It seems that filmmakers are suffering from an acute case of Robot-phobia. With the Rs160-cr Rajinikanth starrer Robot slated for release this Friday, the makers of Mahesh Babu’s Khaleja and Junior NTR’s Brindavanam have postponed the release of their much-awaited films by a week.
Pushing back the release dates might actually be a good business move as all the multiplexes showing Robot are already housefull for the first five days and tickets were sold out within an hour online.
While no where near the mega budget of Robot, Mahesh Babu’s new release after a three-year hiatus was made with a budget of Rs 45 crore and Junior NTR’s Brindavanam cost a whopping Rs 30 crore.
Thota Kanna Rao, the distributor who bought the Telugu rights of Robot for Rs 27 crore, can’t stop mentioning the amount spent on making this movie at every promotional event. “Rajinikanth has universal appeal and the combo of him with A.R. Rahman and Shankar makes my investment safe. We are releasing it in 500 theatres. There were so many rumours of a lukewarm response but in eight hours, 50 theatres confirmed that they would screen the movie. There are enough reasons for it to be a blockbuster,” he says.
“We are distributing Robot in the Nizam area and learnt that tickets were sold out almost immediately for the first five days. Even if other movies release in the second week, we are sure collections won’t drop as the state government has declared Dussehra holidays from October 8,” says P. Srinivas Rao, general manager of Multidimension Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
Makers of Mahesh Babu’s Khaleja are, however, not so confident. The producers of this movie Singanamalai Ramesh and C. Kalyan, who burnt their fingers with the recent Pawan Kalyan-starrer Komaram Puli, are hoping that Khaleja will save them from further debts. Puli was made with a budget of Rs 40 crore and barely managed to collect Rs 15 crore. Industry sources say that the producers have even mortgaged their properties for Khaleja and are praying that it will be a hit that will bail them out.
Even the usually reclusive Mahesh Babu is aggressively marketed the film with whirlwind visits to radio stations, chatting with fans and tweeting with a vengeance.
“Ours is a big budget movie which will release in 500 theatres. We are banking on the movie for its story and hope audiences will help us break even. Recently, Puli bombed at the box office though it was Pawan Kalyan’s release after so many years. However, we are sure Khaleja will do better not because it is Mahesh’s release after years but because the movie itself is appealing,” says C. Kalyan.
Junior NTR’s Brindavanam too is releasing in the second week of October. The actor reportedly charged Rs 8 crore for the movie that also stars Kajal Agarwal and Samantha. With a budget of Rs 30 crore, most of which went in paying hefty fees to the actors, it will be a wonder if producer Dil Raju manages to break even especially taking into account that the movie’s audio and trailers have failed to evoke much interest. “Junior NTR will be seen by his fans in a new avatar in this movie. It is a blend of class and mass characters. All I hope is that it will be a hit for the actor in his career,” says Dil Raju, not dwelling further on finances.
But till Khaleja and Brindavanam releases, it is going to be Boom Boom Robot da Robot da… all the way.