Oct 1 saw release of the biggest Tamil film ever, Endhiran the Robot, starring Rajnikanth.
And as expected, Endhiran has made opening records in Tamil Nadu and recorded excellent collections in AP. In Karnataka, the collections are limited by the KFCC chamber regulation of limited prints for non-Kannada movies.
The film starring Rajnikanth and supported by Aishwarya Rai and Danny Denzopa. and billed as biggest release ever is however having a tough time in rest of India where even an ordinary Bollywood release Anjaana Anjaani starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra is registering higher collections despite mixed reports, especially in metro multiplexes of Bombay, Delhi, Chandigarh, Calcutta, Surat etc.. However the same was true for Shaad Ali's Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom (Abhishek Bachchan, Bobby Deol, Preity Zinta) in 2007 which released opposite Sivaji the Boss. Outside the south, a JBJ which was a Bollywood flop, had outperformed Sivaji the Boss in much of India and overseas.
Speaking of overseas, in UK, Enthiran has reportedly taken in over £50k from preview screenings. It may be able to do 300k pounds weekend. If so, that will be a record for Tamil films, though not for Indian films overall. Anjaana Anjaani may also be looking to do a similar ballpark there.
Anjaana Anjani meanwhile in India has received mixed reports from critics but has opened well in multiplexes. Occupancies for AA are in 60-70% range compared to 10/20% for Robot the Hindi dubbed version of Endhiran which needs a pickup to justify its relative large release in Bombay. But problem for Anjaana Anjani for itself also is that the Ranbir Kapoor-Priyanka Chopra's 'hindi' film is itself a Karan Johar type overseas set love story which prohibits a huge Hindi national single screen windfall where the turnouts are in the lower range. Many single screen centers theaters like those in centers like Chandrapur, MP are still opting to play the blockbuster Dabangg in its 4th week instead of other newer releases. This is bound to lower AA's gross overall and so AA is not going to be another Rajneeti caliber grosser for Ranbir Kapoor. That film, viewers will recall, did a 130-140 crore gross just a few months back.
Dabangg meanwhile had another 22 crore gross week in week 3 and is closing in on the Rs. 200 crore mark soon.
A general point about Endhiran and Tamil cinema in general. Many people may be wondering how a Tamil film, of a spoken language of only about 60 million people, is even able to compare to a Hindi hit, of a spoken language of 600 million+ people. That is simply because a far higher percentage of the Tamil population is going to see an Endhiran than the percentage of Hindi speaking population of India is going to see a movie like Anjaana Anjaani. Enthiran will pretty much be the major moment and turnover generating movie for the Tamil industry overall for 2010/11. Whereas the Hindi film industry is not contained by or dependent on an AA for its overall multi-thousand crore+ turnover over the course of 2010 at the theatrical box office.
Among Hollywood releases last week, Beauty and the Beast has opened to a so so response. Resident Evil-Afterlife is holding steady.