With Diwali nearing, the expectations surrounding the films releasing during the festival period have been increasing with every passing day.
Three big films are set to dominate the Tamil Nadu box office – Vijay's "Kaththi," Vishal's "Poojai" and Shah Rukh Khan's "Happy New Year."
"Kaththi" is likely to have the biggest release compared to other films in south India. The Vijay starrer is carrying huge expectations and is set to take grand openings on the first day.
The film is setting new benchmarks in terms of booking screens. It will reportedly have a record release among Tamil films in Kerala (over 200 screens), the US (105 screens), the UK (70 screens), Malaysia (120 screens), Canada (20 screens) and France (24 screens).
In Tamil Nadu, the film is expected to release in around 450 screens. Details about the screen count of the film's Telugu version are still awaited.
Vijay enjoys a huge fan following in Tamil Nadu and also has a good market in Kerala. "Kaththi" is expected to dominate in these two states despite other releases. As there are no big Malayalam films releasing during the festival period, it will be an added advantage for "Kaththi."
Vijay's films perform well in Karnataka as well, but it needs to be seen if "Kaththi" will be able to sustain its business while clashing with other biggies. The Murugadoss directorial is expected to take humongous openings in the US, UK and other key foreign markets.
The film's distribution rights for all the areas have been sold out and is set to hit the screens on 22 October.
Vijay's star power, Vijay-Murugadoss combo and Anirudh's music have created a huge positive buzz about the project. Will the film strike gold is something one needs to wait and watch.
Vishal's "Poojai" is expected to release in 350 screens in Tamil Nadu. The film will be Vishal's second festival release of the year after "Naan Sigappu Manithan". The actor is on a roll with back-to-back successful films and it remains to be seen if "Poojai" emerges as a hit film.
Last Diwali, Vishal's "Pandiya Naadu" competed against Ajith's "Arrambam". Despite the clash, the Vishal starrer fared well at the box office and this Diwali, the actor's film will be locking horns with Vijay's "Kaththi". It will be interesting to see if "Poojai" recreates the "Pandiya Naadu" magic.
The film is directed by Hari, whose last release "Singam 2" turned out to be a huge hit. The director is known for making fast-paced action entertainers and looking at the teaser of "Poojai", one can expect it to be a complete commercial potboiler.
Trade experts will be eager to see if the film will be able to outperform "Kaththi."
The Telugu version of "Poojai" is also expected to release simultaneously with the Tamil version. Vishal's films enjoy a decent market in Telugu-speaking regions and "Poojai" is expected to open well in AP/Telangana states.
"Happy New Year"
Shah Rukh Khan's "Happy New Year" is expected to release in at least 5,000 screens worldwide. While it is likely to release in s huge number of screens in northern circuits and overseas markets, the action-comedy drama might be facing difficulty in getting enough screens in Tamil Nadu and other southern states where Tamil films and regional films are likely to dominate.
The makers are also planning to release the Telugu and Tamil versions of "Happy New Year" along with the original version. There are big expectations for the film as Shah Rukh and Deepika Padukone have teamed up once again for the third time. Their last release "Chennai Express" was a massive hit in south India.
"Happy New Year" is also expected to take good openings in the southern states, but whether it will be able to emerge on top is something one needs to wait and watch. The film, however, will pose a big threat to the Tamil releases in key overseas markets.
"Happy New Year" will be released on 24 October, two days after "Kaththi" and "Poojai" hit the screens.