Leo (2023 Indian film)

Indian film by Lokesh Kanagaraj

  • Lokesh Kanagaraj
  • Rathna Kumar
  • Deeraj Vaidy
Based onA History of Violence
by David Cronenberg[1]Produced by
  • S. S. Lalit Kumar
  • Jagadish Palanisamy
StarringVijay
Sanjay Dutt
Arjun Sarja
TrishaCinematographyManoj ParamahamsaEdited byPhilomin RajMusic byAnirudh Ravichander
Production
company
Seven Screen Studio
Distributed bysee below
Release date
  • 19 October 2023 (2023-10-19)
Running time
164 minutes[2]CountryIndiaLanguageTamilBudget₹250–350 crore[3][4][5]Box officeest. ₹595–620 crore[6][7]

Leo (also marketed as Leo: Bloody Sweet) is a 2023 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film[8] directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj and produced by Seven Screen Studio. The film stars Vijay in the titular role, alongside Sanjay Dutt, Arjun Sarja, Trisha, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Mysskin, Madonna Sebastian, George Maryan, Mansoor Ali Khan, Priya Anand and Mathew Thomas. It is the third instalment in the Lokesh Cinematic Universe and is inspired by A History of Violence. The film follows Parthi, a café owner and animal rescuer in Theog, who is pursued by gangsters Antony and Harold Das who suspect him to be Antony's estranged son, Leo.

The film was officially announced in January 2023 under the tentative title Thalapathy 67, as it is Vijay's 67th film as a lead actor, and the official title was announced a few days later. Principal photography commenced the same month in Chennai along with a sporadic schedule in Kashmir, which was again followed by another schedule held at the former location, and wrapped by mid-July. The film has music composed by Anirudh Ravichander, cinematography handled by Manoj Paramahamsa and editing by Philomin Raj.

Leo was released worldwide on 19 October 2023 in standard and IMAX formats to mixed reviews from critics, with praise for Vijay's performance, technical aspects and the action sequences while the writing received criticism. It set several box office records for a Tamil film, emerging as the second highest-grossing Tamil film of 2023,[6][9][10][11] the seventh highest-grossing Indian film of 2023, third highest-grossing Tamil film of all time, the highest-grossing Tamil film overseas and the highest-grossing film in Tamil Nadu.

Plot

Parthiban "Parthi" is an animal rescuer and a café owner in Theog, Himachal Pradesh, and lives with his wife, Sathya, son Siddharth "Siddhu" and daughter, Mathi "Chintu". Joshy Andrews, a forest ranger and Parthi's friend, calls him one day to help tame a spotted hyena that threatens the townspeople. With Siddhu's help, Parthi manages to tranquilise the hyena. He purposely avoids public attention over this incident and adopts the hyena after it calms down.

One night, Parthi and Chintu are at the café when Shanmugham, a robber, and his men arrive to rob it. Parthi tries to appease them by giving them money, but one of the gang members makes a move on his employee, Shruthi. Enraged, Parthi beats up all of them. When one of them attempts to kill Chintu, Parthi guns all of them down without hesitation but later has an emotional breakdown. Initially arrested, they release Parthi for having committed the murders in self-defence, but his photograph appears in newspapers all over India. A notorious gangster, Harold Das, in Telangana, sees the image and informs his elder brother, Antony Das, about him. Antony immediately leaves with his men for Theog.

Meanwhile, Shanmugham's relatives attempt to kill Parthi and his family, prompting him to request a high-ranking, armed police officer from Tamil Nadu to protect him and his family. In response to Parthi's request, Napoleon, promoted recently after his heroics in Tiruchirappalli,[a] is assigned to safeguard his family. On meeting Parthi, Antony insists that Parthi is his son, Leo Das, who was presumed to be dead, but Parthi vehemently denies this. Antony threatens him to accept his identity and surrender or face the consequences. Antony meets Sathya and tells her that Leo is a mass murderer, prompting her to dig into Parthi's past. At the same time, Joshy starts digging into Leo's past and learns about his friend, Hridayaraj D'Souza, who was arrested and is to hang in three days. On meeting with Hridayaraj, Joshy learns about Leo's past.

In 1999, Antony established a tobacco factory called Das & Co. Harold returned to India from Canada and started manufacturing and smuggling datura, a drug significantly more lethal than cocaine, using the factory as a front as their tobacco products did not take off. Antony's twin children, Leo and Elisa Das, did the dirty work for them to run the business smoothly. Being a firm believer in the occult, Antony tried to sacrifice Elisa based on his astrologer's advice, as this would have allowed their tobacco products to take off. Enraged, Leo sets fire to all of Harold's drugs, but Harold manages to kill Elisa, and Antony shoots Leo, who was since presumed to be dead.

On hearing this, Joshy believes that Parthi is not Leo, while Sathya also gets definitive proof of the same conclusion. Meanwhile, Antony kidnaps Siddhu and tells him that he will sacrifice Siddhu as he cannot sacrifice Elisa with his own hands. Parthi and Napoleon give chase to Antony and his men, and Parthi eventually catches up with them. He finishes off Antony and his men but does not find Siddhu. Harold learns about Antony's death and calls Parthi to bring Antony's body in return for Siddhu. As Parthi goes to Harold's lair, Harold reveals that he has sent men to kill Sathya and Chintu. However, Napoleon, Joshy, and the hyena finish off all the men. Harold's men attack Parthi at their lair, but he fends them off. As Harold and Parthi engage in a fistfight, Parthi grabs a gun and holds Harold at gunpoint.

At this point, Harold gets convinced that Parthi is not Leo and states that he and his family can walk away freely. However, Parthi starts laughing and finally admits he is Leo before gunning down Harold, rescuing Siddhu and torching the entire Das & Co. factory. Leo states that he has done nothing good in his past, and anyone who insists on knowing his story must either die or already be dead, thus revealing that he had told Antony the truth about his identity before killing him.

In an epilogue, as peace returns to Parthi's life, he gets a phone call. The caller reveals that he knows Parthi is Leo and tells him that destroying only his family's datura factory was not enough to make society drug-free since drugs are rampant all over India. The caller also says that he knows Parthi recognises his identity,[b] as Parthi exasperatedly sighs.

Cast

  • Vijay as Parthiban "Parthi" / Leo Das
  • Sanjay Dutt as Antony Das
  • Arjun Sarja as Harold Das
  • Trisha as Sathya Parthiban (Voice dubbed by Chinmayi)
  • Gautham Vasudev Menon as Joshy Andrews
  • George Maryan as Napoleon
  • Mysskin as Shanmugam
  • Madonna Sebastian as Elisa Das
  • Mansoor Ali Khan as Hridayaraj D'Souza
  • Sandy as a robber in Shanmugam's gang
  • Priya Anand as Priya Joshy Andrews
  • Mathew Thomas as Siddharth Parthiban "Siddhu"
  • Babu Antony as Shekhar, Antony's henchman
  • Janany Kunaseelan as Shruthi, a waitress at Parthiban's cafe
  • Iyal as Mathi Parthiban "Chintu"
  • Mukhtar Khan as Bhawar Jetha, a police officer
  • Ramakrishnan as Gabby
  • Denzil Smith as a Judge
  • Dinesh Master as Dinesh
  • Madhusudhan Rao as Shanmugam's brother-in-law
  • Vaiyapuri as an astrologer
  • Maya S. Krishnan as Vikram's aide
  • Punya Elizabeth as Sathya's friend
  • Thavasi as Harold's henchman
  • Jawahar as Veterinary Doctor
  • Maneksha as Jailer
  • Sachin Mani as Shruthi's husband
  • Shanthi as Shanmugam's wife
  • Santhi Mayadevi as Parthiban's advocate
  • Muthu Krishnan as Press Cameraman
  • Pooja Fiya as Press Reporter
  • Leela Samson as a public prosecutor
  • Dinesh Lamba as the Divisional Forest Officer
  • Anurag Kashyap as Daniel (cameo appearance)
  • Kamal Haasan as Vikram (voice only)

Production

Development

Leo is the second collaboration of Vijay with Lokesh Kanagaraj after Master (2021).

After the success of Master in early 2021, it was reported that Lokesh Kanagaraj visited Vijay at his residence and narrated a script which impressed him. The project was supposed to be the actor's 66th film as a leading actor; however, that position instead went to Varisu (2023).[12] Reports of a potential collaboration between Lokesh and Vijay continued through February 2022.[13][14] The following March, Lokesh confirmed there were discussions for him to direct Vijay's 67th film.[15] That May, he confirmed the project, tentatively titled Thalapathy 67.[16] The project was funded by S. S. Lalit Kumar's Seven Screen Studio, which had distributed and co-produced Master.[17] Vijay's manager, Jagadish Palanisamy, served as a co-producer. The company made a public announcement on 30 January 2023, confirming the project,[18] and the film's official title Leo was revealed on 3 February 2023.[19]

The film was made on a budget of ₹250–350 crore, and Vijay was reported to receive 120 crore (US$15 million) as his remuneration.[4][5] However, he reportedly decided to take the revenue sharing model, to benefit the film's production; as per the basis, he would receive 50 crore (US$6.3 million) as an advance, and a chunk of the profits would be received as the actor's remuneration.[20] Vijay was not in favour of making Leo a pan-Indian film, as he wanted to focus on satisfying the Tamil audience. The actor, however, changed his mind after Lalit and Jagadish convinced him. Some changes were also made to the original story to help the film cater to a wider audience.[21][22] In August 2023, the film was reported to be a part of the Lokesh Cinematic Universe (LCU), as the makers had signed a no objection certificate with Dream Warrior Pictures and Raaj Kamal Films International, the producers of the LCU's previous instalments Kaithi (2019) and Vikram (2022) respectively.[23] The film's status in the LCU was not confirmed until after its release.[24]

Pre-production

It took Lokesh nearly six months for the writing and pre-production.[25] Lokesh co-wrote the film's script along with Rathna Kumar, in his third consecutive collaboration with the director,[26] and Deeraj Vaidy, director of Jil Jung Juk (2016). Both of them joined the writing team in mid August 2022.[27] Lokesh said the film would be completely made in his style, unlike Master which he considered a 50% Vijay film and 50% his film.[25] A muhurat puja was held on 5 December 2022 at AVM Studios in Chennai with the film's cast and crew.[28] On 7 December, the team shot the promotional video for the film for nearly three days.[29]

In mid-January 2023, Manoj Paramahamsa was announced as cinematographer, marking his first collaboration with Lokesh and third with Vijay after Nanban (2012) and Beast (2022).[30] Anirudh Ravichander would score the music, in his third consecutive film with the director.[31] Lokesh further retained most of his norm technicians including editor Philomin Raj, stunt choreography duo Anbariv, dance choreographer Dinesh Kumar and art director N. Sathees Kumar.[32] Praveen Raja would style the costumes for Vijay, along with his regular costume designers Pallavi Singh and Eka Lakhani.[33][34] Ramkumar Balasubramanian was appointed as executive producer of the film by the production house.[35]

Casting

Trisha was cast as the female lead, reuniting with Vijay 14 years since their last release, Kuruvi (2008). Sanjay Dutt would make his Tamil debut with this film.

Vijay would sport a grey-shaded hairstyle for his character, which was finalised after 30 different looks.[36][37] Trisha was cast as the female lead,[38] pairing opposite Vijay for the fifth time after Ghilli (2004), Thirupaachi (2005), Aathi (2006) and Kuruvi (2008).[39][40] Sanjay Dutt was confirmed to play one of the main antagonists, in his Tamil film debut as well as his second South Indian film after KGF: Chapter 2 (2022).[41] Dutt agreed to be a part of the project, after being impressed by the one-line narrated for the film.[42] Priya Anand also joined the film in an important role,[43] whilst Arjun was also cast in an important role.[44] He called it a "different" and "fresh" one that would justify his title "Action King".[45]

Madonna Sebastian,[46] Mysskin,[47] Sandy Master,[48] Gautham Vasudev Menon,[49] and Mansoor Ali Khan would play prominent roles.[50] Mathew Thomas, would also make his Tamil debut with the film.[51] All of their inclusion were confirmed by the production house in late-January 2023.[52] Manobala and Janany Kunaseelan were present at the film's preliminary shooting, confirming their presence in the film;[53][54] the latter would make her acting debut in a feature with this film.[53] George Maryan was also featured in the muhurat puja, thereby confirming his inclusion.[55] Abhirami Venkatachalam and Babu Antony were also confirmed after participating in the film's Kashmir schedule.[56][57] Manobala died on 3 May 2023 without having shot any scenes.[58] George Maryan reprises his role from Kaithi, while Maya S. Krishnan and Kamal Haasan briefly reprise their roles from Vikram, the latter has a voice only role.[59]

Filming

Leo was mainly filmed in Kashmir.

Principal photography began with the first schedule on 2 January 2023 at EVP Film City in Chennai.[60] Minor portions of the film were held at Kodaikanal in the last week of January and Mysskin shot for some of his portions there as he could not allocate dates to travel to Kashmir, where the subsequent schedule would take place.[61] The second schedule commenced in Kashmir on 1 February.[62] During this schedule, footage of Vijay was leaked and went viral,[63] prompting the film's official technology security partner to warn people against sharing leaked content or they would be deleted.[64] Furthermore, most of the cast and crew members were prohibited from using mobile phones on the sets, to prevent leakage of stills and videos from the shoot.[65] On 27 February, Mysskin tweeted that he had completed filming his portions for the film, which included an intense stunt sequence.[66] In early March, Menon announced that he had completed filming for the film.[67]

Manoj Paramahamsa brought an IMAX-certified RED V-Raptor 8K camera to shoot significant portions, a first for a Tamil film.[68][69] On 11 March, Dutt started filming for his portions in the Kashmir schedule,[36] and completed them within six days.[70] Filming was halted on 21 March due to a minor earthquake in the location,[71] but resumed soon after. An action sequence made on a cost of 10 crore (US$1.3 million) and involving a hyena was shot in this schedule.[72] Vijay shot a fight scene with only a simple, thin shirt and had to roll on ice, despite the temperature being −20 °C (−4 °F). A sequence involving him shirtless was also filmed.[73] The Kashmir schedule ended on 23 March.[74] The studio shared a behind-the-scenes video of the Kashmir schedule that day as a tribute to the crew of Leo, who worked behind-the-scenes in −5 – −6 °C (23–21 °F). The director thanked each and every person from the crew for making the Kashmir schedule happen.[74] The team shot at Dal Lake, Hazratbal Shrine, Sonamarg, Pahalgam and Srinagar in this schedule.[75]

The third schedule was intended to begin on 29 March at Chennai,[76] but commenced on 5 April. A set was erected for this schedule which led to the postponement. Vijay, along with Dutt, Trisha, Arjun and Priya Anand joined the concurrent schedule,[77] which was reported to go on for 17 days.[78] Some action scenes were shot with a Mocobot camera.[79] Trisha, Dutt and Arjun would begin filming from May.[80] Lokesh also planned to shoot the introductory song sequence featuring at least 2000 background artists.[81] The song was shot in early June in Chennai with 500 background artists.[82] The makers spent 7 crore (US$880,000) for shooting the song for 7 days.[83] Paramahamsa purchased a Komodo-X camera to shoot the action sequences in high resolution, thus becoming the first Indian film to be shot using this camera.[84] In late-June, production moved to Talakona.[85] The final schedule was shot in Hyderabad and the climax portion in Ramoji Film City.[86] Vijay had completed shooting for his portions by 10 July.[87] Principal photography wrapped by 14 July, with filming having lasted 125 working days.[88] A month later, the team returned to Kashmir for patchwork filming.[89]

Post-production

V. Srinivas Mohan is one of the visual effects supervisors of Leo.

In February 2023, The Times of India reported that the film would be having an "extended post-production time" due to Lokesh not wanting to compromise on the CGI.[90] Vijay started dubbing for his segments in early July 2023 and completed it on 10 July.[91] Monesh H. and V. Srinivas Mohan are the visual effects supervisors, along with the Moving Picture Company, Al Zhara VFX and SkyHigh VFX, the film's principal visual effects studios.[92][93] The film's digital intermediate and colour grading works began in late August 2023.[94] Chinmayi Sripaada dubbed for Trisha for the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada versions of the film.[95] The hyena featured in the film was created through visual effects, and the action sequence featuring the hyena cost 15 crore (US$1.9 million).[96]

Music

The soundtrack is composed by Anirudh Ravichander, in his fourth collaboration with Vijay after Kaththi (2014), Master (2021), and Beast (2022); and third collaboration with Lokesh after Master and Vikram.[32] The music rights were purchased by Sony Music India for 16 crore (US$2.0 million).[97] The audio launch was to be held on 30 September 2023 at the Nehru Stadium, but was later cancelled on 27 September 2023 due to incessant requests for passes in addition to safety constraints.[98] The album was released on the same day as the film's release.[99] Naa Ready emerged as Spotify's most-streamed Tamil track of 2023, as per Spotify Wrapped 2023.[100]

Marketing

On 16 September 2023, at the 11th South Indian International Movie Awards, Lokesh announced that updates for the film would be released from the following day.[101] The official merchandise of the film was launched by Veeleos on 17 September 2023.[102]

The film's teaser trailer was released on 3 February 2023, revealing the film's title.[103] The first look poster was released on 22 June, and became the most liked first look for an Indian movie in 24 hours on Twitter.[104] The Telugu poster which released on 17 September, became the fastest poster of an Indian film to reach 1 million likes on Instagram in 32 minutes.[105] The film's trailer, released on 5 October, became the most watched Tamil movie trailer in 24 hours with 47 million views across four languages.[106] It gained 1 million likes in 21 minutes, 2 million likes in 7 hours, and over 3.7 million likes in 24 hours, becoming the fastest film trailer to achieve the feat.[107]

On 20 September, the packaged drinking water company Bisleri partnered with the filmmakers to release limited-edition water bottles featuring the film's coin logo. These limited-edition bottles were made available in 500ml, 1-liter, and 2-liter SKUs to consumers across Tamil Nadu and Kerala.[108]

Release

Theatrical

Leo was theatrically released on 19 October 2023 in standard and IMAX formats.[19][109] Apart from its original Tamil language, it was also released in the Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi languages.[110] In the United Kingdom, as with the rest of the world, the film was initially released on the same day, however, in a version which was classified 15 by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) for strong bloody violence, gore, threat, and sexual threat, following 2 minutes and 40 seconds of cuts.[111]

The Hindi-language version of the film, which was also released at this same point in time, was released uncut with an 18 classification by the BBFC for strong bloody violence, with the original Tamil-language version of the film subsequently getting the same classification and reasoning on 30 October 2023, and being released four days later on 3 November 2023, with the marketing for this version of the film clearly denoting its uncut status.[112]

Leo was the first film of Vijay to be released in the IMAX format in the UK.[113] It was the first Tamil film to release in Bangladesh on the same day as its worldwide release, just like in other major countries.[114] Leo was the first Tamil film to be released in over 999 locations in North America and premiered on 18 October 2023.[115] It was reported that at least three versions of the film—distinct in differences in scene placement and editing for Leo's reveal to Antony—exist in theatres.[116]

Distribution

Sree Gokulam Movies acquired the distribution rights of the film in Kerala for 15 crore (US$1.9 million).[117] Sithara Entertainments brought the distribution rights for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,[118] and Swagath Enterprise did so for Karnataka.[119] Phars Films acquired the overseas distribution rights and will release the film themselves in the Middle East.[120] Ahimsa Entertainment acquired the distribution rights for the UK and 4 Seasons Creations for the rest of Europe,[121] Prathyangira Cinemas and AA Creations for North America,[122] Home Screen Entertainment for Singapore,[123] Malik Streams for Malaysia,[124] and Cyber Systems Australia for Australia and New Zealand.[125]

Pre-bookings

Pre-bookings started in the UK on 7 September 2023, six weeks before the film's release.[126] Over 10,000 tickets were sold on the first day of pre-bookings with a collection of £100,000 (US$136,986.3).[127] Pre-bookings started in the United States and Canada and in Germany on 27 September 2023, three weeks before the film's release.[122][128] After the trailer was released, the premiere bookings for the film in the US crossed over US$500K.[129] 32,500 tickets were sold for the film's premiere in the UK for 2.5 crore (US$310,000), thus holding the record for the highest Day 1 collection in the UK for a Tamil film.[130][131] Day 1 bookings in the UK crossed £320,000 (US$438,356.16) 13 days before the film's release, thus holding the record for the highest Day 1 collection in the UK for an Indian film surpassing Pathaan.[132] Pre-bookings started in Singapore on 12 October 2023, a week before the film's release and over 15,000 tickets were sold in less than 24 hours after the pre-bookings have opened.[133] Pre-bookings in the US crossed US$900K with over 40,700 tickets sold a week before the film's release.[134]

Pre-release business

According to Indian trade sources, Leo is set to become the first Tamil film to achieve a pre-release recovery of 422 crore (US$53 million) with the sale of satellite, digital, music, and theatrical rights,[135] out of which, 246 crore (US$31 million) has been earned from the film's non-theatrical rights.[136] The overseas theatrical rights were sold to Phars Films for 60 crore (US$7.5 million).[137]

Home media

The digital streaming rights were acquired by Netflix and the satellite rights by Sun TV.[138][139] The film premiered on Netflix on 24 November 2023 in India and on 28 November in the rest of the world in its original Tamil language, as well as in the Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam languages, with the Malayalam-language dub premiering on Netflix when the film released there, as opposed to premiering in theatres. An English-dubbed version of Leo was released on Netflix on 12 December 2023.[140][141]

Reception

Critical reception

Leo received mixed reviews from critics who praised Vijay's performance, technical aspects, action sequences while the writing received criticism.[142][143][144] On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 80% of 10 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.7/10.[145]

Divya Nair of Rediff gave 3.5/5 stars and wrote "Lokesh has cleverly used Vijay's angst and actions to create a picture of dual personality which works perfectly for Leo. The surprise addition in the climax sequence offers some hope and the possibility of a sequel."[146] Janani. K of India Today gave 3.5/5 stars and wrote "'Leo' is a massy commercial actioner with brilliant stunt pieces that deserve a theatrical watch."[147] Sridevi S of The Times of India gave 3/5 stars and wrote "Though the whole 'LCU' part looks forced, one can say that with Leo, Lokesh has a strongest shot in his arm for the next franchise. Lokesh and Vijay's Leo is a lot 'bloody' than 'sweet'. Leo's roar may not be at its peak here, but, hey! it is still a Lion!"[148]

Suhasini Srihari of Deccan Herald gave 3/5 stars and wrote "Leo sets up as a delight to Thalapathy fans, and Kanagaraj has deliberately played with the conclusion of the movie that leaves the audience in anticipation of a major collaboration in the future."[149] Anandu Suresh of The Indian Express gave 3/5 stars and wrote "Leo is undoubtedly a feather in Vijay's cap, it is indeed a step back for writer-director Lokesh Kanagaraj."[150] Himesh Mankad of Pinkvilla rated 2.5/5 stars and wrote "The film works primarily due to the fast-paced narrative, Vijay's powerful performance, and the LCU connection while the issue is in its wafer-thin plot, weak antagonist track, and routine writing".[151] Sonil Dedhia of News18 rated the film 2.5/5 stars and appreciated Vijay's presence and action sequences but criticised the storyline.[152]

Priyanka Sundar of Firstpost gave 2.5/5 stars and wrote "This is an action film first and foremost, so how were the action sequences? They were definitely not seamless. Take the shot where Leo fights off a large group of people inside the factory. The idea is to give a hawk eye's view of the entire thing."[153] Bhuvanesh Chandar of The Hindu termed it as "Lokesh Kanagaraj's weakest film yet".[154] Ranjani Krishnakumar of Hindustan Times wrote "Vijay's performance in emotional scenes evokes no reactions even as Lokesh Kanagaraj provides ample electrifying action scenes."[155] Internationally, Simon Abrams of RogerEbert.com stated Leo is a formulaic but satisfying Indian remake of A History of Violence.[156] Peter Debruge of Variety wrote "While not as consistently entertaining as last year's Vikram, "Leo" packs enough corny-but-satisfying spectacle to have fuelled, joins Kaithi and Vikram in potentially setting up an Expendables-style group effort down the road."[157]

In response to the mixed reviews, particularly criticism at the writing in the post-interval portions, Lokesh said that being beholden to the film's release date meant that he did not have enough time to perfect the screenplay, and said he would henceforth not announce release dates for his next projects early in their development.[158]

Box office

Leo grossed 145 crore (US$18 million) worldwide on its opening day, which was the highest first day gross for a Tamil film, with over 79 crore (US$9.9 million) from India.[159] The film surpassed Jawan to become the biggest opening for an Indian film in 2023.[160] The film crossed 200 crore (US$25 million) in two days, earning 122 crore (US$15 million) from India becoming the fastest Tamil film to reach the 200 crore mark.[161] Leo debuted in third place at the worldwide box office, beating Killers of the Flower Moon on its opening weekend.[162] It grossed an estimated 403 crore (US$50 million) worldwide from its opening weekend of four days, becoming the fastest Tamil film to reach the 400 crore mark.[163] It also became the first Tamil film to enter the global weekend chart of Comscore, emerging as the number one film of the global box-office weekend.[164]

Vijay became the first Indian actor to have two films top the Global Weekend charts, the other being Master (2021).[165][166] On its fifth day, the film crossed 262 crore (US$33 million) from India, bringing its worldwide gross to 419 crore (US$52 million).[167] The film grossed 461 crore (US$58 million) globally in seven days, becoming the highest-grossing Tamil film in its opening week.[168] The film's worldwide collection crossed 481 crore (US$60 million) in 8 days earning 171 crore (US$21 million) from Tamil Nadu.[169] It became the fastest Tamil film to reach the 500 crore mark in 10 days of its release.[170][171]

On the film's 11th day of release, it crossed the milestone 300 crore mark domestically and reached 530 crore (US$66 million) globally.[172] It grossed 543 crore (US$68 million) in the 12 days of its release.[173] The film collected over 550 crore (US$69 million) worldwide and over 317 crore (US$40 million) from the Indian box office in 15 days.[174] The film grossed 574 crore (US$72 million) worldwide in 19 days, collecting 331 crore (US$41 million) from the domestic market.[175] The film crossed the 600 crore mark at the box office worldwide in the 25 days of its release.[176] On the other hand, Box Office India stated that the film ended its run with 595 crore (US$75 million) worldwide while, PINKVILLA reported it to be 620 crore (US$78 million).[6][7] It made 230 crore (US$29 million) from Tamil Nadu becoming the highest-grossing film in Tamil Nadu.[177]

Leo emerged as the second highest-grossing Tamil film of 2023 and the sixth highest-grossing Indian film of 2023. It became the highest-grossing Tamil film overseas, the second highest-grossing Tamil film of all time, the sixth highest-grossing South Indian film of all time and the 16th highest-grossing Indian film of all time. Leo is the highest-grossing film in the franchise as of its release.[178][179][180][177][7]

Controversies

Following the release of the song "Naa Ready", Pattali Makkal Katchi president and MP Anbumani Ramadoss asked Vijay to stop promoting smoking scenes in the film.[181] Chennai-based RTI Selvam filed an online complaint against the film with the Chennai Police Commissioner asking for action against Vijay under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. The complaint stated that through the song, Vijay was glorifying consumption of drugs. On 26 June 2023, Selvam submitted his complaint in person as well. A ban on the film was also demanded.[182] As a result, the song was censored with less smoking scenes and some lyrics were modified under the suggestion of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).[183] The background dancers, who were a part of the song, claimed that despite repeated requests, the makers are yet to pay them their full remuneration for their work.[184]

After the release of the trailer, the usage of expletives by Vijay was widely criticised. Later, the CBFC sent legal notices to theatres for screening the uncertified trailer.[185] As a result, 43 seconds of the film were cut, with instances of gore and violence either blurred or replaced, although the runtime remained mostly unaffected.[2]

Future

In early August 2023, it was reported that the film would have a second part, making it Vijay's first time doing a sequel. The production is reportedly expected to start in 2025 after Lokesh completes his commitments to Thalaivar 171, Kaithi 2 and Vikram 2.[186][187] On 28 December, Lokesh commented about Leo 2, and said it would commence soon after Thalaivar 171.[188]

Notes

  1. ^ As depicted in Kaithi (2019).
  2. ^ Agent Vikram from Vikram (2022).

References

  1. ^ Purushothaman, Kirubhakar (20 October 2023). "Why Lokesh Kanagaraj or Tamil cinema can't emulate David Cronenberg's A History of Violence". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 7 November 2023. Retrieved 25 November 2023.
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External links

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Films
  • Kaithi (2019)
  • Vikram (2022)
  • Leo (2023)
Music
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Films directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj
Films directed
  • Aviyal (2016; segment: Kalam)
  • Maanagaram (2017)
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  • Master (2021)
  • Vikram (2022)
  • Leo (2023)
Miscellaneous