.  

Vinay Choksey, CI distributor

Rajinikanth is a big star in South India, but his movies do not have the same pull in this region. The Tamil version of Kaala has done better, but not the other versions. Even though the reviews of the film are satisfactory, the Hindi version is not expected to do better even in the coming week. Advance bookings for the film are not also that great.

Rajesh Thadani, Mumbai distributor

Kaala has not opened all that well and the numbers are not great. It should do around Rs 1 crore in the Northern belt, and Rs 30-35 lakh in my territory. The film should close at around Rs 5-6 crore. But it will do well in the South markets. With the release of Race 3 next week, the numbers will go down, but in the South, the film will sustain.

Balkrishna Shroff, Mumbai distributor

Kaala has opened well but I have not yet calculated what the weekend will be like for the film. With regard to the first week, it is too early to say anything right now. We need to see how things pan out over the weekend before talking about the first and second week of the film.

Gaurav Ruparel, Saurashtra distributor

The film has opened okay and occupancy is 60-70 per cent. Over the weekend, the film should collect around Rs 25 crore including the paid reviews. Since this is the northern belt, the film has released in all three versions – Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. In the South, the Tamil and Telugu versions are creating a lot of buzz. So of course it will do well there. But here too it will certainly do some business. But whatever has to happen, the film has only this week to have a shot at the box office. When Race 3 releases, Kaala will not be able to sustain as screens will not be available.  

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