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It was the first Indian film to use motion capture technology, but the animated Kochadaiiyaan that also had superstar Rajinikanth in parts raked in Rs 25 crore during its first weekend for the Tamil version, the superstar’s core market. The figure is excellent for an animation film, but maybe a notch lower than what a live-action Rajinikanth film would fetch there, bringing home the fact that an Indian animation film holds a limited appeal for our audience.
“The postponement of the release date affected the film’s business to some extent. Also, animation films produced in India haven’t found whole-hearted mandate from the audience so far,” mentioned Adarsh. A black ticket seller outside the Aurora theatre in Mumbai, a favourite with Rajini’s fans stated that, “Cartoon picture hone ke wajah se response kam hain. All my tickets are usually sold out an hour before the show, but this time, only the stall tickets were the first ones to get picked up.”
The reluctance of the audience to step into theatres to watch an animation film has become the film-makers’ bane. The high profile Mahabharata 3D made on a budget of Rs 40 crore did a business of only about six crore at the box-office, while Nikhil Advani’s National Award winning film Delhi Safari garnered Rs 1. 53 crore in its one week run! Says Kirit Khurana who made Toonpur Ka Superhero, “ We don’t have the culture of watching animation films. Youngsters in the age-group of 18-25, which forms a chunk of the audience would prefer to watch a romcom instead . Children on the other hand are made to watch these films on a DVD at home.”
This is one of the reason why animation films do not have impressive collections. Films like Hanuman earned Rs 5 lakh, Krishna and Kans earned Rs 20 lakh, Chhota Bheem (which is also a famous cartoon series) made Rs 45 lakh, Arjun earned ` 25 lakh and Son of Ram, Rs 5 lakh on day one. Mahabharat 3D is the only movie which has set a benchmark garnering Rs 55 lakhs on its opening day. Interestingly, Delhi Safari which earned Rs 1.53 crore in its week long run in India, managed to mop up Rs 10 crore in South Korea, according to Advani.
There are 130 plus animation movies that have been made, since The Banyan Tree (made by the Films Division of India) India’s first