Superstar Rajnikanth’s 100th Tamil film Sivaji has created history in Malaysia. Despite glitches and violence that marred its premiere on Saturday, its opening day collections broke all previous records, an official of the Pyramid Saimira theatre chain, distributing the movie, said on Sunday.
S Vel Paari, chief executive of the chain, said Sivaji on its opening day raked in 560,000 ringgit (Rs 60 lakh). “Yes, we are surprised since there were technical glitches on Thursday and only 40 of the 53 theatres were able to screen it,” he said. Vel Paari said the film broke the previous record of 350,000 ringgit set by Jeans in 1997, featuring Prasanth and Aishwarya Rai.
Sivaji was released simultaneously in India and Malaysia but was delayed by a few hours at local theatres and cancelled at others due to technical problems. This angered fans who turned violent and set a theatre on fire. Such violence is rare in Malaysia.
About 10 per cent of Malaysia’s 26 million population are ethnic Indians, mainly Tamils and South Indian movies are quite popular with them. In central Selangor, northern Perak and Penang states, the police were called in to control the violence. Vel Paari said there was overwhelming demand for tickets in all theatres across the country.
But Bollywood director Sharad Sharan, who is currently making Malay language movies in collaboration with Malaysia’s Astro-Shaw, said he was disappointed to see that the film had no sub-titles either in English or in Bahasa, the local language.
Most foreign language films released in Malaysia have sub-titles in both these languages.