Understanding why we need Hindi dubbed South Indian releases

Updated on Feb 16, 2022   |  02:01 PM IST  |  265.7K
Khiladi starring Ravi Teja (Image courtsey of PEN Studios)
Khiladi starring Ravi Teja (Image courtsey of PEN Studios)

A Hindi dubbed version of the Ravi Teja starrer Khiladi will be released tomorrow. Later this month, Ajith starrer Valimai and Pawan Kalyan starter Bheemla Nayak are also releasing in Hindi. There has been a lot of talk/noise about “PAN Indian” cinema for a while now. There is one side that usually hypes it up, mostly on social media for clicks and some buy the hype leading to overexaggerated unrealistic expectations. Then there is the other side, which is fast to completely shun the idea of crossover when these unrealistic expectations fail. It is important that we understand why this crossover is required, how it is to be executed and we set some realistic expectations.

First off, it will be unfair to expect anything from this film as it has little to no face value and there is no big marketing push either. The film however is a multi-genre potboiler often referred to as masala cinema which gives it a chance. This is the type of cinema that is lacking from Bollywood’s offering for some time now. Bollywood has largely limited its scope of business to a few cities in India, completely ignoring the smaller centres especially in Central and Eastern India. The regional industries of these regions aren’t big enough to support the cinemas and this has led to the erosion of exhibition infrastructure. The number of cinemas which used to be over 12000 in India is today barely over 6000. The big decline has mostly come in Hindi circuits, especially outside major cities. 

A circuit like Bihar, which used to be as big as 30-35 per cent of the Mumbai circuit just two decades ago, now barely reaches 10 per cent. Though extremely rare, there have been cases in past of Bollywood films doing similar business in Bihar as in Mumbai, a sight that is impossible today.

The South Indian film industries, especially Tollywood, makes this type of cinema in abundance. Since Bollywood isn’t providing them with the content they need and regional industries aren’t big enough to support them, dubbed films from the South can be just what they so badly need. The big ticketed releases from the South like Baahubali or KGF or 2.0 or Pushpa doing Rs. 100 crores in the Hindi circuits is all great but if these small and medium films from the South start doing Rs. 5-10 crores regularly in these ignored parts on the map i.e. Central and Eastern India,  it can be game-changing for the exhibition sector.

For all this to work, however, additional efforts need to be made. Just releasing the dubbed versions and hoping they breakout isn’t enough. There is a potential market, but that potential needs to be converted into an actual market. Investment should be made in properly marketing the films, as to create awareness for the film’s release in the first place, especially in the region's film can work. Marketing is often confused with doing TV promotions, but it is wider than that. The focus should be on the larger picture in long run and not just the short term money-making. It doesn't matter how little the films earn in the beginning, the inflow of regular dubbed releases would have to be maintained, in order to build the habit and awareness for cine-goers regarding the release of these films. Just like how these films basically owned the Hindi Television market over the last few years, they may start small today, with the release of films like Khiladi but with continuous efforts, this can build into something truly remarkable.


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About The Author

Jatinder joined Pinkvilla in December 2021. He covers the film and media business, with a particular focus on South Indi... Read more

Credits: Pinkvilla

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Feb 10, 2022
Jatinder paaji, chaa gaye