How big is `Chandramukhi`?Part-2

Last Updated: Tue, May 03, 2005 10:04 hrs

How big a hit "Chandramukhi" is?- An in-depth analysis on the box-office report of the film in a three part series

Part 2

Let’s start with the most famous quote of Amitabh Bachchan which is relevant to Rajnikanth today. In an interview to the “Filmfare”, in 1975 after “Zanjeer”, “Don” and “Sholay”, the actor said: “To be a successful actor, in a commercial set up you need about 3 percent talent. The rest have to be made up by business sense, patience and luck. And the real problem is not to get there but to stay there”.

Rajnikanth has all the three qualities in abundance required to be a superstar- “business sense, patience and oodles of luck”,which helped in the marketing of Chandramukhi. He chooses his producers with care, does only one film in three years which creates the much needed media hype around his films.

All this percolates down to the common man who views his films as something extraordinary. Long before April 14 dawned, an ordinary man on the street had made up his mind to go and watch Chandramukhi at any cost. Initially, distributors were a little wary of the film but when they met the people at grass root level all of then said Baba was an aberration.

So taking courage into their hands little known distributors like Seenu and Balu of Cinepark theatres, Tirupur ventured into distribution by quoting and getting Chandramukhi for Coimbatore area at an astronomical price (rumoured to be Rs 2.5 Crore which includes cost of 24 prints). Later as Chandramukhi hype reached the crescendo, they were able to get nearly Rs 2.20 Crore as MG amount from 24 theatres in that area. And even if the film flopped they would have covered their Rs 30 Lakh difference by screening at 50 odd B and C centres in the area.

Today after Chandramukhi became a hit, trade analysts say that it will collect over Rs 3 Crore from Coimbatore area beating the previous record of Rs 2.45 Crore created by Padayappa. Chandramukhi’s enhanced ticket rates also helped the distributors to recover their money at a faster rate. Sanjay Wadhwa, the overseas distributor of Chandramukhi says: “The film is a sensational hit all over the world and everyone who did business with the film made money. I do not want to divulge any figures”.

According to industry grapevine, Chandramukhi should do business worth Rs 20 to Rs 22 Crore from Tamilnadu theatrical rights. It is beyond doubt that the film is a super hit as it was sold to distributors at Rs 16.5 Crore. The film is still going strong in Chennai city theatres, NSC, Coimbatore and Madurai areas. In Chennai city, it is poised to break the Padayappa record of Rs 1.45 Crore distributors share at the end of the third week.

Chandramukhi was such a big hit also due to the liberal attitude shown by State Government. Last year they had reduced entertainment tax from 25 to 15 percent the lowest in India. The crackdown on piracy has created fear psychosis among video lending libraries. Added to that political parties opposing Rajnikanth did not create any problems especially in Rajni core area like NSC. All these factors plus a weak opposition from films like Mumbai Xpress and Sachien made it easy for Chandramukhi to emerge the winner at the Tamilnadu box-office.

More to follow…