Nagarjuna's Bangarraju strikes Gold; Zee to yield a bountiful harvest this Sankranthi
It is incredible how quickly fortunes can change. Just a week ago, Nagarjun and Naga Chaitanya starrer Bangarraju was supposed to be the third fiddle to the Sankranti tentpoles, that were RRR and Radhe Shyam. Now with the postponement of RRR and looming uncertainty over the release of Radhe Shyam, Bangarraju has stumbled upon the opportunity to be the prime release of the bountiful Sankranti and Zee has struck the Gold.
Zee Studios had budgeted the film at Rs. 37 crores and, were initially expecting the film to recover Rs. 20 crores approx from theatrical rights and then rely on the non-theatrical revenue which mostly comes from the in house satellite and digital release. Fast forward to today, the film is getting huge prices from the Telugu state distributors. The business in Andhra Pradesh alone is done in Rs. 16-17 crores ratio. Ceeded and Nizam are expected to fetch another Rs. 17-18 crores. Zee will be able to recover their entire investment from just India theatrical rights. When all is said and done, Zee may be sitting at Rs. 20 crores plus surplus from the movie.
Bangarraju is the prequel to the 2016 Sankranthi Blockbuster Soggade Chinni Nayana, which grossed roughly Rs. 75 crores in India. That film was also supposed to be the third biggest outing during the festival period but ended up being the biggest grosser of the season. It opened to Rs. 3.95 crores share in APTS and closed with Rs. 39 crores in full run. The worldwide earnings of that film were Rs. 45 crores Approx.
Sankranthi is the most lucrative period for the Tollywood box office. There are multiple releases every year, and if they get the reception right, box office earnings are through the roof. This Sankranthi release schedule-timeline has been a mess. Initially, a plethora of tentpoles namely RRR, Radhe Shyam, Bheemla Nayak and Sarkaru Vaari Paata were slated to release, but RRR & Radhe Shyam makers managed to get the other two to move on account of the high stakes involved. Now one has been postponed, and the other’s release is uncertain. From what would have been a mess for scheduling the massive movies, we come to a situation where Bangarraju is the biggest release of the season.