New Delhi/Mumbai, Aug 13: Amid ban in three states and minor protests in some other places, Prakash Jha's controversial ‘Aarakshan' released yesterday to a decent response in the metropolises.
Multiplex chains and theatre owners said that the audience response was favourable in cities like Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata and Chennai, despite the ongoing politics surrounding the movie.
Amidst high security at cinema houses in Mumbai, the film, which deals with the issue of reservation in government jobs and educational institutions, received a good opening in the metropolis.
“At PVR cinemas in Mumbai the opening was decent at the rate of 62-65 per cent. It seems the agitation has had some impact on the footfall at cinema houses,” Kamal Gianchandani, President, PVR Pictures, said.
An official from multiplex chain Big Cinemas said, “The opening was good in the city. Since there was heavy security people came in to see the movie. There have been no cancellation of shows in Mumbai.”
“The heavy police bandobast meant people were not afraid to come and watch the movie. We have witnessed 55-70 per cent occupancy at the opening. We expect full houses on weekends,” Manoj Desai, owner of Gaiety and Maratha cinema, said.
Comparatively, the response has not been so good up north with the film being banned in UP and Punjab. The occupancy rate has been 20-45 per cent at the opening, said Rahul Singh, VP Marketing, PVR.
“The opening has not been what was expected, maybe people are waiting for the long weekend to come and watch the movie.
The film would have done good business in UP and Punjab, had it been released there. We are hoping audience turnout will improve over the weekend,” Singh added.
Things went smooth in Kolkata with the film releasing to packed theatres and no opposition reported. “We never had this caste-based politics in the state and so the issue of reservation and the ban on the film never figured,” said Arijit Dutta of Priya Entertainment. He said the controversy, on the other hand, is helping ‘Aarakshan' get an impressive opening in the city's multiplexes and single-screens.
“So far it is working in favour of the film as the initial response is good. More people want to see the film as the curiosity factor has increased,” Dutta said.
An Inox official from Chennai said though they had anticipated some protests, the film released smoothly in the city with a decent audience turnout. PTI