It is Salman Khan’s super hero avatar and mind-blowing action moves that are creating a riot at box-office, say exhibitors

Exhibitors analyze the incredible box-office success of Tiger Zinda Hai and how Salman has wooed the audiences with his slick action moves choreographed by Tom Struthers.

By Manishaa R

Even as Tiger Zinda Hai continues to run riot at the India and international box-office after its six-day run, exhibitors and theatre-owners across India have attributed the unprecedented response to Salman Khan’s action super-hero avatar and the conviction with which he has rendered the role. Mumbai distributor-exhibitor Ramesh Sippy, who is screening the film in all shows at three of his prime properties in Mumbai territory, feels that Salman has proved himself in the breath-taking action from the very first frame, “The film showcases Salman at his very best in action. Salman has done hard core action in his earlier films too but this time the action is of an international scale akin to watching a Hollywood movie like a Commando or a Rambo and Salman has lived up to it,” Sippy revealed.

His real push came with Dabanng and Salman is unstoppable ever since, says Ramesh Sippy

The veteran distributor who had last distributed Salman’s action starrer, Wanted, in 2009, feels that Salman’s elevation to one of the most celebrated stars on screen, happened more prominently after Dabanng, “When I released Wanted, it did very good business but not as remarkable, since Salman was yet to prove his credentials as a big commercial star. Wanted no doubt made a big difference but the real push came with Dabangg, which had content, star-value and a great performance from him. After that he is unstoppable,” Sippy says.

The audiences were craving to see Salman in action, they don’t like to see him soft-hearted and tearful on screen

Veteran filmmaker and exhibitor, Mehul Kumar, who has been playing the film to packed houses at his Mehul multiplex in Jamnagar, Gujarat, feels that it is Salman and Katrina Kaif’s slick action moves along with his super-hero image that has worked big time for the film, “He has the image of a superhero and the audience was craving to see him in action. He justified the complex action and the role with his hard work,” Mehul Kumar said.

The veteran who has the sole distinction of working with legendary actor, Raj Kumar in several films including Tirangaa and Krantiveer, feels that it is important that the projection of a star on screen does not digress from his image. He recalls the example of Raj Kumar, who was known for his impeccable dialogue delivery and great screen persona, “That was a different era but I do remember the fact that the audiences were very particular about the way Raj-saab was presented on screen. If you gave him a character that did not exude his larger-than-life image, the film would go unnoticed.”

According to Mehul Kumar, the audiences were disappointed with Tubelight because it showed him in a role that was completely contrary to his image, “Irrespective of the merits of the film, it deviated completely from his image of the invincible hero. The audiences don’t like to see him in the weeping, soft-hearted and rona-dhona scenes. They like to see him doing incredible things on screen,” he said, adding that he was looking at Tiger Zinda Hai, breaking the record of Sultan at his own multiplex.

Ali Abbas Zafar has harnessed Salman Khan’s superstardom like never before

Exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, who has released Tiger Zinda Hai in 17 screens across Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh gives full marks to Ali Abbas Zafar and the way he has unfolded the story on screen, “Ali Abbas Zafar has come up with a brilliant script and screenplay, by harnessing Salman’s superstardom and projecting him exactly the way the audiences would want to see him and that has made the big difference. Add to that the huge production values and the way this film has been mounted, which has made the film a big screen spectacle and a compulsive, cinematic viewing experience,” Rathi says.

Rathi adds that there is a unique psychology at work when it comes to the cinema-viewing audiences, “Today the cost of going for a movie is pretty high so it is important to give the audience something that makes it paisa vasool. A filmmaker needs to entertain and engage the audience and give them their money’s worth, ensuring that the movie contains more than just the face of the star, with its content and story-telling,” Rathi says.

Salman has done hard core action in his earlier films too but this time the action is of an international scale akin to Hollywood movies like Commando and Rambo and Salman has lived up to it- Ramesh Sippy, Veteran distributor and exhibitor

The quality and scale of action is international

Exhibitor Vishek Chauhan has the last word,You rarely find a Hindi film making it as a top grosser in the international market because most of our films don’t confirm to that scale and quality of action. For that you need an action entertainer like Avengers but Tiger Zinda Hai, has the kind of stylized action that can qualify for a universal market. Add to that the fact that it our very own Salman bhai in action in a bigger and better sequel and the mass hysteria is understandable,” Vishek quips.

Meanwhile exhibitors are expecting it to be another eventful week at the box-office. The six-day collection for the film is currently in the range of Rs 191 cr. The first installment Ek Tha Tiger, had a lifetime business of Rs 198.73 cr and the film is expected to go way beyond it going by estimates.