Fans of actor Kamal Haasan became ecstatic after the much-awaited and hyped multilingual flick Vishwaroopam finally hit the silver screen on Tuesday afternoon. However, occupancy at most cinema theatres was not optimum for matinee show due to lack of information about the film’s release.
HD Gangaraju, the film’s sole distributor in the state, lost at least `80 lakh due to the delay in the release of the controversial film in 45 theatres across Karnataka. According to sources privy to film industry, Kamal might have incurred a loss of Rs30 crore to Rs40 crore due to the delay in screening the film.
Gangaraju said since the police ensured security for the screening of the film, no untoward incident was reported in theatres. “I met police commissioner BG Jyothiprakash Mirji who asked me to add a tag ‘all Muslims are not terrorists’ to the film’s title. I told him I had no objection to add the tag but it would be practically difficult since it is a digital production. I have also explained that nothing can be added to a film that was already got certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification,’’ he said.
Vishwaroopam was to hit the silver screen on January 25 but its screening was stopped due to Tamil Nadu government’s ban on it and a related case pending in the Madras high court.
Over the past 20 days, hard-core fans of Kamal were busy putting up banners and cutouts of their hero at Natraj and Urvashi theatres.
“Around 30 Kamal Haasan fans’ associations joined hands to decorate theatres that screened Vishwaroopam. We spent Rs5 lakh for garlands and cutouts at Natraj and Urvashi theatres. We are planning to perform milk abhishekam to a huge cutout of Kamal on Sunday. We will use 100 litres of milk for this purpose. We will be spending more money to put up more garlands,’’ said R Velu, president of Indian King Kamal Haasan Fans’ Welfare Association.
Coming down heavily on those responsible for the delay in the screening of Vishwaroopam, Velu said some vested interests worked against Kamal. “Our hero is known for his hard work and secular views. He knows only cinema and does not involve in politics and is never associated or identified with any political party,’’ Velu said.
Expressing happiness over the release of the movie, Nagaraj P, a student of HKES College, said the delay in screening the film upset him. “I was tense for the past two days. Now I am happy that I can watch my favourite star’s film today (Tuesday),’’he said adding that he had watched all previous films of Kamal without fail.
Ratnakar, manager of Nataraj theatre, said no tickets were sold for the past few days due to lack of clarity on the release of the film. “We continued screening of the Tamil film ‘Kanna, laddu thinna aasaiya’ until Tuesday morning. We issued tickets for Vishwaroopam for matinee on Tuesday. The total capacity of Natraj theatre is 1,121 seats and gross collection is Rs63,000 per show,’’ he said.
No tag to the title, says distributor
- HD Gangaraju, the film’s sole distributor in the state, was asked by the city police commissioner BG Jyothiprakash Mirji to add the tag ‘all Muslims are not terrorists’ to the film’s title.
- Gangaraju told him that although he had no objection to do this, there are practical difficulties since the film is a digital production.
- Also nothing can be added to film which has already got a certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification, he told Mirji.
Kamal fans to do milk ‘abhisheka’
- The 30-odd Kamal Hasaan fans’ associations in the city are planning to perform milk ‘abhisheka’ on the huge cutouts of the actor at Urvashi theatre on Sunday.
- The fans will use 100 litres of milk for the purpose.
- So far, they have spent Rs5 lakh for garlands and cutouts of Kamal at Natraj and Urvashi theatres.
- They are planning to spend more money to put up garlands.