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All heads bow to The Boss
- Rajanikanth’s latest blockbuster is most-watched film at the plexes

Turn a blind eye to the garish get-up, turn a deaf ear to the Tamil dialogues and just bow to The Boss. Make no mistake, Sivaji-The Boss rules the city box office. Rajanikanth’s latest blockbuster, which hit the halls here a week after its southern release, was the most-watched film at the plexes this weekend.

“Among all the films on our roster, Sivaji has recorded the maximum footfall at INOX (Forum and City Centre) and 89 Cinemas (Swabhumi),” says Saurabh Varma of INOX, which is distributing the film in the eastern region.

Over the weekend, Sivaji recorded an average occupancy of 70 per cent at the plexes, a first for a regional film and that, too, one with no subtitles. The Rajanikanth rage left in its wake other Friday releases — Bollywood’s Chain Kulii Ki Main Kulii and Hollywood’s Premonition. Apart from Rahul Bose and Sandra Bullock, The Boss has beaten also-rans Amitabh Bachchan (Cheeni Kum) and George Clooney (Ocean’s 13), Sanjay Dutt (Shootout at Lokhandwala) and Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean 3). While Bachchan and Dutt have been vocal in their admiration for “Rajani, the real superstar”, Clooney and Depp’s views on being thrashed at the box office by a balding, pot-bellied bus conductor (turned actor) are not known.

“The craze for Sivaji has been unprecedented, with Cheeni Kum a distant second at 50-55 per cent occupancy this weekend. The demand for the film seems to be increasing with each passing day,” says Varma.

With Jhoom Barabar Jhoom a no-show at three of the four multiplexes in the city, Rajanikanth has enjoyed a dream run. And it’s not just the south Indians in the city flocking to see their hero’s first plex release. “The catcalls and clapping on Saturday evening at INOX (Forum) made it a phenomenal experience,” says senior executive Bidyut Chatterjee, a Rajanikanth fan. Agrees entrepreneur Dilip Sen, who caught the first day, first show: “It was vintage Rajani stuff. I hope to catch the film again this weekend.”

This enthusiasm, say exhibitors, should turn the tide for regional films at city plexes — all thanks to The Boss.

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