Rajinikanth creates hysteria with Robot; Hindi-speaking territories to offer more shows
Forget Dabangg or 3Idiots, Rajinikanth-starrer Robot is set to rule Indian cinema with its whopping collections in the opening weekend. According to trade pundits, the film has collected Rs95 crore from the combined ticket sales of all three versions in the opening weekend. If you add the ticket sales from overseas, it rises to a record Rs100 crore.
"In the opening weekend, all the three versions of Robot have together collected Rs95 crore, which is the highest-ever in India. If you add the overseas figures, the total collections will increase probably by another Rs7 crore-Rs8 crore," said Komal Nahta, founder-editor of Koimoi.com.
The film is expected to generate at least about Rs120 crore-Rs130 crore more from ticket sales, Mr Nahta added. Just a month ago, Dabangg, with gross collections of Rs48.25 crore at the opening weekend, surpassed
3Idiots who raked in approximately Rs41 crore in the same period. But all this is history now. Robot has remade the box-office record in its own inimitable style.
The USP of the film is "everything", including the special effects and Rajni Sir, according to Mr Nahta. Even those who haven't watched the film are gung-ho about the movie and plan to watch it in the days to come.
Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and national creative director of Ogilvy India, said, "Though I don't want to comment on something I haven't seen, but I can tell you a very dear friend of mine who is the chairman of Lowe, R Balki (director of Paa), met me a day before yesterday. He has seen it in Tamil and said it's fantastic. So, I would like to test his judgement. I will definitely watch it. Such a phenomenon should be seen. The person second to Mr Bachchan is only Mr Rajinikanth. They are the actual fathers of (the) movie (industry) in the country. So, I will definitely see it."
Though Robot was released with a record 2,250 prints and has created hysteria in south India and all over the world including Dubai and Malaysia, in Hindi speaking territories, the shows were few, less than one-third of the shows given to its competitive-release Anjaana Anjaani. But the rave reviews and positive publicity Robot has generated is set to change the trend, Mr Nahta said. "Rajinikanth doesn't run other than in South India. But now hall owners have realised that the movie is a hit and will get more shows in the second week."
Even Mr Pandey agreed with this. He said, "We are not a country but a continent. Regional differences will be there. Mr Rajinikanth will not be what Mr Bachchan is in the Hindi-speaking belt. So Mr Bachchan will not be what Mr Rajinikanth is in those areas."
So is the new record going to change the landscape of Indian cinema and set a new precedent? Mr Pandey differs. He told Moneylife, "These things (box-office collections) are very difficult to evaluate (in the context of) one film against the other. Because of the differences in the ticket rate and circumstances in the days of Sholay or DDLJ compared to now. But, obviously it is hugely successful. I can't compare one against the other. It's like comparing Sachin Tendulkar with Don Bradman."
Robot is the most expensive Indian film ever made with a price tag of Rs150 crore. The robots used in the movie cost around Rs4.8 crore each, according to a press release from the Sun Network. About Rs60 crore has been spent on special effects. The climax has been shot on a set that cost Rs5 crore where Rajinikanth fights with 100 robots that are similar to him.