Thalapathy Vijay’s Master is nearing the Rs. 200-crore gross mark in the domestic market and has also minted money overseas. It’s a bonafide box office success despite all the COVID-19 paranoia, 50% occupancy and other safety limitations, giving it major bragging rights before several Bollywood biggies that were too scared to release in the same period. Opening up on how much Master has collected till date worldwide, our trade sources informed us, “Overseas is very front-loaded, so whatever it does in the first week, it’s mostly that. Overseas is mostly over now and that’s how the overseas markets work, people mostly rush in the first week and that’s how it works for all the movies (South). Even Bigil (Vijay’s last release) did 300 crore with all the overseas markets and here, the main markets aren’t there like Malaysia, UK, a lot of mainland Europe and Canada, especially Malaysia, which is the main market for Tamil movies outside of Tamil Nadu. So it’ll be around Rs. 240-250 crore max now.”
As for the breakup in its different territories, we were told, “In Tamil Nadu it would’ve earned about 125 crore till date, with another 25 crore from Andhra (Andhra Pradesh with Telangana), 10-15 crore each from Karanatka and Kerala, plus 7-8 crore from the North belt. Add the 40-50 crore from overseas markets, and Master has earned somewhere between 220-240 crore till now, speaking conservatively.”
Coming to what the lifetime worldwide box office collection of the Thalapathy Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi starrer could be, our sources added, “It has already come online, so you can completely forget overseas (anymore being collected outside India that the movie has already made there) as it has come in almost all the countries in three different languages. North India is also almost dome. So, it could be Tamil Nadu and a lit bit from Bangalore, Telugu states and Kerala (from where some more money could be added). So, the liberal estimate would be maybe 10-20 crore added to what it has already made for a lifetime worldwide gross of anywhere between 250-270 crore.”
“It’ll still have a somewhat longer run in Tamil Nadu because not everybody has Amazon Prime or other OTT platforms and though those people may get the illegal prints, generally, people don’t like watching movies of big-stars in pirated prints on their phones and tickets are also not really expensive in Tamil Nadu, more so after the initial days. Even this weekend (the one that went past), people went to watch it and there’s no other big movie like a Rajini (Rajinikanth) movie or Ajith (Thala Ajith) movie running,” added our sources on the same topic.
So what’s the final box office verdict of Thalapathy Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi’s Master, directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj? “Since they sold the movie in advance and advanced the OTT release by two to three weeks, which brought them a slightly larger payout there, plus the making cost wasn’t as much as Bigil or something, so the movie is pretty profitable. That being said, with the movie ready to have been released in last April, and the producers and distributors bearing a 10-month delay, we don’t know who actually financed it from where and whose money was tied up. So, just going by what we know, that is the production cost and how much it made under the circumstances (COVID-19 and 50% occupancy), with everybody being fair, and as long as the theatres acknowledge how much people paid to watch the movie and followed the safety protocols — that’s where the catch comes — as long as everybody is fair in transferring the gross, the movie is definitely very profitable,” responded out trade contacts.
“However, it also has to be taken into account that the movie would be shown at much higher prices in some places and in the interiors of Tamil Nadu, outside Chennai and other urban centers, the 50% occupancy, too, may not have been followed. So, to be on the safer side, you could say that Master made a good profit, but let’s not call it a blockbuster, because another factor here unlike Bollywood is that production houses stop releasing numbers after some time, so these will all be calculated estimates based on the current situation. Plus, there was word that Vijay reduced his fee by 10%, but that also can’t be verified. So, hoping all went well, and taking into account the business affected overseas, especially with US taking a major hit, you could say that the movie is very profitable all over, though maybe not a blockbuster,” continued our inside contacts.
And how about how much more Master may have earned had it waited to release once 100% occupancy has come into effect nationwide from 1st February onward? “Master has already done 125 crore in Chennai. And Bigil had done a little more than 140 crore. So, the difference is about 15 crore. Plus at all the theatres in the suburbs, mostly the ones outside Chennai and other cities, it’s an open secret that they were running at 100% occupancy, but, of course, no one will admit it. The multiplexes in Chennai and other urban centres though had to strictly follow protocols as they are national cinema-hall chains,” disclosed our sources.
“So, basically it didn’t make a big difference outside most places in Chennai, and some were fines also by the government. And if it was only 50%, then it wouldn’t have made so much till date, right, plus it was the only major movie running in theatres at that time. So, it’s only mostly in Chennai and Madurai where some collections would’ve been affected, so it’s not that big a gap as compared to Bigil. Even overseas, though some major markets weren’t available, it’s still the no. 2 Tamil movie in markets like Australia and Singapore. Maybe US is one country where it was badly affected (besides the markets that were shut) as people may not have gone to watch it, too, due to fear of COVID-19,” revealed our multiple trade sources down South.
So, there you have it: All the dope on Master’s box office report.
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