Directed by Chethan Kumar and produced by Kishore Pathikonda, the film marks Puneeth’s posthumous appearance following his death on October 29, 2021. Popularly known as ‘power star’ in the Kannada film industry, Puneeth died of cardiac arrest at 46. James features actors Priya Anand, Sarathkumar and Hareesh Peradi, among several others.
The film has collected Rs 11 crores at the India box office on Sunday, which marks the fourth day of screening. In Karnataka, the film garnered Rs 27 crores on the opening day. If James consistently maintains its performance at the box office, it is estimated to collect nearly Rs 50 crore during the extended weekend.
The film that released on March 17, marked the actor’s first birth anniversary following his death. Puneeth’s brother Shiva Rajkumar lent his voice for him in the film, after his untimely demise.
In an earlier conversation with Silverscreen India, KV Chandrasekar, President of Karnataka Film Exhibitors Association, said that out of a total of 630 theatres in Karnataka, James had opened in more than 550 theatres. He also mentioned that nearly 3000 screens are currently playing the film and after the first show at 6 am, 99% of the audiences were happy with the film.
He noted that there won’t be any other films releasing in theatrets this week as all cinema halls across the state will only screen James, as a tribute to the late actor. “In the wake of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns, theatres and cinema halls in the state were severely hit. Due to financial problems, around 150 theatres had decided to completely shut down. But they have now reopened for James. With this film’s release and other upcoming big-budget films like RRR, we hope to revive the business,” he added.
Before James, Puneeth was seen in Yuvarathnaa (2021). On November 16, 2021, during an event called ‘Puneeth Namana’ that honoured the actor, Basavaraj S Bommai, the state’s Chief Minister, announced that Puneeth would be posthumously honoured with the Karnataka Ratna Award, the state’s highest civilian honour. On his birth anniversary, Karnataka CM also said that the date to present the award will be decided soon, after consulting with the late actor’s family members.