Will Vishwaroopam and Kutti Puli spark a trend?


By Kaushik L M

Film-making is a process that involves a chain of activities and countless professionals who work day in and day out to ensure that the film makes it to theaters as planned on some Friday or the other. Friday is indeed the most important day for the film industry as new stars are born and existing ones can lose their hold on the market on this very day. A Friday release has been the tried and tested tradition in the industry since time immemorial and with the weekend following this day, it makes it all the more ideal.

When big festival holidays like Pongal, Eid, Diwali or the National Holidays like August 15 and January 26 come up, an exception is made and new films are released on these days irrespective of the day of the week. The holiday mood of the common man is taken into account and all festivals see a number of big ticket releases lined up, year after year.

Only very rarely does a film release on a normal day other than a Friday. The industry is very skeptical to try out a release on a Wednesday or a Thursday when there might be some sound logic to actually do so. More so when we have a big banner movie or one involving a mass matinee idol, the case for a pre-Friday release becomes all the more stronger.

Naturally a big star or a big banner movie will generate a huge opening based on the strength of the star’s fan following, the marketing push and the banner’s value in the minds of the audience. In such a case, the first day or two will invariably be close to a sell-out irrespective of whether it’s a Friday or not, as fans will have a craze for such films. And if the word of the mouth for the movie turns out to be good and the media gives fine critical feedback, the actual weekend holidays of Saturday and Sunday can turn out to be a huge money making exercise for the people involved with that film’s business. After this, commercial profitability is just a mere formality.

In the past few years, though we have had films such as Mankatha (Wednesday, August 31st 2011, Nanban (Thursday, January 12th 2012) and Thuppakki (Tuesday, November 13th 2012) release pre-Friday, these films either arrived on a major festival holiday or around a festival period. The merry celebratory mood among the masses was smartly exploited by the makers and they laughed all the way to the bank.

Kamal’s Vishwaroopam, on the other hand, after being plagued by a lot of pre-release issues in the state, finally released on a normal Thursday (Feb 7th 2013) in Tamil Nadu. It turned out to be a smart move as given the wave of support and humungous expectations for the movie, people were literally dying to see the movie and the extra one day before the first weekend swelled the collections considerably. After that, the word of mouth did the rest and the movie recently completed a 100 day run.

This week, we have Kutti Puli releasing on a Thursday and there is every reason that this extra one day will give the movie a huge push. The presence of Red Giant Movies’ big marketing muscle, the success of Sundarapandian with the same lead pair and the brand recall that Sasikumar has among mass family audiences will ensure that the film will have Housefull boards even on Thursday. And if the movie turns out to be a worthwhile exercise, we have another blockbuster in the making.

So, here’s to more pre-Friday releases particularly when we have a big star and a big banner to attract the audiences by the hordes. May Kutti Puli repeat the Vishwaroopam success streak and spark a new trend.



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