Trade Winds Movies

It’s ‘Thambi’ vs ‘Hero’ this Friday

Karthi in a still from ‘Thambi’

Karthi in a still from ‘Thambi’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


With Karthi and Sivakarthikeyan going up against each other this week, Kollywood’s trade circle is hoping to revive its business

Kollywood’s last big box-office battle for 2019 is here. Sivakarthikeyan’s Hero is clashing with Karthi’s Thambi this Friday for the Christmas weekend. Unlike the previous years, 2019 introduced a new trend in the industry, where two big movies get simultaneous release on a festival day. It happened for the first time when Rajinikanth’s Petta clashed with Ajith Kumar’s Viswasam on Pongal. Later, when Vijay’s Bigil released alongside Karthi’s Kaithi.

The Hero vs Thambi clash comes at a time when the Tamil Nadu market is at an all-time low post the Deepavali releases. Ruban Mathivanan of GK Cinemas, Porur, says, “After the phenomenal run of both Bigil and Kaithi, not a single Tamil film managed to rake in money — some of which couldn’t even survive the opening weekend. We are hoping that Hero and Thambi revive the market, even though Christmas season is not as big as Pongal or Deepavali.” Now, will the films turn out to be profitable ventures? The trade feels that both movies may work since Sivakarthikeyan’s Namma Veetu Pillai and Karthi’s Kaithi were super hits. A leading exhibitor and distributor says, “When two big movies clash on the same day, it stirs curiosity among audiences and creates an initial push.”

Sivakarthikeyan in ‘Hero’

Sivakarthikeyan in ‘Hero’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Going by the trailer for Hero, it looks like Sivakarthikeyan is playing a superhero who takes on the education system in Tamil Nadu. The PS Mithran-directed film has Abhay Deol playing a businessman, the antagonist, while Kalyani Priyadarshan plays a motivational speaker. Kotapadi J Rajesh of KJR Studios, who has bankrolled Hero, says: “The film also has Tamil sentiments and I’m confident about it since Sivakarthikeyan has a huge fan base among children and women. The movie has a ‘U’ certificate and is a fun entertainer.”

Thambi, on the other hand, is said to be a family thriller with a twist in the end. Karthi plays Jyothika’s sibling and a conman. Directed by Jeethu Joseph, it is targeted at family audiences. One of the interesting aspects of the movie is, it has been produced by Jyothika’s thambi Suraj Sadanah. Sources say that Suraj has already made table profits from distribution rights.

One question that is prevailing in the trade circle is whether Hero and Thambi have the potential to bring in the audience. Previously, superhero movies have received lukewarm response, but the makers of Hero are confident about the product. Likewise, Jeethu Joseph’s films post Drishyam have not worked big time. His Bollywood début, The Body, which released last week, has tanked at the box office. Since Karthi is someone who typically takes the less travelled path, his choices seem to have some acceptance.

The trade, meanwhile, is hoping that these two movies mint money at the box office and retain the shows till Darbar, which arrives on Pongal. That said, both Hero and Thambi will face stiff competition from Salman Khan’s Dabangg 3, a Tamil dubbed version of which is releasing here. Who will get the lion’s share will depend on quality.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 8:39:10 PM |

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