RRR pre release analysis: SS Rajamouli gets the basics right for Jr NTR and Ram Charan’s Hindi debut
What will be the opening day number of SS Rajamouli's RRR? Read Pinkvilla's analysis
There’s a common talk within the industry on the impact of marketing to drive audiences to the cinema halls. But what is marketing? The author believes that marketing is done to create an ambience that drives the audience to go and watch the trailer of a film. It’s eventually the trailer which will play the most important role in helping them make up their mind on watching a film on the big screen. A good trailer will translate into footfalls and a bad trailer would hold back the audience.
SS Rajamouli, Jr NTR, Ram Charan and the entire marketing and PR team of RRR have got all the basics right to inform the viewers that their film is arriving on March 25. There’s enough coverage across all mediums of media to create the right amount of conversation. The hoardings are in place across Mumbai which read – RRR IN CINEMAS, MARCH 25 - and the author assumes that it’s the case across the country. The entire PVRRR campaign too has created the right amount of curiosity, as the national chain has been constantly screening the trailer as also the song along with the other releases at the beginning as also the interval. The city tours too have been targetting keep the core markets for the film in mind, same is the case with bombaring the media space with interviews. The idea of marketing is always to keep the chatter around by providing enough meat at regular intervals, and the interview campaign of RRR team in multiple cities has kept the chatter intact. Most Hindi film actors avoid opening up with the media, providing the same old answers, giving little content to the media to write about, but that has not been the case with RRR, as they took the round of interviews seriously and spoke their heart out rather than approaching it as just a formality to be completed. Result? The conversation stayed intact, giving enough material for the media to push at regular intervals.
The catch line – INDIA’S BIGGEST ACTION DRAMA, FROM THE DIRECTOR OF BAHUBALI – resonates with the visuals that the trailer has to offer. Basically, the three most important mediums of marketing include – theatrical trailer, the outdoor campaign with hoardings grabbing attention, and the regional media coverage. These three ways of communication have made it difficult for the audience to ignore the chatter around the film and dragged them to watch the trailer meaning – purpose served. The audience wouldn’t watch the film because the actors have done city tours or travelled by the train, they would watch it only if the trailer is exciting enough. To emphasize again, marketing campaigns create a conversation around the film, but it’s the trailer and music that rides the audience to the big screen. And this conversation on the marketing front is also needed on-ground rather than the superficial social media world. The hygiene aside, the distributors of RRR in Hindi – Pen Studios – have set the ball rolling even in terms of screen bookings and show allocations.
While there was a chatter that RRR showcasing might be impacted due to The Kashmir Files and Bachchhan Paandey a week back, the early trends of showcasing suggest that RRR is all headed for a very good screen count across the nation. The deals are in place with exhibitors allocating prime time shows, bigger screens to RRR in its release week. The timely opening of advances is also a positive sign as in the past, films like Sooryavanshi and 83 were hit due to last minute issues in the exhibition front. The team has won the pre-release battle as far as positioning of the film and opening of advances are concerned.
There is however an issue of ticket pricing, as the makers have opted for blockbuster pricing level in national chains, on par with the pricing for 83, at places even higher. The pricing strategy is on the higher side, and this of course leads to a diverse reaction within the industry. While a section believes that a film like RRR is not price sensitive as the audience will be willing to pay any amount of money to witness India’s biggest spectacle on the screen, another minor segment believes that high prices takes the film away from the reach of the common middle class family. The debate on pricing has been going on for donkey’s years now and it’s only through the weekend that we would know about the price sensitivity factor for RRR.
But barring the pricing, the team has got it right in most places and it’s now headed for a wide release in Hindi belts. An opening in the range of Rs 14 to 16 crore is expected from RRR, which is good for a film featuring two relatively fresh faces for the Hindi circuits. But, given the costs involved, a major upturn will be needed over the weekend, followed by a healthy trend and that should easily happen if the talk around is positive. After all, it’s a film from the director of Bahubali… and a positive talk would mean, the audience reacting basis ‘Bahubali director can’t go wrong’ and this is a chatter which will spread faster than fire. So well, the countdown begins.