When Tamil superstar Rajnikanth’s son-in-law, Dhanush, sang Kolaveri Di for 3 and got millions of hits on YouTube, tinsel town mandarins predicted that the film would fly high. But it did not. Rather, as one daily said, after hitting a three, the movie went for a six. Only that unlike in cricket, this six was no royal roll high off the ground. It seemed like a ball that the bat could not connect.
3 began with a noon show which was packed in just about every theatre where the film was screened. Word of mouth in these days of mobile texting and social sites on the internet is quicker than you can finish saying 3. The very next show, according to reports from exhibitors, saw a 50% drop in patronage. Which declined dramatically as the day wore off. Now, one is told, 3 is running to empty theatres.
Here are two quotes from distributors. Arul Pathy, president of the Tamil Nadu Film Distributors’ Association, told the media that the movie generated all the hype with the song, but the film itself could not live up to that expectation.
Telugu movie producer and distributor Natti Kumar reportedly said that out of the Rs.
6 crores he spent on distribution rights and publicity, he had been able to recover only Rs.
Distributors have collectively lost Rs.
20 crores in Tamil Nadu and Rs.
2 crores in Karnataka.
The question now is, will Rajnikanth and Dhanush compensate for these losses. Rajnikanth had helped distributors at least on one occasion when his movie bombed at the boxoffice. It was Kuselan.
In an important way, 3 was a make or mar film for its director, Aishwarya, Dhanush’s wife. This was her debut attempt.
Now with Aishwarya (Rajnikanth’s elder daughter) tottering, her sister, Soundarya’s Kochadaiyaan (with Rajnikanth doing the lead in what is being touted as some kind of animated work in 3D) will be watched with great keenness. Will the movie move the Madrasi masses?