Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Rajinifans' Roadmap for Sivaji's release

Friends,

Now that Sivaji is into its post-production stage and is slated for
a 12th April, 2007, release, I, as a Rajini-fan, is taking stock of
the present situation to look at when & how Sivaji can be released
by taking into consideration the stakes and the people involved and
the need to end the unending wait for the fans' desire to see their
Thalaivar on screen under Shankar's magic.

A. Stakes & people involved:

1. THE Super Star of Indian Cinema featuring in a dream project
with the ultimate entertaining director Shankar's magnum opus
produced as a "life-time ambition" project by the long-serving AVM
Productions.
2. Huge expectations from the fans and public alike because of the
mega team of Rajini-Shankar-ARR-AVM. Already hyped as a "going to
be a record-breaking movie" by the media with so many stories of the
movie floating around.
3. The costliest movie ever produced in Tamil rumoured to have cost
around Rs. 40 crores without including the remuneration of Super
Star & Shankar.
4. Expected or rumoured to be sold for the highest amount in each
territory not only in TN but also neighbouring states; apart from
this, expected to rake in huge amounts from overseas distribution,
song/music ringtones, trailer, audio, VCD/DVD, satellite and dubbing
rights too.
5. With this kind of business, it is expected to make huge box-
office collections in order to justify the investment of hundreds of
crores of money into this project.

B. Current Ground Situation:

Sivaji is slated to be released on 12th April, 2007, as per a
newspaper report quoting Mr. AVM Saravanan himself. All the post-
production works are being done in order to release the movie by
that date.

As explained in my previous post on the "increased Threat
Perceptions" for Sivaji, Cauvery verdict, World cup fever & ticket
price conundrum are seriously hampering the chances of Sivaji, if it
is released on Tamil New Year's Day in April, 2007.

So, is there any work-around solution available? According to me,
the answer is yes & I have explained "how" hereinbelow.

C. Postpone Sivaji's Release

Yes Friends. As an ardent Rajini fan like you all, it is difficult
for me but if one thinks through these present situations which is
slowly but surely getting more complicated due to cauvery issue,
postponing the release is the best way to avoid any hiccups the film
may face in theatres.

Recently, a Tamil newspaper has reported a news which said that the
Sivaji Team is thinking on similar lines - that is postponing the
release of Sivaji from April to a later date.

D. When to release Sivaji?

I feel May 17th could be a viable option.

For one, it is also a Thursday (like April 12th) as well as a longer
(4-day) week-end.

Secondly, it gels well with Shankar's "Lucky Number 8" syndrome.

Thirdly, World Cup would have ended by April end & there is no
chance of clashing with the live telecast. Hence, even if Sivaji is
released in 15 Theatres in Chennai alone, with daily 4 shows in each
theatre, with an average seating capacity of about 800 people per
show per theatre, it will be easy to draw a crowd of 12,000 people
daily for 4 shows in all these 15 theatres day after day for 15 days
and more. There won't be any chance of a reduction in crowds due to
wrold cup live telecast during evening & night shows & hence by May
end Sivaji would have started making profits. The same holds true
for any other city or town also so that all the territories can
witness the real potential of Sivaji & reap in reward collections.

Fourthly, May is still the summer holiday season & the holiday crowd
which was expected to flock the theatres in April will continue to
flock even in May and thus there is no need for anxiety on that
count.

Finally & importantly, 17th May comes well after the deadline for
filing revision petition in the Cauvery Tribunal. The judgment of
the tribunal was delivered on 5th Feb.,'07 & there is a 90 days time
frame for the parties concerned to appeal against the verdict or
file appeals for revision etc & that date expires on 6th May, 2007,
by which time they would have had to decide one way or other & file
their appeal petitions.

So, by that time the case would have again become sub-judice & hence
people can't openly be protesting against the verdict after 6th May,
2007. So, the chances of any rioting or arson, which was witnessed
during Baba release will fade away as also the pressure on Thalaiavr
to come out openly in favour of one state or other will not be there.

Sivaji can also be released peacefully in Karnataka since, hopefully
by that time, Tamil films would have been allowed to be released in
Karnataka. Even yesterday in Bangalore, some local activists have
protested & removed banners in Bangalore's Nataraj theatre to
protest against the release of a Tamil movie. Because Bangalore &
Karnataka are big markets for a Tamil movie (bigger than Kerala), it
is not wise to ignore such a huge market where Thalaivar's movies
always run well.

E. Raodmap for Sivaji's Release:

Here is my suggestion of a roadmap for the stage by stage release of
Sivaji related activities so that the fans' interest are kept in
tact & they are not disappointed because of the bitter dosage of the
postponement news.

1. Audio Release - On or before 20th March, 2007
2. Ringtone Release - End-March or Early-April, 2007
3. Movie Trailer Release in Theatres - 14th April, 2007 (Tamil New
Year)
4. Movie Trailer Release in TV/Other Media - Last week of April,
2007
5. Shankar/AVM/Thalaivar Interviews in TV/Media - First Fortnight
of May, 2007.

F. Advantages in postponement:

1. Avoid Troubles - All potentital troubles are out of the way
2. Shankar can be Perfect - Its a blessing in disguise for the Ever-
Perfectionist Shankar who can keep on fine tuning the movie to his
utmost satisfaction without any deadline pressure
3. Super Build-up - Slowly but surely, starting from Sivaji audio,
fans' appetite is satisfied & at the same time a superb build-up to
the finale is made

In conclusion, in order to protect a hugely invested project & to
ensure its financial viability for all its stakeholders, postponing
a project, which has taken 20 months from concept to reality, by one
more month, is not at all harmful, particularly if it is going to
ensure its success, which is what originally envisaged.

With Luv,

Arun


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