BOX OFFICE: Paid Previews Of ‘Chennai Express’ House-Full!
MUMBAI: This year’s most awaited film, ‘Chennai Express’, directed by Rohit Shetty and starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone, is nearly up for release. As expected, the box office anticipation is extremely high. Produced by Shah Rukh Khan’s banner Red Chillies Productions, ‘Chennai Express’ is probably one of the biggest Bollywood releases this year. Expectations are already sky- high, with the film grabbing eyeballs everywhere. Add to that is the festive season, and it sure looks like the ‘Chennai Express’ team has a true-blue winner on their hands. We spoke to a few top officials at multiplexes and single screen theatres, to get a sense of what they predict will be the opening for the film: As Cinemax Deputy GM-Corporate Communications and Public Relations Mr. Girish Wankhede says, “The buzz for ‘Chennai Express’ is awesome. For today, all the paid previews are going housefull, while tomorrow also there is heavy bookings. There is also block bulk bookings for the weekend, so we predict for the first two days the occupancy will be a full 100%. Saturday and Sunday also looks promising, with the occupancy will be not less than 90%.” “I won’t comment on which film’s record would be broken but I can confidently say that Chennai Express is going to create many records for sure, starting with Paid Previews.” Elaborating on the reason for the inclusion of paid previews, he said: “We are glad to screen 10-12 shows on Thursday itself for two reasons. First and foremost the buzz is very high and it makes sense to capitalize on that. Secondly, there is no other blockbuster in the running that can’t be moved. From Friday onwards there would be an average of 20 shows at all our major properties.” A spokesperson of a leading single screen theatre in Bangalore, Rex Theatres, agreed with Mr. Wankhede by saying that buzz is extremely positive. “Since the film is a festive release, and add to that it is a big budget Shah Rukh Khan-starrer, buzz is tremendous. Advance booking trends have been very encouraging, as the preview shows this evening are almost sold out. Tomorrow being a holiday for Eid, we expect nothing less than an average 90-95% occupancy.”