Sankranti Box Office Preview: 3 films battle it out as Nagarjuna is expected to lead the path with Bangarraju

Nagarjuna and Nag Chaitanya's film benefits this Sankranti season as other big releases back off amidst Covid constraints

Updated on Jan 13, 2022  |  05:53 PM IST |  279.7K
Sankranti Box Office Preview: 3 films battle it out as Nagarjuna is expected to lead the path with Bangarraju
Bangarraju secures a wide release (Credit: Nagarjuna's Twitter handle)

Sankranti, the biggest box office season for the Telugu film industry, is here, but not with the biggest of films. It is that time of the year when the box office is on steroids throughout South India except for Kerala. Ideally, you will have two big-ticket tentpoles released, and there are a couple of small and medium films to get benefitted by counter-programming. 

This year’s release slate was even more prolific, thanks to the backlog created by a year and a half shutdown due to CoVID. There were as many as four big-ticket tent poles supposed to be released, namely RRR, Radhe Shyam, Bheemla Nayak and Sarkaru Vaari Paata. The trade felt it was a “too big, too many” situation worsened by problems created by the AP administration. What seemed like a positive thing back then, Bheemla Nayak and Sarkaru Vaari Paata were postponed, leaving RRR and Radhe Shyam in the fray. Unfortunately, another CoVID wave hit the country, and since both the releases were PAN India films, they postponed the release just a week before release. The previously postponed movies, which were largely catering to Telugu audiences only, were now in no position to come back on the date as the productions were slow tracked. We went from “too big, too many” to “nothing at all” in just a couple of days. Now we have four small movies releasing, with only Bangarraju having some sort of awareness, which are discussed below.

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Bangarraju - The Nagarjuna and son Chay led film is the sequel to the 2016 Sankranti Blockbuster Soggade Chinni Nayana. The supernatural family drama yielded gold for the Zee Studios when it become the prime release of the season. Since it is the biggest release of the season, it is releasing with a massive theatre count of 650+ in Telugu states. The preferable release strategy for this type of film is to half of that and then expand if word of mouth demands. The advance sales of the film began earlier this week, but the response is quite muted, which is a bit underwhelming since its sequel to a Blockbuster but isn’t much of an issue as the genre isn’t one to open big or have fan heavy demand, but more walk-ins dependent throughout the festival. If the talk around the film is good, it can go on to be big grosser just like F2 in 2019 or the original in 2016.

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Rowdy Boys - The second biggest release of the season is, youth-centric movie Rowdy Boys bankrolled by premier producer Dil Raju, led by the producer’s nephew who is debuting with the movie. The film doesn’t have any face value but since has the backing of Dil Raju, is getting a big release of 400+ theatres. Valued at Rs. 12 crores for theatrical rights, the advance booking is poor, so will largely depend on the word of mouth to have some life.

Hero - Hero is also the debut cart of the nephew of an industry bigwig, headlined by superstar Mahesh Babu’s nephew. The Rs. 12 crores budgeted film is releasing in 200+ theatres in the states.

The other release of the season is Super Machi.

ALSO READ: Bangarraju Trailer: Akkineni Nagarjuna and Naga Chaitanya promise a fun-filled and action-packed entertainer

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Jatinder joined Pinkvilla in December 2021. He covers the film

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