Producer Thanu and his son Paranthaman who doubles as the executive producer of Rajinikanth-starrer Kabali, are leaving no stone unturned to make it the ultimate film of the decade.
With industry pundits predicting that Kabali would do a pre-release business of over Rs 200 crore, Thanu tells DC that it might even cross the figure by way of distribution, satellite rights, endorsement contracts and merchandise.
Paranthaman explains how Kabali is a benchmark release in Indian cinema. “I had a bad throat and was unable to speak. But, mention the name of Rajini sir, that was enough for me to get back my energy,” Paranthaman starts his conversation with a smile.
While the straight Tamil version of Kabali will have a simultaneous release in Karnataka, Air Asia’s package offer to Rajini fans to fly to Chennai to watch the first-day-first-show of the movie, was quite unprecedented. Reportedly their reason was, “they want to watch the film on the first day in Chennai along with the Tamil fans of Superstar, displaying the ‘Fan Mood’.”
“Since Kabali has an international look and flavour in terms of casting (actors from various countries), shooting locales, dubbing in multiple languages, and a mammoth release, we want to take the film to global audiences with quirky promos and merchandise deals,” Paranthaman says.
We hear that Cadbury is coming out with a brand Rajini chocolate. “Initially there were plans for that, but since we are running short of time, the idea was given up. Since Rajini sir started his career as a bus conductor, Cadbury, the multinational confectionary brand that is associated with us, came out with an innovative idea.
They are promoting the movie with a special panel made with the tag line ‘Superstar ka 5 Star’ and ‘Superstar in 5 Star’ which they are making as a full-length panel on the sides of all the buses that are plying in Tamil Nadu.
Apart from this, a separate all-India promo road show with several buses where LEDs will be fixed and Kabali songs, trailers and teasers will be aired. These would mainly attract the young crowd from colleges,” he reveals.
The makers are tying up with Amazon, the online platform, to sell products. “Amazon is our associate partner. We would be selling Rajini sir’s Kabali key chains, wax statues, portraits, posters and other memorabilia through Amazon. We are directly involving ourselves and negotiating prices so that fans of the Superstar can buy them at an affordable price.”
For the first time, a Tamil film is being dubbed in Chinese, Malay, Thai and Japanese. “Kabali, directed by Ranjith, has technicians from India, China, Malaysia and Thailand and hence this effort. We plan to release the movie on more than 10,000 screens globally. In China, this is the third Indian movie that is releasing in as much as 5,000 screens, after PK and Baahubali.”
Kabali is the story of an ageing don. “Rajini sir is treated as a demigod in Malaysia. Several big shots came forward to lend their high-end sports cars for shooting purposes. We have used about 25 cars including a Ferrari and Audi R8 in the film. When the audio was launched recently, these car owners had a road show with Kabali stickers and posters on them.”
Thanu’s office is busy with distributors crowding around to seal the deal with him “I have just finished the overseas distribution rights. I am yet to start the local areas! I am confident that the film will reach greater heights,” he adds.