Manoj Desai, who owns Maratha Mandir and Gaiety Galaxy theatres in Mumbai, had said that Vijay’s “arrogant attitude” while promoting ‘Liger’ was hurting ticket sales during advance booking in theatres.

Vijay Devarakonda in a white T shirt meets Film exhibitor Manoj DesaiTwitter
Flix Controversy Monday, August 29, 2022 - 14:46

Actor Vijay Deverakonda has met film exhibitor Manoj Desai, who owns the famous Maratha Mandir and Gaiety Galaxy theatres in Mumbai, days after the latter called the actor ‘arrogant’ for his comments while promoting his latest film Liger. Vijay went to Mumbai from Hyderabad, to apologise and clarify the apparent ‘misunderstanding’ about his remarks. While promoting Liger earlier this month, Vijay was asked at an event about the trends of boycotting various Bollywood films. In response, Vijay said that he had faced such obstacles during the release of his previous films and that he believed his hard work would pay off regardless of such trends. He ended his answer by saying, “Kaun rokenge dekh lenge” (let’s see who will stop us). 

The response was perceived as an arrogant one by a few people, including Manoj Desai. In an interview with an entertainment channel, Desai said that Vijay’s “arrogant attitude” would not bring viewers to theatres. “You have become arrogant. What do you mean by saying ‘watch the movie if you wish, or else don’t’? Look at what happened to Taapsee Pannu, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar when people didn’t see their films. You can go work in OTT content if you want and forget theatrical films. Why are you being so smart and saying audience will see the film when it releases on OTT. No one will see it on OTT, and your remarks are hurting advance bookings in our theatres,” Desai had said. 

Vijay met Desai on Sunday, August 28, and reportedly clarified his remarks to the theatre owner, saying he didn’t intend to dismiss the audience. Vijay, who is a theatre owner himself as he owns AVD (Asian Vijay Deverakonda) Cinemas in Mahbubnagar, reportedly said that he understands the elements that make up the movie business, and felt that it was important to clear the air. After the meeting, Desai was heard saying, “After seeing the entire video, I realised I had become too angry with my child (Vijay) because of [my vexation with] OTT. I shouldn’t have done so. I am sorry for that.” Vijay then touched Desai’s feet and asked for his blessings.  

Desai also showered praise on Vijay after the meeting and said, "He is a really very nice guy, down to earth, I will keep loving him always. He has got a bright future ... I wish him all the best."

Liger, starring Vijay Deverakonda and Ananya Panday, released in theatres in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi on August 25. Promoted as a pan-Indian film, the film was directed by Puri Jagannadh and jointly bankrolled by his production company Puri Connects, and Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. Liger failed to make its mark at the box office and has seen a disastrous run in theatres.

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