The long summer wait for the boss is finally over and the count down for Rajinikanth' s Sivaji has begun with advance booking for the Friday release.
Across fifteen theatres in Chennai, hardcore Rajini fans joined the never-ending queue from midnight to grab a ticket for the very first show and it is okay if they had to skip their sleep.
"That is the difference between hardcore Rajini fans and common fans. The experience of watching his movie on the first day is boundless," said Gowrishankar, Rajini fan.
"I could get ticket only for the fourth day show not disappointed. I just wanted to see Rajini, said Preethi, Rajini fan.
With an unprecedented price of six and half crore rupees for Chennai screening alone bookings are over for one full week and there is a lady who has come all the way from Australia to watch it here.
"If people matter you have to make such sacrifices to come here and watch the movie," said Bakya Ramadoss, Rajini fan.
"It is unprecedented, never before we have had this kind of crowd for advance bookings and still it is pouring," said K Niranjan, GM, Operations, Sathyam Cinema.
Sivaji's trailer has already set a new trend attracting large number of Rajini fans to theatres just to watch the sneak peek and the superstar's punchy dialogues are a super hit even before the release.
Call it Rajini mania it was a day of frenzy in scorching heat for thousands of his fans sacrificing their sleep and food. Although no official figures are available yet, it appears Sivaji is already a total sell out.
1. Sivaji advance booking opened today ( Sunday, June ) morning in 15 Chennai screens. At Abhirami theatre the booking counters opened at 6.15 am! Not bothered about Chennai`s sweltering heat, thousands of people patiently stood in long winding queues, with no overhead protection.
2. Serpentine queues were seen at all theatres and within minutes, tickets for the opening weekend were sold out in all the screens!
3. In front of Abhirami the long line started forming from Saturday evening pm; motorist had a tough time driving through Puruswakkam High Road!
4. History is being created in Chennai, as by evening it looks like all the shows for the first week will be sold out. Says Abhirami Ramanathan, the Chennai distributor of the film: `I have never seen such crowds for the advance booking of any film in 30 years of my career as an exhibitor and distributor`
5. Sivaji is re-writing box-office history in Chennai already. Says Ramanathan: `By afternoon most of the theatres have reported that they have sold out for the entire week, something that has never happened in film trade. I have already instructed theatres which have computerized booking like Abhirami to open reservations for the second week!`
6. Muthu, a boy from Triplicane waited in the queue from 5 am but managed to get tickets at Melody theatre for Thursday matinee (look at the ticket). Still he had a smile on his face and cannot wait till the big day when he sees superstar on the big screen.
7. Another highlight of the Sivaji advance booking was the large number of ladies who turned up to book their seats. There was separate ladies queue in most theatres. Most of them were well dressed upper middle class type, whom you will never spot at any Tamil film opening.
8. The queue in front of Sathyam cinemas stretched beyond their car park. At Devi complex, the queue started in front of Cosmopolitan club, while in Udayam the beginning was close to Asok pillar!
9. Says Swaroop Reddy of Sathyam Cinemas: `The response has been phenomenal. We have never experienced anything like this. By evening it looks like we will be sold out for the first week and second weekend, something that has never happened before.' Says Kavitha : ` We rarely watch Tamil films in the opening weekend, but my family and friends were determined to see Sivaji in the opening weekend and that too at Sathyam!` .
When the local media discuss about the usual political scenarios, CNN IBN, leading national channel, going to cover the Sivaji release celebrations from 11th June 2007 to 16th June 2007. There will lot of programmes related with the Sivaji release thoroughout this week. It's the first a tamil cinem gets a huge publicity over national channels.
Here is the coverage of CNN IBN about Sivaji Ticket Booking.
There is a huge rush to watch Rajnikanth on the silver screen in Chennai. And this time it is as Sivaji.
Amidst the crowd is 26-year-old Nagaraj. His love for the superstar helps him overcome his physical disability as he makes a desperate bid for tickets.
Also, in the kilometer long queue is 51-year-old Selvam, who jostles Rajni fans less than half his age.
Meanwhile, then there is 15-year-old Prakash who represents yet another growing generation of Rajni fans.
And they have all been waiting since 3:00 am in the morning, with the counter opening six hours later.
The tickets have been sold already so Nagaraj gets tickets for the fourth day. Selvam and Prakash also become successful to get tickets for the fourth day, this despite the film releasing in over 20 screens in the city.
Says Nagaraj, "Thalaiva, I will see your movie some how on the first day even if it costs me my life"
"There's only one leader for Tamil Nadu and that's our super star how can we miss his movie on the first day" adds Prakash.
The first few shows have been virtually taken over by 2,500 Rajni fan clubs in Chennai alone and 35, 000 across the state.
The clubs run by people including Srikanth, an executive with a private company. The clubs officially represent a phenomenon that makes Rajnikanth the most dependable box office hero.
In the early 1990's Rajni stopped registering new fan clubs, but that didnâ€™t stop fans like T V E Rajesh, an executive with an MNC. Rajesh and his friends started www.rajinifans.com an Internet community of Rajnikanth fans.
"About ,000 users who visit our site regularly. It is just a reminder that the superstarâ€™s fan following is only growing" says Rajesh.
Every other star also has fan clubs but none today can match the Rajni phenomenon.
The craze for the super star cuts across the social spectrum from the young to the old, from the rich to the poor. Ands the fans will do whatever it takes to watch the first day first show of any of his film.
Courtesy : http://www.ibnlive.com/news/fans-jostle-for-sivaji-tickets/42655-8.html