The makers of Thalaivaa couldn't have asked for more. Fans queued up from 6 in the morning, brought the film's reel on a chariot, and danced to celebrate the film's peaceful release here today.
After crossing roadblocks, Vijay starrer Tamil action drama Thalaivaa has finally released in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
At the city's Udhayam theatre, fans brought the film's reel in a chariot, performed rituals and then carried it on their shoulders to the operator's room.
"It's a ritual to carry the reel of Vijay's films on a chariot. So, fans organised a chariot and brought the reel after performing pooja in a temple. They danced all the way from the temple to the theatre. Fans in the theatre poured milk on Vijay's life size cut outs and also put kumkum and garlanded on his posters," said a representative of Udhayam theatre.
In Tamil Nadu, Thalaivaa hit approximately 405 screens.
"Fans were waiting for the theatre gates to open since 6 a.m. in the morning. They wanted to set up everything before the release of the film. Most of Vijay's fans wore t-shirts with his image on it and were dancing to his songs," said the representative.
Thalaivaa, originally scheduled to come out August 9, was banned after theatre owners received threats from a political outfit.
The film's producer Chandra Prakash Jain and director AL Vijay requested Tamil Nadu's J Jayalalitha to intervene.
Thalaivaa got a green signal after it the makers agreed to drop the tagline - Time to Lead - from its publicity stills and promotions for reasons unknown.
The film released peacefully across the state.
"We didn't have any problem since morning. It has been a very smooth release. In some of the big and old theatres, police were deployed to ensure fans maintain decorum. The response has been phenomenal as thousands turned out to on a weekday to see the film," said Sunil Jain, son of producer CP Jain.
Amala Paul, Ragini Nandwani, Sathyaraj and Abhimanyu Singh also feature in the film.
Mayajaal, one of the biggest multiplexes in the city, is running 50 shows of Thalaivaa.
"We have had about 85-90 percent occupancy since morning. I'm sure it will drastically increase in the next few days and will be packed during the weekend," said a representative of Mayajaal.
According to trade pundits, the movie is expected to have a big opening.
"Going by the response to the film since morning, it is likely to collect between Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore. Vijay's recent films have managed to reap gold on the release day in Tamil Nadu, and, Thalaivaa will surely follow suit," said trade analyst Trinath.