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    Vijay-starrer 'Master' stirs box office; 25% shows houseful on Day 1

    Synopsis

    The film has also been receiving a phenomenal response from many cities.

    Agencies
    First big Indian film since lockdown, ‘Master’ is set to collect close to Rs 25 crore at box office on debut day.
    MUMBAI: Tamil superstar Vijay-starrer ‘Master’ has brought back crowds to cinema halls across the country, with almost one-fourth of the 3,500 screens going houseful on the first day of its release.

    Another 25% screens had less than 10 seats vacant.

    The film, which was finally released on Wednesday in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada - nine months after its original release date is expected to collect close to Rs 25 crore on the opening day at the box office.

    The Hindi dubbed version of the action thriller will be released on January 14th.

    As per industry pundits, releasing simultaneously in over 3,500 screens is a big feat given that less than 50% of total cinema screens have resumed operations and footfalls are capped at 50% of the capacity.

    “Master is undoubtedly the first big-ticket Indian release post lockdown,” said Ashish Saksena, COO – Cinemas at BookMyShow. The ticketing website alone has sold close to 1 million advance tickets for the film.

    “With several cinemas running housefull, we expect the opening day ticket sales to touch the 2 million mark on our platform,” he added. “The film’s initial performance is remarkable, especially given the occupancy restrictions across cinemas in the country. The advance ticket sales for Master have already reached 80% of the advance sales trends for Vijay’s last release ‘Bigil’ (2019) on BookMyShow, reiterating the potential that new films hold to bring back audiences to the silver screen.”

    Unsurprisingly, Chennai, home to Vijay’s hardcore fans, led the way in terms of audience interest for the film, with long queues of film buffs outside theatres.

    ‘Master’ has also been receiving a phenomenal response from other cities including Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Hyderabad, Salem, Trivandrum, Kochi, Tirupur and Mumbai, as per the multiplex chain executives.

    “Since the time lockdown has been lifted, the film industry is stuck in a chicken and egg situation, where filmmakers are waiting for audiences to return before releasing big films, while audiences want good content. The release of ‘Master’ has broken that vicious circle. It has proved that there is enough interest for good entertainers,” said a Mumbai-based trade analyst. “However, one has to realise that Tamilians have much larger affinity for their films and stars are like demigods. Not sure if an Akshay Kumar or Salman Khan film can replicate that kind of euphoria.”

    India’s largest multiplex chain PVR, which has 275 screens in the five southern states, had to send away many patrons as tickets were unavailable.

    “There is so much demand and eagerness to watch the film that it is impossible to get tickets,” said Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Cinemas. “We were expecting a good demand but the euphoria has exceeded all our expectations. Tickets are just not available in Tamil Nadu for the first five to six days and for other states for the next two to three days.”

    PVR has seen advance bookings now going for up to 5 days for the film. “Entire Indian film industry is looking at ‘Master’ very closely. A lot of filmmakers will now start announcing the release seeing the performance of ‘Master’. This will be a trigger event which will decide many events going forward,” Gianchandani added. “We see this as the beginning of the recovery process of cinemas in India.”

    Seeing the excitement around the movie, INOX Leisure, India’s second largest multiplex chain, has opened 100% of its screens in South India.

    “’Master’ has provided the much needed impetus to the industry. The performance of ‘Master’ and other new South Indian movies are expected to positively influence the release date announcements of other forthcoming movies,” said Rajesh Singh Jyala, chief programming officer, INOX Leisure.

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    2 Comments on this Story

    Pitchai Devarajan41 days ago
    Looks like there are typical Anti-Hindu scenes in Vijay Joseph movie
    Padmanaban Anandan47 days ago
    This is not right, almost everyone watching this in theaters are super spreading the virus. Many without masks. The makers and film distribution folks don't care.
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