Despite Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj’s protests against 2.0’s release in the state, the film opened across 350 screens on November 29, and no shows were stopped. 2.0 collected Rs 6.5 crore on its first day in Karnataka, and is estimated to have collected Rs 40 crore in four days.
Vatal Nagaraj had staged a protest outside Bengaluru’s Urvashi Theatre on Thursday morning. He was against the number of screens allocated to 2.0 in the state, and said films in other languages like Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam should not be promoted in Karnataka.
He reportedly addressed the media outside the theatre and said, “In Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, there is no Kannada (films). In that view, films of other languages should not be screened in Karnataka. When there are new films in other languages, it should not release in our state for one month.”
He also said there was a threat to Kannada films in recent times, since most single-screen theatres had shut, and, “The remaining single-screen theatres and multiplexes are giving greater preference to other language films and are sidelining Kannada movies.”
The film’s producers had sold the distribution rights for the film to individual distributors before its release. In Karnataka, it was sold to distributors for Rs 25 crore, in Kerala for Rs 15 crore, and in Andhra Pradesh-Telangana for Rs 70 crore. The film’s producers, Lyca Productions, will not have any profit sharing from the film’s earnings in these states.
Distributor Sudheer had reportedly told IBT that the film was doing well in the state and has met their expectations. He added that the film had released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi in the state, and while there was a demand to dub it in Kannada, he wasn’t sure if there would be opposition from pro-Karnataka organisations.
The Kannada film industry has been known for its opposition to dubbing films in Kannada. Since 1960s, from actor Rajkumar’s time, there was an unofficial ban on dubbing. But a few years ago, Kannada Grahaka Koota, a group in favour of dubbing, took the issue to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), which passed a verdict in favour of dubbing.
Following this, Tamil films dubbed in Kannada, particularly Ajith’s, have done well in the state. Ajith’s Vivegam opened at the Karnataka box office last year to gross Rs 6.2 crore in its opening weekend. It went on to release in Kannada as Commando, and became the first Tamil film in 40 years to be dubbed in the language despite protests from Vatal Nagaraj and other organisations.
In June this year, during the release of Rajinikanth-starrer Kaala too, Vatal and members of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had protested. Kaala however, didn’t do well and earned only Rs 30 lakh on its first day in the state, as opposed to expected earnings of Rs 5 crore. Screenings at Mantri Sqaure Mall, Lido Mall, Kaveri theatre and others were stopped on the first day of its release.