Sankranti, the biggest box office season in the Telugu film industry, is here, but not with the greatest of films. It’s that time of year when the box office is on steroids in all of South India except Kerala. Ideally, you’ll have two big-ticket tent poles, and there are some small and medium movies to benefit from the counter-programming.
This year’s slate of releases was even more prolific, thanks to the backlog created by a year and a half of shutdown due to CoVID. There were up to four expensive tent poles supposed to be released namely RRR, Radhe Shyam, Bheemla Nayak and Sarkaru Vaari Paata. Commerce felt it was a “too big, too many” situation made worse by problems created by the AP administration. What seemed like a positive thing at the time, Bheemla Nayak and Sarkaru Vaari Paata were carried over leaving RRR and Radhe Shyam in the fray. Unfortunately, another wave of CoVID hit the country, and since both releases were PAN India movies, they postponed the release just a week before the release. Previously postponed films, which largely only catered to Telugu audiences, were no longer able to return to date as productions were slow. We went from “too big, too many” to “nothing at all” in just a few days. Now we have four small films coming out, with only Bangarraju having some kind of awareness, which are discussed below.
Bangarraju – The film directed by Nagarjuna and his son Chay is the sequel to the 2016 blockbuster Sankranti Soggade Chinni Nayana. The supernatural family drama struck gold at Zee Studios when it became the first release of the season. Since it is the biggest release of the season, it is releasing with a massive number of theaters of over 650 in Telugu states. The preferable release strategy for this type of film is to cut it in half and then expand it if word of mouth calls for it. Advance sales for the movie started earlier this week but the response has been pretty muted which is a little disappointing since its sequel to a Blockbuster but that’s not really a problem as the genre isn’t of the genre to open wide or to have fans. high demand, but more dependent walk-ins throughout the festival. If the talk around the movie is good, it can get rougher, just like F2 in 2019 or the original in 2016.
rowdy boys – The second biggest release of the season is the youth-centric film Rowdy Boys financed by first producer Dil Raju, directed by the nephew of the producer who makes his debut with the film. The movie has no face value, but since it has the support of Dil Raju, it gets a big release of over 400 theaters. Priced at Rs. 12 crores for cinema rights, advance booking is poor so will largely rely on word of mouth to get some life.
hero – Hero is also the first cart of the nephew of an industry bigwig, headlined by superstar nephew Mahesh Babu. The Rs. A 12 crore budget movie is releasing in over 200 theaters in the United States.
The other release of the season is super machi.
Also read: Bangarraju Trailer: Akkineni Nagarjuna and Naga Chaitanya promise a fun, action-packed entertainer