Written and directed by Nelson Dilipkumar, Beast is produced by Sun Pictures. The invasion thriller, which takes place in a Chennai shopping mall, features Vijay as a spy, alongside actors Pooja Hegde, Shine Tom Chacko, Redin Kingsley, Aparna Das, Yogi Babu, VTV Ganesh, Ankur Ajit Vikal, Liliput Faruqui, and filmmaker Selvaraghavan.
The film is notably arriving a day prior to another big release, the pan-Indian film KGF Chapter 2, which premieres on Thursday.
KGF: Chapter 2 stars Yash and is helmed by Prashanth Neel. Made in Kannada, it is the sequel to the blockbuster KGF: Chapter 1, and is releasing in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi, in addition to Kannada.
Speaking to us, Subramaniam says, “KGF Chapter 2 is releasing in around 200-250 screens in Tamil Nadu. With these films coming, we are expecting big business. Theatres will be running five shows a day across the state. Since this is also a festival time (Tamil New Year on Thursday), the expectations are really high. We are hoping that people come out and watch both the films.”
Venkatesh, owner of Woodlands Cinemas in Chennai, tells us they will be screening Beast for all five shows on Wednesday. But, from Thursday, he expects KGF Chapter 2 will give “tough competition” to Beast. “From Thursday to Sunday, we will run five shows split between the two movies. We have two screens; seven shows will be dedicated to Beast and the rest to KGF Chapter 2. The Vijay-starrer is allotted more shows since it is the native film and features a big Tamil star,” he says, adding, “It is also the first Tamil New Year that people will be celebrating after two years, so the hype is there.”
Venkatesh believes that although both KGF Chapter 2 and Beast will have their loyalists in their respective states, the former has an advantage in the pan-Indian market. “KGF might get around 3,000 screens across India, while Beast will likely be playing in 1000-2000 screens,” he says.
Srither S, joint secretary of the Tamil Nadu Theatres Association, who is also the owner of Manaparai Indira theatre in Trichy, says that he will be running both the films in his premises. “There is a good expectation for both movies this festival season,” he says.
Asked if Tamil Nadu theatre owners are taking any specific precautionary measures in view of the recent incident of a theatre premise being damaged by fans during the screening of the trailer of Beast, Srither says no such measures are planned.