$17 movie tickets
Indian acting legend's new movie has local fans tossing flowers at the big screen and even offering prayers before his poster. -TNP
By Syahirah Anwar
FORKING out $17 for a movie? Not a problem for Mr Vetrivel Kutturaja.
The 29-year-old Indian national, who works as an air-conditioning technician, bought 30 tickets for the blockbuster Tamil movie Endhiran (which means robot).
It opened in Singapore on Friday.
He said the $510 he and his friends paid was money well-spent because it stars acting great Rajnikanth.
Mr Vetrivel, who is from Tamil Nadu, told The New Paper on Sunday after he bought his tickets at Rex Cinemas on Wednesday evening: "He is a superstar and he is my favourite actor. I've been waiting for this movie to come out for more than a year and now that it's out, even if the tickets are expensive, I will still buy."
He watched the movie twice - alone at the sneak preview at Rex on Thursday evening and again, with 41 friends at the same cinema on Saturday.
The ticket for Endhiran is the most expensive for a movie here.
Endhiran is the most expensive Indian film to date, costing the equivalent of $46 million to make. It was directed by S Shankar, and was shot in India and exotic locations such as Machu Picchu in Peru, the US and Brazil.
The sci-fi flick has Rajnikanth playing both a scientist and a robot. It also stars former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Danny Denzongpa and Santhanam.
But much of the interest in the movie is centred around lead actor Rajnikanth.
Madness ensues whenever a movie of the balding 60-year-old star hits the screens.
His Chandramukhi raked in US$12.5 million (S$16.5m) and ran for 800 days in India, one of the longest stretches for a Tamil film.
His last hit, Sivaji, was released in 2007.
Riots broke out when technical glitches occurred during the screenings in Malaysia.
On Wednesday evening, crowds gathered to wait for the release of Endhiran tickets at the Rex Cinemas box office.
There was a constant queue of 20 to 30 people at the counter for the first two hours after the tickets were released at 4pm.
Said Mr Senthil Kumar, 28, a system analyst from Chennai, who bought 10 tickets: "I came to the theatre at least five times to check if the tickets were out. Now the tickets are finally in my hand."
According to Rex Cinemas director, Mr Senthil Kumar, 27, "tickets for Endhiran were fully sold out for the sneak preview shows and we are sold out till Monday and experiencing high sales for the whole of next week".
Online checks showed that tickets were mostly sold out at the other cinemas screening the movie - Cathay and Golden Village.
At 8pm on Thursday, an hour before the sneak preview, there was an excited crowd of about 100 at the entrance of Rex Cinemas.
I approached 18 people in the queue, and none said they would sell their tickets at a higher price even if offered.
Many in the audience of 500 screamed with delight and tossed flowers at the screen each time Rajnikanth's face appeared.
Two of them even left their seats and rushed to the screen to do this.
Mr Mageswaran Nethagi, 24, an assistant creative director, even offered prayers with a lighted coconut in front of a Rajnikanth poster before entering the cinema.
"This is just our way of blessing Rajnikanthand offering prayers for the movie to do well," said Mr Mageswaran, who intends to watch it nine more times.
He watched Rajnikanth's previous hit, Sivaji, eight times in the cinemas.
But he needn't have worried. Endhiran has been a runaway success.
The Hindustan Times reported that in the US, tickets for the opening night, which were priced at US$40, sold out within 10 minutes of them being released online.
Tickets for the entire week were also snapped up within 10 minutes.
Advance tickets in Tamil Nadu were booked for the next 10 days after the movie's release on Oct 1, reported New Delhi Television.
Tickets there are priced between 500 rupees (S$14) and 700 rupees.
Queues for most pricey ticket ever
IS the $17 ticket price for Endhiran the highest for a movie ticket in Singapore to date?
Tickets are usually $7.50 to $10, depending on whether it's a weekend or weekday.
For Endhiran, it is $17 at Rex Cinemas and $15 at Cathay and Golden Village halls.
Rex Cinemas' director, Mr Senthil Kumar, said the pricing is determined by the local distributor who brought the movie here.
He added: "$17 is definitely the highest priced ticket that Rex Cinemas has sold."
Tickets for Indian movies at Rex typically cost between $10 and $13, depending on the popularity and cast of the film.
At Golden Village, they are usually $11. But $15 is the highest that the cinema has charged for a ticket that is not from the Gold Class, which goes for $28 on weekdays and $36 on weekends.
For 3-D films, tickets are $11 on weekdays and $14 on weekends in all cinemas.
A Cathay spokesman said all Hindi and Tamil movies screened at its cineplexes "have always been priced at $15".
This article was first published in The New Paper.
|Privacy Statement Conditions of Access Advertise|