Last year around this time, many people used to criticise Rajini unfairly for postponing or not announcing the exact release date of his hugely expected Sivaji. Its an unfair criticism because Rajini is in no way connected to either its making or its distribution business.
What was the criticism against Sivaji then? It was alleged that because of the uncertainty surrounding Sivaji's release date, many other producers/distributors were not able to release their movies since theatre owners have told them that upon Sivaji's release in their theatres the other movie will be removed, irrespective of its BO performance. This showed that none of the theatres wanted to miss the collection bus called Sivaji. Due to this uncertainty about continued running & non availability of theatres, other movies couldn't find good theatres for release and it was projected as if Rajini is the culprit in preventing the release of Tamil movies in TN.
Now, this is the so-called season of Dasaavataram, the highly expected movie from Kamal, in which he plays 10 different roles. Its producers Oscar Films are famous for hyping up their movies & using the hype to run the movie successfully. Dasa is also in post-production stage for the last 6 months or so & still there is no sign of its release date. But, surprise of surprises, there is no word or murmur from any quarters that Dasa or Kamal is preventing other Tamil movies from getting released.
Does this silence or lack of any protest against the uncertainty about the release date of Dasa convey anything?
Yes. It shows that in spite of the uncertainty about the release date of Dasa, there seems to be no dearth of theatres in TN willing to show other movies, unlike the case prevalent before Sivaji's release. Nobody can say now that there are no other movies for release as many other actors' movies are getting released every week & some are also running successfully and some not so successfully. Moreover, it also shows that theatres in TN are not betting big on Dasa's BO success. Hence, they are not willing to let go an opportunity to earn what they can with other movies' BO performance instead of waiting only for Dasa, about whose BO success they are not so sure of.
I think this shows the difference between a Rajini movie and the impact it creates in the market & any other actor's movie. Rajini's movies are real behemoths as far as the Box Office is concerned whereas other actors' movies are nowhere near him.
I am also amused to find that even though its reported that Dasa got censored with only (?) 9 cuts (obviously scenes featuring Mallika Sherawat), still the producer is harping on about delay in completion of CG work relating tsunami scene, etc. for the uncertainty surrounding its release date. So, they expect to release it sometime in June. Ah...that one gives his game away. Because IPL final is slated for 1st June, Dasa can thereafter release "comfortably" so that audience will find time to watch a Kamal movie in theatres instead of IPL matches on TV.
Its clear the producer is not so sure about the sustained crowd pulling power of Kamal over and above the lure of IPL matches, which are becoming more & more interesting as the competition nears its finishing stages, that he wants to play safe at the BO by releasing Dasa well clear of any kind of competition after 1st June only. After all, Rs. 80 crore is not a small amount. Yes the producer is rumoured to have invested Rs. 60 crore to produce & Rs. 20 crore to promote Dasa. Obviously he is trying to take the safest possible route since he has already taken the maximum possible risk by investing so much in a Kamal movie.
However, there are no such worries for Satya Movies, whose Rajini-starrer & one of his all-time blockbusters, Baadsha, has been re-released in Chennai this week, after being shown on TV umpteenth times, and is still drawing huge crowds, according to movie websites. Whether there is IPL or not, a Rajini movie will always score at the BO. That's Rajini & his hold over the masses.