MUMBAI: Kamal Haasan’s controversial directorial ‘Vishwaroopam’ (Hindi), starring himself in the leading role, Pooja Kumar, Rahul Bose and Shekhar Kapur has seen a dull opening weekend at the box office.
The big budget Rs 95 crore film was delayed in its release for a period of two weeks, due to a controversy surrounding the film. Certain sections of Muslim clerics had slammed the film as being anti-Islamic, and hence Tamil Nadu had banned the release of the film. ‘Vishwaroopam’ finally hit theatres 1 February in other States, except Tamil Nadu, and has encountered a dismal opening day.
On Friday, ‘Vishwaroopam’ did a poor business of Rs 20 million (Rs 2 cr net). The majority of the film’s business came from Mumbai. Day 2, did not see any major pick up and simmered around Rs 24 million (Rs 2.4 crore) net. Sunday – Day 3, was also in the similar range of Rs 30 million (Rs 3 crore) net.
This week, there are several other big films for ‘Vishwaroopam’ to contend with; including Bejoy Nambiar’s ‘David’, Salman Rushdie and Deepa Mehta’s ‘Midnight’s Children’, Hollywood films like ‘Parker’ and ‘Hansel And Gretel’, and Asha Bhonsle’s acting debut in ‘Mai’. Further, Abbas-Mustan’s ‘Race 2’ is still running in theatres with a firm lead over all new releases.
The sheer number of films on offer will certainly confuse audiences, and will eat into the business of ‘Vishwaroopam’ over the first weekend. It remains to be seen how ‘Vishwaroopam’ will fare in its biggest market – Tamil Nadu, with the ban lifted and a formal announcement of the film releasing on 7 Feb.