Thursday, 19 October 2017 - 10:27
Mersal captivates American film lovers



South Indian box office king Vijay proved his mettle in America once again with an excellent $357,925 opening day for his new film Mersal, according to local distributor ATMUS Entertainment.

That works out to a $2,712 per location average from the 132 venues where the action picture launched.

Mersal ranked ninth among all US releases on Tuesday (17), an exceptionally strong placement for a Tamil-language film.

The Tamil market isn’t as big in the U.S. as it is in other territories like Malaysia, where the picture will roll out on as many as 800 screens.

It was also one of the biggest mid-week premieres for an Indian film, comparing favorably against such Hindi-language blockbusters that got their starts mid-week, like Aamir Khan’s Dangal, which opened to $328,227 at 328 locales on a Wednesday last December, and Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees, which rolled out to $349,383 at 265 venues on a Wednesday in January, 2017.

Dangal went on to gross $12.4 million in its North American run, and Raees earned $3.3 million.

Mersal didn’t come close to matching the stunning $1.005 million debut of Mahesh Babu’s Tamil-language actioner SPYder several weeks ago on Tuesday, September 26th, but that film’s start was fueled by stunt pricing and discounting that led to one of the most front-loaded releases ever in US box office history.

SPYder, which was also handled by Mersal distributor ATMUS, plummeted by 95 percent from its 1st day to its 3rd, and failed to reach even $2 million in U.S. grosses.

Mersal's prospects look rather more promising, both in the U.S. as well as in India and overseas. The film is launching on over 3,500 screens worldwide during the Diwali/Deepavali holiday, the Festival of Lights, which is one of the biggest box office weeks of the year for Indian films.

The film will have to contend with some major competition across India, with two other major pictures from Bollywood premiering on Thursday. Ajay Devgn's comedy sequel Golmaal Again will go up against Aamir Khan's girl-power drama Secret Superstar in huge releases in the north of India.

Mersal tells the tale of an Indian doctor living in Europe who returns home to solve a healthcare threat that is looming over the country, and in the process, he unravels the mystery surrounding his father's death. Mersal is directed by Atlee (Theri) from a script by Vijayendra Prasad (the Baahubali films) and a score by A.R. Rahman

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