Theatre owners demand 'pound of flesh' from Rajnikant

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Chennai, Aug 23 (UNI) If taken sportingly, the box office debacle suffered by Tamil superstar Rajnikant's latest flick 'Kuselan,' a remake of Malayalam hit starring another superstar Mammootty, could be explained easily as 'law of averages' operating.

For, after a huge flop 'Baaba' in early 2000, Rajnikant, who has been ruling the roost as the unchallenged numero uno in Tamil cinema for decades, had two huge hits 'Chandramukhi,' another remake of a Malayalam hit in 2006, and 'Sivaji' an original last year. Thus the hugely popular actor's 'Kuselan' was bound to flop.

But the theatre owners, who are incurring big losses, having bought the film at astronomical price from the distributors going by the name of producers, veteran filmmaker K Balachander's Kavitalaya and Seven Arts banners, are now demanding monetary compensation.

The film released 25 days ago amidst huge hype with a world premere, including the United States and Japan, where there are many Rajni fans, has not been able to draw crowds constantly unlike 'Chandramukhi,' which like 'Kuselan' also had a strong comedy element by Director of both the films P Vasu.

At an emergency meeting here today the Theatre Owners Association demanded 70 per cent compensation of the amount they had paid for the film. President of the Association Palaniappan claimed that they were cheated by the producers and director P Vasu that the film was a 'full length Rajnikanth action drama, but it was not so as the superstar appears more or less like a guest actor.

The film disappointed the die-hard Rajni fans who are not coming to the theatres for repeat viewing. The plot of the film also does not have any fight sequences by Rajni, which is normally the pep for his fans.

The theatre owners claimed that they had lost 75 per cent of the minimum guarantee amount they had paid to the distributors of 'Kuselan' due to the poor collections at the box office.

It may be recalled that it was Rajnikant himself, who had 'kicked off' the idea of compensating the distributors or theatre owners when his 'Baaba' failed miserably almost bringing the curtains down, as it were, on his glorious career as superstar.

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