Kannada film makes way for ‘Baahubali 2’ in Karnataka

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Kannada film makes way for ‘Baahubali 2’ in Karnataka

“The exhibitors are taking off my Kannada film ‘Raaga’ in 65 theatres in the state a week after its release on April 21 to screen ‘Baahubali 2’ from Friday,” “Raaga” director P.C. Shekar told IANS here.

Made with Rs 1-crore budget by producer-actor Mithra, a Kannada comedy artiste, under the banner of his Mithra Entertainers Cine Creations, “Raaga” is a love story of visually-challenged people, with Mithra and actress Bhama as the lead pair.

“News of his film being removed to make way for ‘Baahubali 2’ depressed Mithra and he got admitted to a private hospital at Kengeri on the city’s southern outskirts,” said Shekar.

Three Kannada films “Om”, “Part-2” and “Engineers” and two Telugu films “Lanka” and “Black Money” are also being taken off the screens in several theatres to release “Baahubali 2” across the southern state.

“I begged many exhibitors to allot one show for ‘Raaga’, but they refused to oblige though many appreciated the film. No theatre is ready to screen it anymore from Friday,” alleged Shekar.

Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce’s former President K.V. Chandrashekar, who owns two-screen Veeresh theatre in the city’s suburb, however, said the box office collection of “Raaga” was not encouraging.

“No exhibitor will take off a film from a theatre if box office collection is good,” said Chandrashekar, who is screening another Kannada film “Raajakumara” in his theatres for the fifth week on trot.

“Occupancy for ‘Raajakumara’ is about 80 per cent, whereas ‘Raaga’ failed to have even 30 per cent occupancy,” said Chandrashekar.

Box office collection for the morning show of “Raaga” on Thursday was Rs 2,300 against the total collection of Rs 20,000, Chandrashekar stressed.

“It is the same in all theatres across the state. Instead of complaining against exhibitors, let the director and producer of ‘Raaga’ go to the people with the daily collection report of their film,” he said.

Exhibitor N.R. Sudheer of Vasupradha Enterprises, which is releasing “Baahubali 2” in the state, said the screening would commence at 4 a.m. on Friday and tickets for all shows on the first day have been sold out.

“I am waiting to watch ‘Baahubali 2’ on the first day, first show. I hope it will not let me down. I consider it as an Indian cinema though made in Telugu,” R. Nandish, a college student, told IANS ahead of the film’s release.

Some multiplexes in Bengaluru made arrangements to screen “Baahubali 2” at 10 p.m. on Thursday.

“I paid Rs 700 for one ticket to watch the film at Inox Garuda multiplex in the city centre,” added Nandish.

Long queues were seen since 6 a.m., at many theatres in Bengaluru and other cities across the state to buy advance tickets though the booking counters opened only at 9.00 a.m.

Theatre owners made elaborate security arrangements to regulate the crowds and sought police help to maintain order, as hundreds of fans thronged cinema halls for tickets in advance.

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