Lingaa has promised, and delivered. Even as the film was made in a record time, one wondered how big would the film arrive over the weekend gone by. After all, it was Rajinikanth‘s birthday on Friday and the film had to be just a befitting present that the Superstar as well as his fans could have hoped for. As it turned out, the first step was taken in a right direction as Eros gave the film hugest ever release down South with over 4000 screens booked worldwide. This, when the film has currently been released in only the Tamil & Telugu with he Hindi version to follow.
“It had to be; after all it is Rajinikanth‘s return to the big screen in a Live avtar four years after Endhiran/Robot,” says an insider, “Thalaivar too had decided to treat his loyal fans across the globe. Lingaa has released in more than 3000+Screens in India and 1000+Screens worldwide. This by itself is a record in itself. Moreover, just one look at the film tells you that it is one of the biggest films of Rajinikanth. While Anushka Shetty is wooing her fan-base in Telugu, Sonakshi Sinha‘s debut in Tamil brings her closer to the South audience. It is an all around experience for the audience.”
Thankfully, the response of audience over the weekend has been befitting to the kind of hype that had built around the film as well as the stature that Rajinikanth carries. While the now-famous carnival feel is pretty much prevalent in cinemas down South, especially in Tamil Nadu, the scene has been quite heartening up North as well with certain multiplex screens in even Delhi and Gurgaon running to full occupancy.
“That’s right,” our source informs, “Audience have been flocking theaters and traveling miles just to catch a glimpse of Rajinikanth. The mania associated with him has reached places outside the South states as well. We have reports from certain screens at PVR where shows were booked well in advance and are still running into packed houses. In Mumbai too, renowned Aurora theater in Matunga is witnessing people coming in huge numbers right through the weekend. Pujas are being held for Rajni! Such is the admiration of people for this humble star.”
As for South, it is a common sight to see huge cut-outs of Rajinikanth been put all across the streets. With people from all walks of life thronging to theaters where the first show of the film commenced as early as 1AM itself on Friday, quite a few working professionals could afford to watch the film first day first show (FDFS) before heading for office.
Says IT professional Lakshmikanth Jaganmohan who works at a leading Banking corporation and had a difficult choice to make between attending a high profile board meeting versus maintaining his record of watching every Rajinikanth film FDFS, “Well, in any case Chennai shuts down when a Rajini film releases. There is only one carnival and that is the one that is seen on the streets leading to theaters screening Thalaivar’s films. It was no different for Lingaa either.”
No wonder, those associated with the film are gladdened with the heartening response from audience, exhibitors and the distributors. Says Nandu Ahuja, Theatrical Head, Eros International, “There is just one word to describe reactions post the film’s release – Unbelievable! We have got fantastic showcasing for the film pan India and overseas with some theatres running as many as 72 shows daily! Rajni sir’s fans are thronging cinemas since Friday morning and the film has opened to overwhelming reactions, a perfect birthday gift for the superstar”.