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Can Rishab Shetty’s Kantara withstand the Ponniyin Selvan onslaught at the box office?

Online bookings for the Rishab’s film are sluggish, in comparison to the Mani Ratnam directorial

Can Rishab Shetty’s Kantara withstand the Ponniyin Selvan onslaught at the box office?
Kantara is releasing along with Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 03.44 PM, Sep 27, 2022

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September 30 is a big day as far as film releases go. The Dasara/Pujo weekend has multiple releases, including biggies like Ponniyin Selvan -1, Naane Varuven, and Vikram Vedha. In Karnataka, they are pitted against two Kannada films – one the Hombale Films production Kantara, which brings Rishab Shetty back as director, nearly four years after Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shaale and Thothapuri Part 1, Navarasa Nayaka Jaggesh’s second collaboration with Neerdose maker Vijayaprasad.

Going by the buzz on social media, Kantara was the most-anticipated Kannada film this week. A story set in Mangaluru that brings the culture and traditions of the region to the fore, Kantara is about a man vs man conflict, as well as that of man vs nature. Also starring Kishore in a pivotal role as a Deputy Range Forest Officer, along with Sapthami Gowda and Achyuth Kumar, the film was expected to set the box office on fire. KGF makers Hombale Films even opened advance bookings last weekend, including for paid premieres on September 29. As of this evening, though, most of these paid premiere shows in Bengaluru have very few takers, while September 30 is also looking very ‘green’ on online ticketing sites.

In comparison, the Tamil original of Mani Ratnam’s multi-starrer Ponniyin Selvan -1, has a healthy number of shows that are fast filling in the Bengaluru region. Dhanush’s Naane Varuven, Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan’s Hindi version of Vikram Vedha and, Jaggesh’s Thothapuri 1 are also mostly green as far as online ticket bookings go. Ponniyin Selvan's Kannada version has all of two shows at Narthaki as of now, as per ticket aggregators, and roughly 50% occupancy. 

With only two more days to go, it remains to be seen if bookings will pick up pace for Kantara. The bookings so far, don’t reflect the level of excitement surrounding the film on social media. Are cine-goers waiting on the word-of-mouth publicity after the premiere shows to decide whether to head to movie halls and watch Rishab’s film? Or is Ponniyin Selvan the more popular film this week?

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