Vijay’s Mersal advance booking begins in Bengaluru, Kollywood protest continues

With a week to go for Tamil actor Vijay’s upcoming movie Mersal, advance booking has started in Bengaluru. Rex Theatre in Brigade Road is the first exhibitor to sell the tickets online. The booking commenced on Wednesday evening for five shows with the first show at 7 am on October 18 (Diwali).

While Karnataka is considered a stronghold for Ilayathalapathy, the release of the film in Tamil Nadu hangs in balance with Kollywood and Tamil Nadu government at loggerheads over the newly-introduced entertainment tax. The industry went on a protest last week by not releasing any new films and it has entered the second week.

Last week, Hollywood Studios also reacted by not releasing Sony Pictures’ big budget Blade Runner 2049. The Bollywood producers followed suit by not releasing any new Hindi films and also withdrew Judwaa 2, from continuing in its second week.

On September 29, the state government issued a circular claiming that 20% corporation tax would be levied on non-Tamil films and 10% tax on Tamil films. The local body entertainment tax would be along with the GST of 28%, which means the theater owners and producers would be shelling 38-48% as tax alone.

(Story filed by Debroop Roy)