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The most tweeted about film in India on Twitter in 2020, 'Master' has declined plum offers from OTT platforms, preferring to wait for theatrical release.
The most tweeted about film in India on Twitter in 2020, 'Master' has declined plum offers from OTT platforms, preferring to wait for theatrical release.

Tamil film ‘Master’ garners a million advance ticket sales, may spur recovery

  • Master, which is dubbed in Hindi, Telugu and Kannada is likely to get opening weekend collections of around 20 crore, according to trade experts
  • Mater, which features Tamil superstar Vijay, could have the highest opening weekend collections beating Hollywood titles Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984

NEW DELHI: Tamil film 'Master', the first big-ticket local offering in Indian theatres post the covid-19 lockdown is setting the stage for box office recovery this Pongal. Ticketing site BookMyShow has notched up a million advance ticket sales for the film starring Vijay, 80% of his previous film 'Bigil'. 'Master', that is dubbed in Hindi, Telugu and Kannada is likely to get opening weekend collections of around 20 crore, according to trade experts, highest since cinemas reopened in October, beating Hollywood offerings 'Tenet' and 'Wonder Woman 1984'.

Given that theatre viewing is yet to fully return to normalcy, it is hard to predict lifetime collections of the film but it is sure to surpass the earnings of the two American films easily that have made 12.43 crore and 15.54 crore respectively so far, experts add.

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Though orders of the Tamil Nadu government to extend theatre occupancy to 100% have been revoked, Vijay’s fans have been breaking all social distancing norms queuing up outside theatres with many cities in Tamil Nadu reporting houseful boards for the first day and most shows sold out until Sunday. The most tweeted about film in India on Twitter in 2020, 'Master' has declined plum offers from OTT platforms, preferring to wait for theatrical release.

“Master is undoubtedly the first big-ticket Indian release post lockdown, with exceptional advance ticket sales trends on BookMyShow so far. Starring one of the most popular actors in the south, Vijay as the lead along with the mass appeal of the film, Master is sure to draw audiences in huge numbers across the south," Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, cinemas, BookMyShow said. Home to Vijay’s hardcore fans, Chennai is leading the way in terms of audience interest for the film, Saksena added. But given that it has been dubbed in other Indian languages, Master has also been receiving a positive response from cities such as Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Hyderabad, Salem, Trivandrum, Kochi, Tirupur and Mumbai.

Kapil Agarwal, joint managing director, UFO Moviez that is distributing the Hindi version of the film said big budget movies like Master will help pandemic-hit theatres get back on their feet and thrive. “Master has the potential to revive the fortunes of the ailing cinema industry and prompt the release of big budget films across India. We intend to aggressively cross-promote stars of one region in other regions with a vision of one nation one film," Agarwal said in a statement.

Film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar said Vijay’s popularity and the absence of any new Hindi movies has ensured positive buzz for the film even in the north. “Though some of Rajinikanth’s films have managed the biggest openings as far as south Indian offerings in the north go, Master could beat those," Johar added. He, however, pointed out that Pongal is a huge opportunity for south Indian films overseas. That business is likely to be muted given the political unrest in the US and the fact that the UK is currently witnessing its third and worst wave of the virus.

BookMyShow’s Saksena said while 'Tenet' commenced box office recovery in early December driving the initial set of movie-lovers to theatres after a long-drawn lockdown, it was Wonder Woman 1984’s release in the final week of the year that accelerated the revival cycle significantly.

“With the roll-out of the covid vaccine now in sight, we foresee a sea change in audience consumption patterns for theatrical films, steadily. The past few weeks have been witness to a compelling audience response where new content has been released, reaffirming the potential that new films hold, to draw audiences to theatres, especially in a movie crazy nation like ours," Saksena said.

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