Aamir Khan's highly anticipated biographical drama 'Dangal' is hitting the screens on Friday. With the film set for release in Tamil and Telugu too, trade experts predict whether it can succeed in stirring up a box office storm in the southern market.
In Tamil Nadu, the Nitesh Tiwari-directed wrestling drama is gearing up for release on approximately 120 screens, and this includes in Hindi and Tamil.
Entertainment industry tracker Sreedhar Pillai says 'Dangal' will go up against two Tamil releases - 'Kaththi Sandai' and 'Balle Vellaiya Theva'.
'In Tamil Nadu, 'Dangal' will get third preference as both 'Kaththi Sandai' and 'Balle Vellaiya Theva' are set for wide release, thanks to their good pre-release buzz. 'Kaththi Sandai' marks the comeback of ace comedian Vadivelu, and audiences will flock to cinemas to see him,' Pillai told IANS.
However, he reminds that Aamir has a very strong fan base in Tamil Nadu.
'His 'Dhoom 3' (which released in Hindi and Tamil) earned a share of Rs. 3 crore from Tamil Nadu alone. Among the Khans, Aamir has a very solid fan following in the state. 'Dhoom 3' worked because it was a stylish action film. 'Dangal', however, is a village-oriented wrestling film, and I'm not quite sure how well it will be received in smaller towns,' he said, adding the film might rake in the moolah in the multiplex-laden cities such as Chennai, Coimbatore and Vellore.
Will the demonetisation situation make things worse for 'Dangal'?
According to a leading distributor 'There's no money in the market. If at all people want to spend it on cinema, they'd prefer an entertaining Tamil film over any Hindi film. Even the dubbed Tamil version of 'Dangal' might attract crowds initially but I doubt if it can sustain long enough to create an impact at the ticket window.'
In Andhra and Telangana, the buzz for 'Dangal' looks better, feels trade analyst Trinath.
'With no major Telugu release this week, 'Dangal' is sure to have a very good opening. Aamir Khan's recent visit to the city created quite a buzz and it might work in the film's favour. In Hyderabad, the film will definitely do well,' Trinath told IANS.
In both the Telugu states, the film is expected to release on 100 screens.
In 'Dangal', Aamir plays Haryanvi wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, who trains his daughters Geeta and Babita to be wrestlers like him.