First Day Report - Jilla vs Veeram
Jilla and Veeram had a massive first day wave like never seen before. The shows started as early as 5am in the morning. All theatres had a festival mood and fans were ecstatic marking the beginning of 'Pongal' celebrations all over the state.
Jilla starts a few steps ahead prior to release
Jilla got more number of screens than Veeram. Jilla was also reportedly bought by distributors and theatres for slightly higher price tag due to the combined strengths of Vijay and Mohanlal. Jilla songs had better reach and more popular than Veeram. Jilla had a bigger online buzz compared to Veeram prior to the day of release. More neutral fans booked tickets for Jilla over Veeram for the first day shows. Overall, Jilla had a slightly upper hand over Veeram before the first show began.
Media and online sites turn into "ThalaThalapathy" fans
After the first show, most section of the media decided to play it safe by not antagonizing any specific fan groups. Interestingly enough, most online sites and well-known critics gave precisely the same ratings for both movies. A handful of critics rated Veeram(MC review) higher than Jilla (MC review). Only one popular News media group favoured Jilla over Veeram by giving the former a higher rating.
Public Word of Mouth favours Veeram
However, the word of mouth from public has been less ambivalent. The public voice has been more positive for Veeram compared to Jilla -- Veeram had an exceptionally brilliant first half and slightly lagging second half. Jilla reports were a bit more mixed with lengthly second half and Mohanlal's acting abilities not fully tapped by the director. Based on the feedback, Jilla team has trimmed the second half by almost 10 minutes.
Screen counts inching up for Veeram
Good news is that advanced bookings will ensure that both movies will run houseful this opening weekend. After exceptional opening for both, the initial trend is pointing slightly more towards Veeram. Veeram's screens and shows have been increased while Jilla is staying flat as reported in multiplexes such as Mayajaal. We need to wait until Monday to see if Veeram's acceleration sustains to race ahead of Jilla during the long festival break.