Superstar Rajinikanth starrer Kaala’s opening day collection took a massive hit due to the protests against the film in Karnataka. Many pro-Kannada groups in the state called for an unofficial ban on the film demanding an apology from Rajinikanth for his pro-Tamil Nadu stance on the Supreme Court’s order regarding the formation of the Cauvery water management board.
While Kaala released amid much fanfare in other parts of the world, the screening in Karnataka was marred by problems created by pro-Kannada groups. Screenings were stopped, shows were cancelled and fans were refunded. This happened despite the police protection provided by the state government to the theatres.
From the limited number of screenings, Kaala managed just Rs 30 lakh as against its expectation of Rs 5 crore on day one in Karnataka. Kaala distributor Kanakapura Srinivas told Deccan Herald, “I expected Kaala’s box office collection in the state to cross Rs 5 crore on the opening day. The protests and uncertainties have left us with a huge loss. Rajinikanth’s films are (usually) screened round-the-clock in single screen theatres and more than 15 shows (per day) in multiplex theatres. Box office collections would soar.”
Srinivas is hoping that the film would pick up pace at the Karnataka box office, helping him overcome his loss.
It is worth noting that Srinivas came in the last minute to distribute the film after earlier Goldie Flims backed off fearing a backlash from fringe groups. He said he has paid a “whopping sum” for the distribution rights of Kaala.
After its opening day was marred by controversies, Kaala played in cinemas without any problems on Friday. According to reports, the two-day collection of the film is pegged at Rs 3 crore.
“I would like to thank all the Police officials, theatre owners, our distributors in Karnataka and all our well wishers for their support for the release of our film # Kaala # Kaala Blockbuster (sic),” tweeted producer Dhanush after Kaala saw a smooth screening across the state on Friday.
Kaala, meanwhile, debuted at the box office on Thursday by raking in more than Rs 40 crore from its worldwide ticket sales. According to Andhra Box Office reports, Kaala collected Rs 15.4 crore in Tamil Nadu, Rs 5.2 crore in Telugu states, Rs 1.5 in Kerala and about Rs 3.5 crore from rest of the country. It is said to be the lowest opening day collection for a Rajinikanth film.
However, Dhanush’s Wunderbar Films has declared that the film has been making record-breaking collections worldwide. The producers are yet to share the official box office collection figures of Kaala.