Thunivu & Varisu First day box office collections; Ajith wins Tamil Nadu, Vijay leads India – PINKVILLA

On one hand Thunivu has the bragging rights for leading in Tamil Nadu first day, and on the other hand Varisu has a bigger all-India first day box office collection
The initial numbers for Pongal releases are pouring in and everyone is a winner in some form or other. On the one hand “team Thunivu” has the bragging rights for leading in Tamil Nadu while on the other hand “team Varisu” has a bigger all-India number, despite not having Telugu dubbed release. The biggest winner, however, is the Tamil Nadu box office which recorded its biggest single day ever, crossing the Rs. 40 crores mark, with the combined box office take of Thunivu and Varisu estimated at Rs. 41 crores approx. The number could have gone even higher but there were some early morning show cancellations in some centres. 
Vijay starrer Varisu collected Rs. 30 crores approx in India on its first day, with Rs. 20 crores approx coming from Tamil Nadu. The first day collections in Tamil Nadu are the sixth highest for the megastar. Vijay has now crossed the Rs. 20 crores figure for the first day with every release since Mersal in 2017, while no other actor had done it even twice before yesterday. As was highlighted in our preview earlier this week, Varisu actually had better occupancies than Thunivu yesterday but it fell short of capacity to go any higher at most prime centres. That excess demand from the first day is spilled over to the upcoming days with the film having very strong advance throughout the holiday weekend.
The important thing is that the audience reception is on the positive side and the film can easily make up for the lost revenue on the first day over the holiday period and beyond. The film also opened well outside Tamil Nadu, crossing Rs. 4 crores in Kerala and Karnataka. The Telugu version of the film will release on 14th January and now with the buzz from the good reception is expected to open to huge numbers.
The territorial breakdown for Varisu first day in India is as follows:
Tamil Nadu – Rs. 20 crores approx
Karnataka – Rs. 4.50 crores
Kerala – Rs. 4.50 crores
AP/TS – Rs. 25 lakhs (Tamil only)
Rest of India – Rs. 1 crores
Total – Rs. 30.25 crores
Thunivu starring Ajith Kumar collected Rs. 29 crores approx in India on its first day with an excellent start in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The opening in Kerala and AP/TS was low, especially in the latter where it had a huge release but failed to take advantage of that. This isn’t totally unexpected though, as Ajith has never been much of a sell in these two areas.
The first day collections in Tamil Nadu are second highest for Ajith, behind his previous release Valimai, which collected Rs. 28 crores on its first day. A solo release could have probably seen a new record for Ajith but once again the important thing is that the initial reception for the film looks better than Valimai and with added holiday benefit, it can emerge as a successful venture as the costs involved are quite reasonable.
The territorial breakdown for Thunivu first day in India is as follows:
Tamil Nadu – Rs. 21 crores approx
Karnataka – Rs. 3.75 crores
AP/TS – Rs. 2 crores
Kerala – Rs. 1.40 crores
Rest of India – Rs. 45 lakhs
Total – Rs. 28.50 crores
Pongal is a huge period for the box office in Tamil Nadu. In 2019, the clash between Rajinikanth’s “Petta” and Ajith’s “Viswasam” yielded over Rs. 230 crores at the Tamil Nadu box office, which was more than 50 per cent higher than the then-biggest grosser in the state Baahubali 2. In fact, the combined sum of Petta and Viswasam even exceeds the current biggest grosser Ponniyin Selvan. The initial reception for Varisu and Thunivu seems acceptable and the hope will be that the combined box office of the two hit the new high in Tamil Nadu, possibly hit the Rs. 300 crores mark.
Note: Tamil Nadu numbers for both films are provisional and can change significantly when the actuals arrive. Actuals may take some days or even weeks.
Jatinder joined Pinkvilla in December 2021. He covers the film and media business, with a particular focus on South Indi Read more
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