New Delhi: Even as his blockbuster science fiction flick ‘2.0’ comfortably crosses its ₹ 510 crore budget, superstar Rajinikanth seems to have yet another hit in the making. His action film ‘Petta’ released for the festive Pongal weekend last Friday had made ₹ 35.50 crore at last count, even while competing with another action film, Ajith’s ‘Viswasam’ that made Rs. 33.50 crore.
“The early Pongal weekend trends show that the two releases—’Petta’ and ‘Viswasam’—are true hits, how big will be determined after (the) holiday season is over. In Tamil Nadu, ‘Viswasam’ leads while rest of India and overseas ‘Petta’ (is) ahead," tweeted independent trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai.
According to Pillai, by the end of the second day of their theatrical run in Tamil Nadu, ‘Petta’ was leading in urban areas and multiplexes while ‘Viswasam’ was ahead in semi-urban and rural areas dominated by single and double screens. Both films, however, can be classified as hits.
Ajith’s ‘Viswasam’, however, has not just been made at a lower budget but hasn’t received a release in Andhra Pradesh or dubbed in Hindi, unlike ‘Petta’. In their home territory Chennai, the Rajini and Ajith films grossed ₹ 4.81 crore and ₹ 3.83 crore, respectively.
However, according to trade website Box Office India, both films did eat into each other’s business as playing only in 400-500 cinemas each in Tamil Nadu, the box office collections suffered a 40-50% hit.
Further, ‘Petta’ has already grossed $1.5 million within three days in the US, taking its USA total to $1,640,973 (₹11.50 crore), all set to breach $2 million soon.
The clash of two big films in Tamil Nadu is still a rarity though. Pillai wrote in an article last week that the last time two such big-ticket films clashed at the box office was nearly 14 years back. April 14, 2005 saw Rajinikanth’s ‘Chandramukhi’ taking on Vijay’s ‘Sachein’. A day later, Kamal Haasan’s ‘Mumbai Express’ hit the screens. Years later, the Pongal of 2014 saw the Vijay versus Ajith confrontation when ‘Jilla’ clashed with ‘Veeram’.
In contrast, Bollywood has not just come to terms with box office clashes, Akshay Kumar’s ‘Gold’ took on John Abraham’s ‘Satyameva Jayate’ for Independence Day last year, there is also some understanding between most parties. Ranveer Singh-starrer ‘Simmba’ came a week after Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Zero’ last month, to avoid a division of screens.