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Kuselan in trouble again

The massive flop of Rajinikanth's recent film Kuselan all around has sent shock waves in the Tamil film industry and also for the distributors of the film in Karnataka. The Andhra Pradesh film distributors who had taken rights of the film's Telugu version Kathanayakudu have also been put to huge losses. Though many people say that the total business loss of the two versions of the film is put at around Rs.40 crores, an authentic estimation of the loss of theatres alone will be more than twenty crores.

The film has been uniformly declared as a washout considering the huge non returnable advance paid by the theatre owners and distributors who obtained the releasing rights of the film. Now the distributors and exhibitors are demanding their pound of flesh and want to be compensated. Most of them have paid money to Pyramid Saimira, the World right distribution holders of the film. The overseas distributors and Karnataka based distributors have purchased the outright rights from Pyramid Saimira Distribution Company. Now, the exhibitors and distributors have also made Super Star Rajinikanth, K.Balachandar of Kavithalaya productions, the producer of the film and Vijaya Kumar of Seven Arts, Co-producer as parties, to arrive at a compensation settlement formula to save them.

Some of the distributors representatives have been able to contact Super Star Rajinikanth and the actor seems have to agreed to pay around Rs.7 crores from his remuneration. It is believed that the actor has obtained Rs.26 crores as remuneration for acting in two versions of the film. And he is prepared to compensate Rs.7 crores. But Kavithalaya productions are not prepared to shell out money as compensation to the losses suffered by the distributors.

The Pyramid Saimira which obtained around Rs.63 crores for the world distribution rights of the Tamil film will also suffer huge losses, but the company is not yet revealing their plans. According to sources from Pyramid Saimira the film has been able to recover around Rs.25 cores from Tamil Nadu theatres in the last few weeks.

However it is difficult that Pyramid Saimira, a corporate firm will compensate the losses of exhibitors as it has entered into an agreement of Non returnable advance from them.

Sources close to the Bangalore based distributor of the film said that they have already communicated to Pyramid Saimira that Kuselan is a big flop in Karnataka and they have suffered major losses on account of its miserable box office performance. "We have written two letters to Pyramid Saimira and we are waiting for their call. We are also trying to attend the meeting of the exhibitors and distributors which has been planned on August 23 at Chennai to discuss the future plans for recovery."

Rajinikanth had compensated the losses of theatre owners and distributors when his previous film Baba failed at the Box office. He had sent a Demand Draft of Rs.60 lakhs to H.D.Gangaraj, the Bangalore based distributor of the film. And accordingly he had also compensated other distributors and theatre owners. But Rajinikanth was the producer of Baba and in the case of Kuselan, he is just an actor.

The theatre owners from Tamil Nadu have been arguing that K.Balachandar, producer of the film and P. Vasu, the director of the film had made them to believe that Rajinikanth had a full length role in the film, while in reality he was hardly seen in thirty minutes of the film. "P.Vasu had claimed in the audio release function of the film that Rajini had a bigger role. But Rajini should have countered Vasu's claims in the function," say the distributors.

However, to be fair to Rajinikanth, he had clearly said that Kuselan is a film that should belong to Pasupati during the launch of the film. "I have a role which will be twenty five percent of the whole film, while Pasupati will have a role which will come in more than fifty percent of the film," he had said. And he wanted his producers to release the film with lesser number of prints.

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