A trickle of a crowd in front of Payal Cinema on Friday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
A controversy is not always good for the promotion of a film, the city showed Kamal Haasan on Friday.
Vishwaroop, the much-talked-about Hindi version of Kamal Haasan’s controversial Vishwaroopam, hit silver screens in Jamshedpur on Friday albeit to a meek response from film lovers and the surprise of theatre owners.
The film — written, directed and co-produced by Haasan — is being screened at Eylex Fun N Films, Payal Cinema and GT Cinema, which reported an average occupancy of 40-45 per cent on Friday, the first day of its release.
While Eylex is running five shows at 10.45am, 1.35pm, 4.25pm, 7.15pm and 8.40pm daily, Payal Cinema has lined up two shows for the flick at 2.50pm and 8.50pm. GT Cinema will screen the movie daily at 2pm and 5pm.
“Whenever a film is marred by controversy it usually sees a huge opening. But, the crowds did not trickle in on Friday,” said Shourish Gupta, manager of Payal Cinema. He, however, hoped that business picked up over the weekend.
“We screened the 2.50pm show to a half empty theatre,” the manager said.
For Eylex, the news was worse.
The 10.45am show at the multiplex hardly saw any crowd with the theatre staff bravely pegging the total occupancy for the morning show at 18 per cent. Things did not get better as the day progressed, with the next two shows of the movie notching up a 30 per cent audience occupancy count.
Eylex officials, though, refused to read too much into the first day flop show.
“The opening was bad of course. However, we have had many enquiries pouring in. We hope the crowds swell,” said Amrita Singh of Eylex Fun N Films.
The handful that did brave Vishwaroop on the first day, found the movie ordinary.
“I do not know what all the fuss was about. The movie is like any other Bollywood flick on terrorism,” Diwakar Singh, who is a teacher by profession, told The Telegraph after coming out of Eylex Fun N Films on NH-33 .