Trade Winds Movies

It’s Vijay’s ‘Sarkar’ vs Suriya’s ‘NGK’ this Deepavali

The stage is set for a major clash this festival season

Looks like Deepavali this year will see a duel between two Superstar films vying for the lucrative festival season box office market. As of now, two films, Vijay’s AR Murugadoss-directed Sarkar and Suriya’s Selvaraghavan-directed NGK have officially confirmed a Deepavali release this year.

Ajith’s Viswasam was also touted to hit screens this year, but it now looks like it will be pushed to Pongal 2019, though there is no official confirmation yet from the producers.

There are also talks of Rajinikanth’s long-delayed Shankar film 2.0 springing a surprise but the film is likely to get a shot at either Vinayagar Chathurthi (September 13) or Deepavali, if the post production work gets completed by then.

However, Aamir Khan’s big-budget action period film Thugs Of Hindostan has announced a Diwali release on November 7. The film, produced by Yash Raj Films and directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, is also likely to have a Tamil dubbing, as Aamir’s last release Dangal and its Tamil version was a blockbuster in Tamil Nadu.

Avoiding a clash

But the trade is sceptical about which of the two or three films will finally hit the screens. As S Pictures Sreenivasan, the leading distributor and exhibitor in North and South Arcot says, “Ideally, a solo film like last year’s Mersal is what the trade is looking forward to. If there are multiple releases, the business to gets divided to a certain extent.”

It’s Vijay’s ‘Sarkar’ vs Suriya’s ‘NGK’ this Deepavali

Leading distributor and producer Mukesh Mehta says, “It is high time that the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) sit down and decide the release dates of big hero Tamil films from August (Independence Day) to January (Pongal). If it’s not planned properly, it is going to be chaos and a loss for all. Why can’t they streamline the release dates like in Bollywood and Tollywood?”

However, it looks certain that 2018 Diwali might pave the way for the release of two big ticket flicks – Sarkar and NGK, as they have strong producers in Kalanithi Maran and SR Prabhu.

And for a Tamil superstar, Deepavali is a very important festival release date and nobody will miss it even if there is heavy competition. Both the films are said to have “strong political themes”, which is the current flavour of Kollywood superstar-driven films.

The argument put forward by one of the producers is that festival dates for the next one year is going to be competitive, as so many big hero films are due.

If they back out due to competition, it will get tougher as half a dozen biggies are eyeing the next festival day, which is Pongal 2019. And they also point out that one of the reasons for the lukewarm response to Rajinikanth’s Kaala was its release date on June 7, a working day and a week when the schools had reopened.

Taking a cue from this, Kamal Haasan has blocked the Independence Day weekend for his long-delayed Vishwaroopam 2.

There is also a potential conflict on Vinayaga Chathurthi (September 13) day, as Dhanush’s Vada Chennai and Sivakarthikeyan’s Seema Raja are eyeing the same date along with Rajinikanth’s 2.0. A festival date for a big hero film is increasingly proving to be a must for the all-important opening and bringing in the family audiences.

Pick a side

Rakesh Gowthaman of Vettri Theatre in Chrompet points out: “Seven years back for Diwali on October 26, 2011, there was a clash between Vijay’s Velayudham and Suriya’s Ezham Arivu. At that time, I had given equal shows in big and small screen to both the films. Now if history repeats itself with Sarkar and NGK, I will give all shows in big screen to Sarkar and smaller screen to NGK.”

Theatre owners also pointed out the example of Vijay’s Jilla versus Ajith’s Veeram Pongal 2014 clash, which led to the business getting divided. But it is outside the State where the real battle for screens will take place. The overseas markets especially in USA can no longer afford a clash between two big Tamil stars.

Similar is the condition in Kerala, Karnataka and North Indian multiplexes. Meanwhile, the war on social media between the fans of the actors is getting intense with every story on these films getting major traction.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 4:17:02 PM |

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