Kaala ‘Ban’ in Karnataka Could Cost Theatre Owners Rs 25 Crore
The ban, called by pro-Kannada outfits was a direct result of Rajanikanth’s comments on the Cauvery issue.
Producers and makers of Kaala believe that a ban on the film, days before its release on 7 June, will cause heavy losses to the producers as well as the theatres.
According to a leading producer, “Producers will straightaway lose a net earning of Rs 7 to 10 crore and the loss of theatrical revenue will be around Rs 25 crore.”
Adding that 20 to 30 percent of the revenue for Tamil films come from neighboring states, the producer said that the ban on the film in Karnataka will affect this collection.
According to reports, Wunderbar Films, the producers of Kaala, have filed a case in the Karnataka High Court, seeking a direction to allow the release and provide security in theatres where the film is screened.
It is to be noted that the state government has not banned the film. Rather, it is the distributors and theatre owners who have backed out of it due to pressure from pro-Kannada outfits which have objected to Rajinikanth’s comments on the Cauvery issue.
Wunderbar has reportedly said that the film was made on a budget of Rs 140 crore and that the makers will suffer a gross loss of Rs 15-20 crore due to the ban.
Rajinikanth's last release Kabali took a massive opening in the state and released in about 250 screens. Shows for the first few days were sold out within hours of the booking opening.
Producer Sa Ra Govindu, who is also the president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, said that Rajinikanth was indeed a great artiste and his films in the past had run for more than a hundred days in Karnataka and there has always been a sufficient interest in his films in Bengaluru and other parts of the state. When asked about the present situation, he refused to comment.
I have nothing to say about banning of Kaala and I am not a person who deals with the money or numbers. You will have to ask multiplexes that, but his films are popular, well received in Karnataka and often run for weeks.Sa Ra Govindu, President, KFCC
Previously, Vishal, president of the Tamil Film Producers' Council had said that he would meet Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy regarding the Kaala ban. However, until now, no decision has been made to allow the film's release in the state.
(This article was first published on The News Minute and has been republished in an arrangement.)
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