Shah Rukh Khan takes a Chammak Challo break from his superhero duties in Ra.One
Ra.One isn’t just the most expensive Indian film yet, it is the costliest combo of plex, plush seat and popcorn for the Calcutta moviegoer.
A Diwali release, superhero Shah Rukh “G.One” Khan’s star power and the buzz about Ra.One being a unique Bollywood movie experience have almost ensured a bumper opening for the film in a city known to be a price-sensitive market.
The highest price for an INOX ticket to Ra.One in 3-D is Rs 360 — at the plex chain’s Elgin Road property.
Fame South City has raised the price of a 3-D silver class ticket to Rs 350, it’s the highest ever. For a date with Ra.One at the plex’s plush gold class audi, the price pinch is Rs 600 for a seat, another first for the city.
“People are so keen to watch Ra.One that high ticket prices aren’t a deterrent. They are coming in droves and buying tickets in bulk,” a Fame official said.
“Ra.One is the biggest film of the year. The fact that it stars Shah Rukh, contains some mind-boggling special effects and has been marketed extremely well justifies the high price,” added Subhasis Ganguli, the regional director of INOX.
According to Ganguli, SRK’s special trip to the city last week, in association with t2, had helped raise the hype around Ra.One.
Although 3-D is how most would like to enjoy their date with Chammak Challo, tickets for the 2-D version are disappearing just as fast. Till Tuesday evening, Fame South City alone had sold close to 2,000 advance tickets.
College girl Surbhi Dhanuka’s entire family of 12 has a first-day date with Ra.One, starring Kareena Kapoor as Shah Rukh’s wife and Arjun Rampal in the title role of G.One’s evil adversary.
“Ticket prices are very high, but this is the festive season and we are allowed to splurge! And what better reason to loosen your purse strings than for a Shah Rukh film?” Surbhi said with a smile.
Debashish De of Aum Moviez, the film’s regional distributor, is counting his box-office collections even before the first show. “Ra.One is poised for an earth-shattering opening. I feel the film will do Rs 100 crore of business worldwide in the first five days,” he predicted.
If the plexes are reaching for the houseful boards, standalone cinemas in town aren’t lagging either. “Single-screen properties like Paradise, Roxy and Menoka have reported brisk ticket sales,” said De of Aum Moviez.
The suburbs are also chanting rah-rah Ra.One. Standalone cinemas like Laali in Barasat, Sri Durga in Chandernagore and Anandam in Memari, Burdwan, will screen Ra.One in 3-D.
For those unable — or unwilling — to shell out a fistful of notes for the Ra.One experience, Salt Lake has a solution. They can watch G.One battling Ra.One in 3-D at the township’s Broadway multiplex for Rs 199 each.
“Nominal pricing has ensured huge advance bookings,” a plex official said.
But will the film be worth the pocket pinch? “Ra.One is the most ambitious, most expensive and the most technically complex Hindi film ever made. It’s not merely a film, but an experience and an event,” said trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
The hype grows. And Calcutta is buying it.