Trade Winds Cinema

It’s Kodi versus Kaashmora, this Deepavali


The only Indian festival celebrated uniformly by two of the biggest film industries – Bollywood and Kollywood – is Diwali, or Deepavali as it is spelled down south. Traditionally, the maximum number of superstar-driven films is released during this period. Next Friday would see two Hindi and two Tamil films releasing worldwide for the festival-of-lights weekend.

This year in Kollywood, it would be a straight clash between Dhanush’s mass-masala entertainer Kodi and Karthi’s fantasy-horror-thriller Kaashmora. In Bollywood, Karan Johar’s multi-starrer Aishwarya Rai-Ranbir Kapoor-Anushka Sharma romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is pitted against Ajay Devgn’s action-thriller Shivaay, which is directed and produced by the actor himself.

Let us take a look at Kollywood’s Deepavali releases. A month back, five films – Kaashmora, Kodi, Kaththi Sandai, Kadavul Irukaan Kumaru and Saithan – had announced that they would release on the festival day. However, the trade was clear that they could accommodate only two big films and give it a proper release. Finally, Dhanush’s Kodi and Karthi’s Kaashmora, which had stronger distributors, prevailed over the others. Two comparatively small films – Kadalai and the all-women film Thiraikku Varaadha Kadhai – are also being advertised as Deepavali releases. A leading Tamil film financier and distributor said: “Finally, good sense has prevailed as far as Tamil Deepavali releases are concerned. Today, when films are released wide, there is space for only two big festival releases. There is also pressure from Hindi big films in the 3 Cs – Chennai, Chengalpet and Coimbatore – for the multiplex screens. And to add to our woes, this year Deepavali is falling on a Saturday (October 29), which means no extra holiday; virtually, it is going to be just another weekend. Remo became such a big hit only because of the 5-day Pooja and Muhuram holidays.” And this year, the Tamil film trade is breaking tradition by releasing both Kodi and Kaashmora, a day before Deepavali, on Friday (October 28). Veteran producer P L Thenappan remarked: “Normally, Tamil films release only on the festival day, especially for Deepavali, as the previous day people would be out shopping. Now that people have migrated to online shopping via Amazon and Flipkart, it really doesn’t matter. And with the festival day this year falling on a Saturday, it makes sense to release it on Friday to get that all important three-day opening.”

The significance of a festival release is that there is always an extra 5 to 10 per cent more collection at the box-office. The B and C markets in rural Tamil Nadu come alive during this time, which ensures the success of a film released during this period. Both the Deepavali films will have overseas premières on Thursday night, but the India release will be only on Friday.

P Madan of Escape Artists Motion Pictures,one of the producers of Kodi, who is making it along with Vetrimaaran’s Grass Root Film Company, said: “I’m very confident that Kodi, a typical mass entertainer with a rural touch, will work, as it’s ideal for the festival. Dhanush has given an extraordinary performance, and along with its twist and turns, it will keep you hooked. All areas have been snapped by my regular distributors, and I’m sure that by the end of the first week, the film will be profitable for the buyers.” Kodi has been censored with a U certificate, has running time of 2 hours 20 minutes, and is eligible for tax exemption.

SR Prabhu of Dream Warrior Pictures, explained: “Our Kaashmora is a big-budget multi-genre action thriller, which will release in over 1500 screens in Tamil and Telugu. We have spent a bomb on the production and special effects. After seeing the first copy and the way Karthi has worked in the three different roles along with Nayantara, I can say it is going to be a pucca mass entertainer. The market leader Sri Thenandal Films is distributing it in Tamil Nadu and PVP Cinema is doing it in AP and Telangana.” Kaashmora has been certified UA, and has running time of 2 hours 38 minutes.

Meanwhile, Bollywood is going to be lit up this Diwali, as Karan Johar’s multi-starrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) takes on Ajay Devgn’s action-adventure Shivaay. The presence of Fawad Khan, and the resulting ‘ban Pakistani artist controversy’ plaguing ADHM, have made it the hottest film in the ‘Pre-book tickets’ category in Chennai multiplexes, among all language Diwali releases. The film is likely to have a smooth release in Chennai. SPI Cinemas, who are distributing both the Hindi films in Tamil Nadu, are now trying to get enough screens. The two big Tamil releases between them have blocked nearly 1000 out of 1180-odd screens in Tamil Nadu.

Sunil Narvekar of SPI Cinemas said: “The major market for Hindi films in Tamil Nadu is the 3 Cs – Chennai, Chengalpet and Coimbatore. As of now, ADHM and Shivaay together may get around 100-120 screens in Tamil Nadu, as exhibitors prefer playing Tamil content for Deepavali. But due to the raging controversies surrounding ADHM, there is a craze for it.” It promises to be a cracker of Diwali at the Tamil Nadu box office.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 11:30:18 AM |

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