Chennai,Dec 20 (TruthDive): ‘Lingaa’ film distributor in Chromepet (a suburb near here) is besieged by theatre owners. Not to thank him for giving them a film that is filling their theatres. They want a refund of the advance they paid.
As one week is over, theatres from the third day saw a huge dip in collections. Now, they say that hardly 200 tickets are sold in a day. Mannan Films Thahir bought the distribution rights for Rs 14 crore. He sold the theatrical rights to theatres with a 70% advance of the price agreed upon.
Theatre owners say that they will not recover even 25% of the money they paid. Thahir is waiting to see what Vendhar Movies who bought the distribution rights for the State from Eros International is going to do. Eros picked up the rights from Rockline Venkatesh. Eros who had burnt a hole with Koachadaaiyaan made it up by palming it off to Vendhar for Rs 170 crores.
Corporate houses and multiplexes paid full price and bought Lingaa theatrical rights from Vendhar. Trichy, Chengalpattu and Chennai South theatres refused to pay 70% advance and finally after a lesser percentage it was given. Neither the theatre owners nor Vendhar movies gave out any figures but trade analysts prodded by some corporates and multiplexes announced the film entering 100 crore club in three days and added it to the various milestones of Rajinikanth’s career. Critics of mainstream media who usually take potshots at illogical movies applied a different yardstick. They termed it as paisa vasool.
Trouble started when the netizens started reviewing it. Social media and blogs tore the movie to pieces. Flaws in the narration cropped up. A book that Rajinikanth is shown reading in pre-independence era was published post independence. A scene that is a straight lift from a hit Hollywood film and the climax were all butt of jokes. Finally nine scenes were edited out.
Director Ravikumar says that there is repeat audience for Lingaa. The director questions the rationale behind ridiculing the hero flying off a cliff on a bike or landing on a hot air balloon. Won’t a Superman do it, asks the director.
Reports across the State say that except in Chennai, situation in theatres where Lingaa is screened are pathetic. Timing of the release is another factor. Releasing it on Rajinikanth’s birthday might have created joy to fans but it was the time that mid year exams are starting. Secondly, there is no State holiday for a Rajinikanth birthday and should have waited for Pongal, say distributors. Lingaa will not linger much in the minds of die-hard fans is the verdict.