The Tamil superstar, Vijay, is all set to present his much awaited film, Beast, tomorrow in cinemas. The excitement for this film is skyhigh thanks to the action-packed trailer, Vijay’s presence and the popularity of the song ‘Arabic Kuthu’. Last week, it came to light that it’ll also get a wide release in Hindi. The Hindi version is titled Raw and the film is being distributed in all the versions in the Hindi speaking market by UFO Moviez. Last week, Pankaj Jaisingh, CEO, Distribution and Film Services, had confirmed to Bollywood Hungama last week that Beast will release in 600-700 screens in non-South markets.
However, it has come to light that Beast will get a very limited release in all versions in the Northern, Western and Eastern belts. A source told Bollywood Hungama, “The film faced trouble in getting adequate showcasing. Some small and standalone multiplex chains opened the bookings of the film’s original Tamil version a few days back, and it got sold out in no time. Those who couldn’t book their tickets in these cinemas began to wait for Inox, PVR and other major chains to open the bookings. However, these chains failed to begin the ticket sales on Monday. The fans of Vijay got angry and were seen venting out on social media.” The advance booking was finally thrown open today a few hours earlier in the national chains.
What added to the problem was that while Beast releases on April 13, the juggernaut KGF – Chapter 2 will hit screens on April 14. The source continued, “KGF – Chapter 2 is obviously a much bigger film and has occupied most of the screens across the Hindi belt. Hence, Beast will be played in sufficient theatres just on April 13 while from April 14, its showcasing will be minimal. As for the Hindi version, the number of screens is minuscule even on April 13. On April 14, there’ll be barely a few screens showing Raw.”
A trade expert, however, explained why it\’s not right to blame KGF – Chapter 2 wave for this development, “The Hindi speaking audiences are not even aware that Beast is releasing in Hindi. The promotions have been negligible. After the blockbuster success of Pushpa and RRR, even Vijay must be having the desire of becoming the next pan-India star. And why not; after all, he’s a known face for the Hindi speaking audiences. But with such a release strategy, Raw will not make any mark at the ticket window.”
The trade expert continued, “UFO should have pushed it harder. Pushpa clashed with Spider-Man: No Way Home, whose advance was as big as KGF – Chapter 2. A week later, 83 was about to be released. Yet, AA Films managed to get good showcasing for Pushpa’s Hindi version. Moreover, Allu Arjun came down to Mumbai and it helped create hype for his film. Nothing of this sort has happened for Raw. Not to forget, Pooja Hegde is a known face in the North and ideally, some sort of promotional campaign should have happened.”
Meanwhile, down South, especially in Tamil Nadu, Beast is all set for a record opening.