Kotigobba 3 and Salaga will have competition from Ram Charan's RRR too, as well as Darling Krishna's firstname.lastname@example.org.
With quite a few Kannada films lined up for release once theatres reopen at full capacity starting October 1, it was expected that there would be a case of too many on some days. Generally, big releases tend to get a clear window, with other films unwilling to take on the challenge. But the delay in allowing 100% occupancy on the government’s part and the festive season has now ensured that there will, quite literally, be star-wars at the box office.
On October 14, not one, but two keenly-anticipated Kannada films will hit screens; pitting Sudeep and Duniya Vijay in direct competition. While Sudeep has Kotigobba 3, Duniya Vijay’s directorial debut Salaga will also release on the same day. Reports suggest that Salaga producer KP Sreekanth, who was on the delegation that met state health minister K Sudhakar last week about allowing 100% occupancy, was planning an October 1 release for the film. But the delay on the government’s part left the team with very little time to plan pre-release promotions, etc., forcing them to look at the next viable option. October 14 seemed perfect, giving Vijay two weeks to promote his film, while also cashing in on the Dasara festive season. The problem with that, though, is that Salaga is now in a direct clash with Sudeep’s Kotigobba 3, which had announced October 14 as its release date earlier.
Both teams are confident of not stepping on each other’s toes, but this festive season is not only about big Kannada releases, especially in a city like Bengaluru, where audiences watch movies in different languages. October 13 is when SS Rajamouli’s much expected RRR is expected to hit screens. The Ram Charan-starrer, which also has Alia Bhatt on board, will surely take up quite a few screens, especially in multiplexes.
Then, on October 15, Darling Krishna, who is a crowd favourite these days, will have his first release since Love Mocktail, in the form of email@example.com, making it a multi-way contest at the box office. If films, like the Suraj Gowda-Dhanya Ramkumar starrer Ninna Sanihake, for instance, from the previous week also have a good run, they may also take up a few halls. Problematic as that may seem, it is still also unclear if audiences will indeed make a beeline for movie halls. Industry insiders predict that the star films will rake in initial collections largely due to fans, but that the real picture of audience behaviour will emerge only after that weekend.
Right now, it seems that Kotigobba 3 and Salaga will get at least two undisturbed weeks, with Shivarajkumar’s Bhajarangi 2 only releasing on October 29. But with all these other films in the mix is that going to be a good enough window for them? Only time will tell.