Madras High Court to hear on October 17, a plea for 4 a.m. special show of Vijay-starrer ‘Leo’

The producer of the film has also petitioned the court to allow the screening of five shows of the film from 7 a.m. onwards, between Oct 19 and 24; it said the T.N. government’s timings of 9 a.m. to 1.30 a.m. would not work, considering the length of the film and the breaks that needed to be taken between shows

October 16, 2023 02:50 pm | Updated 05:40 pm IST - CHENNAI

A poster of actor Vijay’s upcoming film, ‘Leo’

A poster of actor Vijay’s upcoming film, ‘Leo’ | Photo Credit: X / @Dir_Lokesh

Seven Screen Studios, the producer of actor Vijay’s film ‘Leo’, has approached the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to permit a special show of the movie at 4 a.m. on the day of its release on October 19. It has also insisted on permitting the screening of five shows of the movie from 7 a.m. onwards, between October 19 and 24.

Justice Anita Sumanth on Monday adjourned the hearing on the writ petition to Tuesday, October 17, 2023, since Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram sought time to verify whether a public interest litigation petition filed in the Madurai Bench, with regard to regulating movie shows, had been transferred to the principal seat of the High Court in Chennai.

Justice Sumanth said that if the PIL papers had already reached Chennai, then the present writ petition could be tagged along with it and posted before a Division Bench. Otherwise, she would take a call on the writ petition filed by Seven Screen Studios, the judge said, and asked the A-G to obtain instructions by Tuesday morning.

In his affidavit, K. Ramachandran, authorised signatory of Seven Screen Studios, said, such was the fan following of actor Vijay that just the Tamil trailer of the movie had reached a viewership of 51 million in 10 days on YouTube. In addition, the crew of the entire movie had raised lot of expectations from fans the world over.

Claiming that Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan’s latest movies ‘Pathan’ and ‘Jawan’ opened with six to seven shows in Mumbai and with six shows in Delhi, the petitioner said, the yardstick for the success of a film depends upon the collections that it makes on the opening day and hence it was important to have special shows.

Further, since the movie was slated to be released world over at 4 a.m. IST on October 19, it would only be fair to release it in Tamil Nadu too, the petitioner said and insisted on the government of Tamil Nadu permitting a 4 a.m. special show at least on the opening day.

Senior Counsel Srinath Sridevan, representing the petitioner, told the judge that generally, the State government permits only four shows a day in a cinema theatre between 9 a.m. and 1.30 a.m. However, on a request, it had permitted five shows a day for Leo between October 19 and 24, but had restricted the timings to between 9 a.m. and 1.30 a.m.

Mr. Sridevan said, it would be impossible to play a 2 hour, 43 minute-long movie with a mandatory 20-minute interval break and a 30-minute break between two shows (to clean the cinema halls), within 16 hours and 30 minutes. Taking into account the time taken for entry and exit of the audience, he said, it would require 18 hours and 45 minutes.

Therefore, he insisted on a direction to the State government to permit the five shows from 7 a.m. itself between October 19 and 24 instead of insisting that the first show should begin only at 9 am.

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