Renowned actor Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam overcame threats from Muslim organisations and boycott by owners of ‘A’ class theatres to receive an enthusiastic response in multiplexes and other cinemas that released the controversial movie on Friday.
In Kochi, hundreds of fans watched the first show of the movie at Sridhar theatre. Even though it was not a full house mainly due to the confusion related to the release centres, the movie had a good opening going by the response of Suresh Shenoy, managing partner of Shenoy’s Cinemax group. “We could screen the movie despite demands by a splinter group who wanted us to cancel the screening,” he said.
The online tickets for the first and second shows were sold out even before the screening of the inaugural show was over in Sridhar. Fans of actor Kamal were happy to have watched the movie in an ‘A’ class theatre in the city despite a decision taken by the Kerala Film Exhibitors’ Federation (combine of ‘A’ class theatres in the State) not to screen the movie in protest against the actor’s decision to have a simultaneous release in ‘B’ and ‘C’ centres across the State.
Mr. Suresh had resigned from the federation after he developed differences with its leadership over the recent strike by ‘A’ class theatre owners demanding an increase in ticket charges.
Terming that the first-day response was huge for the movie, Sunil Choudhary, head of the ‘Q’ Cinemas at Gold Souk Grande mall at Vyttila, claimed that ‘Q’ was the only multiplex chain releasing Vishwaroopam in Kerala.
Meanwhile, P.V. Basheer Ahamed, president of the federation, reiterated the decision not to screen Vishwaroopam in ‘A’ class cinemas. “We had asked the actor not to go for a wide release, as it would have affected our collections. The actor had also decided that the movie will be released on the DTH platform after the first week of theatre release. This was unacceptable to us,” he said.
But the Kerala State Film Development Corporation seems happy, with the movie getting released in cinemas under the corporation.
Sabu Cherian, Chairman of the organisation, said that the matinee screening ran to full house in most of its theatres. “The initial feedback about the movie is also encouraging, with many praising its technical excellence,” he said.