Vijayawada: Frenzy, craze and mass hysteria, all rolled into one, were on show as the megastar K Chiranjeevi’s ‘Khaidi No 150’ hit the screens with a battle cry of “Boss is Back” across the State on Wednesday.
The huge cutouts with life-size images of Chiru adorned not only the theatres but also the vantage points in the heart of cities and towns and even in residential localities.
Areas like Currency Nagar in the Vijayawada witnessed a show of `Chiru-Balayya bonhomie’ with the cutouts featuring both the celluloid heroes and their flicks side by side greeting the passersby at different centres as if easing the palpable conflict environment involving fans of the two Tollywood heroes.
In Visakhapatnam, a person slashed himself with a blade at a theatre after he failed to secure a ticket to watch the movie of his favourite hero.
The police intervened and shifted him to hospital. An irate of mob of Chiru’s fans went berserk and ransacked a hall at Kolluru in Guntur district after its management backtracked from its commitment to screen a benefit show.
The screen, chairs and other property of the theatre were damaged. In Mogalthur, the megastar’s birthplace in West Godavari district, the ‘house full’boards greeted the movie-goers much before the release of the flick. A resident of Mogaltur told The Hans India,
“The two theatres screening the movie had the tickets booked to their capacity 10 days before the release and the crowds two times larger than the capacity of each theatre were waiting for a chance to view the movie outside”.
The release of ‘Khaidi No 150’ and Nandamuri Balakrishna’s ‘Gautami Putra Satakarni’ in a gap of one day brought out signs of caste bias in their screening by exhibitors, according to reports.
The Kapu-dominant areas like East and West Godavari districts, the Chiru’s flick hit the theatres, leaving hardly anyone for the Balayya’s film.
All the 10 theatres in Eluru vied with one another to screen ‘Khaidi No 150’, keeping the Balayya’s fans on tenterhooks.
“There are a few theatres owned by TDP leaders which were also screening Chiru’s film on the first day. Let us see whether they will switch to Gautami Putra Satakarni on its release scheduled on Thursday”, said a Balayya fan.
According to information, Nagababu, Chiru’s brother, was keenly monitoring the movie prospects overseas on the first day.
He was said to have received information from one of his contacts in the US which suggested that the box office collections had crossed Rs 10 crore.