Tamil Superstar Suriya's "Masss" (Massu Engira Masilamani), which is releasing in Telugu as "Rakshasudu" on 29 May, is turning out to be a threat for actor Ram Pothineni's "Pandaga Chesko" at the worldwide box office.
"Massu Engira Masilamani", which was previously titled "Masss", is a horror comedy film, featuring Suriya and Nayanthara in the lead roles. It has been directed by Venkat Prabhu and produced by KE Gnanavel Raja under the banner of Aadnah Arts. The film, which has Yuvan Shankar Raja's music and RD Rajasekhar's cinematography, is one of the most hyped Tamil films of the year.
After Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, Suriya is the next most popular Tamil actor in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Hence, the makers of "Massu Engira Masilamani" are putting in an effort to cash in on his popularity by releasing its Telugu version in a massive way in both the states as well as other parts of the globe, where Telugu diaspora are staying in large numbers.
There was a huge demand for the theatrical rights of "Rakshasudu". Some leading distribution houses have bought the rights for different regions of the Telugu states for ₹10 crore. The rights of other areas worldwide have been sold along with its Tamil version.
As per the ads published in various Telugu newspapers, "Rakshasudu" is releasing in over 400 cinema halls in both the states. This number is likely to increase to 500+ screens on the day it hits the theatres. The Telugu version will grace 25 screens in Karnataka and 23 screens in the USA. It will also hit the screens in other parts of the world. Its final screen count is expected to cross 600.
A statement on Andhra Box Office Twitter page reads, "@Suriya_offl #MassuEngiraMasilamani limited Release in Karnataka. Instead #Rakshasudu Releasing Big in more Locations. Dolby Atmos to Davangere Vasantha Theatre with @Suriya_offl #Rakshasudu. 2nd Atmos Theatre in Karnataka after Mukunda, B'lore."
Trade experts in the filmnagar say that Suriya's previous films, which were released with Telugu version, have proved successful at the Tollywood box office. The promos of "Rakshasudu", which have impressed the viewers, show that it will also be a hit at the box office.
It will surely take a toll on the prospects of new Telugu film, "Pandaga Chesko", which is releasing on the same day. It is a romantic comedy entertainer starring Ram, Rakul Preet Singh and Sonal Chauhan in the lead roles.
Ram, who has failed to impress the viewers with his last outings such as "Ongole Githa" and "Masala", is desperate to make the upcoming movie a hit. But the film is likely to have a tough time in luring the audience to watch the film.