March 18, 2021 2:32:37 pm
The Malayalam film industry had expresses its gratitude to actor Mammootty for playing an important role in the theatrical release of his latest film, The Priest. Days after several celebrities tweeted their appreciation for Mammootty, a group of theatre owners recently paid a visit to the 69-year-old superstar and thanked him for bringing cheers back to the cinema halls across Kerala.
It is said that Mammootty was determined against releasing the film on a streaming platform as the lockdown restrictions partially continue to be in effect in Kerala. Add to that, the government’s cap on occupancy and ban on night shows discouraged the producers to stick to the traditional theatrical window. A source in the know claims that, in fact, Mammootty didn’t permit to take this film to an OTT platform directly, despite the prevailing circumstances.
Mammootty’s gritty choice has paid off as the film was well-received by the audience at the box office. The film released last week in Kerala and overseas markets including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Singapore. The film is reportedly keeping the cash registers in the state and abroad. The film’s main cast and crew flew to Dubai on Wednesday to take part in the grand event to celebrate the success of the film. The event is set to be held on March 19, with Mammukka, his co-stars Nikhila Vimal, Baby Monica and director Jofin T Chacko in attendance.
Even though the producers have not shared the box office collection of the film officially so far, some reports claim that The Priest raked in about Rs 8 crore in Kerala alone within four days of its initial release. If the reports are true, then it is a pretty good number given that theatres in Kerala are still operating at 50 per cent capacity.
The success of The Priest is a welcome relief for everyone in the value chain given many were struggling to keep the theatres open after the demand for Master subsided in the state. According to reports, a significant number of theatres that reopened after nine months of lockdown to show Vijay’s Master were closed again due to the sharp decline in domestic box office collections and footfalls.
The Priest has clearly lifted the gloom that had shrouded the box office business in Kerala. Come April, a slew of big-budget movies, including Mohanlal’s magnum opus Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham, Fahadh Faasil’s Malik and Nivin Pauly’s Thuramukham are set to hit the theatres. And these releases are likely to add to the momentum created by The Priest.
The film will open in cinemas in the rest of India this Friday.
The Priest is the directorial debut of Jofin and it also stars Manju Warrier in a key role.
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