As we all know that Bollywood films tend to earn pretty enough in abroad and some blockbusters like Secret Superstar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and Hindi Medium proved to be very successful and became popular flaunting their collections from the overseas markets. Apart from Bollywood blockbusters, surprisingly two Telugu films, Bharat Ane Nenu and Rangasthalam are also creating ripples abroad. So we can say it is only a thing of past now that we thought that only Bollywood can make fantabulous movies like Neerja, Rustom, Paan Singh Tomar and Mary Kom. Seeing the success of regional films overseas, it seems now that nothing is impossible.
In Australia, these two Telugu films have entered the top 5 list of opening weekend grosses. While Bharat Ane Nenu has added INR 1.72 crore (A$ 339,133), Rangasthalam has earned INR 1.47 crore (A$ 289,768) in the country. Earlier it was only Hindi and Punjabi films that dominated Australia cinema and Telugu films were never in the picture but these two Telugu films are doing well in the Australian market now.
The success story of these two Telugu films was not restricted to Australia only but they entertained the audiences in the United States too. Rangasthalam crossed INR 23 crore mark (USD 3.4 million). The film was released in 28 locations Down Under. Bharat Ane Nenu had a good start in the USA and made its debut at number 8 at the box office of United States of America.
From the beginning of 2018, we witnessed the strong reach of non-Hindi films (regional movies) in the international markets. In 2017, the Tamil action thriller Mersal crossed the USD 10 million mark (approximately INR 66.33 crore) at the overseas box office, with the overall foreign earning at USD 11.1 million (INR 73.63 crore) in just 12 days.
Mersal was not the only regional film that overtook its Bollywood counterparts overseas, Telugu action-drama Jai Lava Kusa had also made an amazing collection overseas. Jai Lava Kusa collected close to USD 1.39 million over a 5-day opening weekend in the United States, compared to Sanjay Dutt-starrer Bhoomi, which managed to collect USD 200,000.
Over the same period, the Punjabi film Nikka Zaildar 2 topped the box office charts in Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland with weekend earnings of USD 250,447 and USD 88,400.
EY report claimed that the Tamil cinema has about 50 percent of the kind of market Bollywood can currently boast of in the United Arab Emirates and in Malaysia Tamil cinema is ahead of Hindi cinema. Regional language movies are also very popular in countries like Netherlands, Singapore, and South America.
A KPMG report claimed that in 2016, Tamil movies overseas box office collection touched INR 350 crore, while the top-10 Telugu movies witnessed 13 percent higher overseas revenue in 2016 over 2015.
The overseas market is evenly spread across the globe for Tamil movies. Malaysia is the largest market for Tamil cinema and controls 35% of the trade. The other key markets are the USA with a 20% share, Singapore with a contribution of 15%, 10% account for Middle East countries, Europe, United Kingdom and Sri Lanka account for 7% and Australia stands at 5%. As for Telugu movies, US contributes 85% of the overseas revenues and 5-10 % of overall box office collections.
Despite the fact that, the reach of Hindi films is wider than that of its regional peers, the latter still gets higher footfalls. So, even if a big-ticket Hindi film gets 250-300 screens in the US, about 100 screens in the UK and 40-50 screens in Australia, it is capable of making only USD 5,000 – 6,000 (INR 3.31 lakh- INR 3.98 lakh). On the other side, if a big regional film, in comparison to a big-ticket Hindi film, gets about half of the screen count as against a Bollywood release it is capable enough to earn in the range of USD 8,000 – 9,000 (INR 5.30 lakh – INR 5.97 lakh) on an average, per week screen abroad.
Background and details of Telugu Films – Telugu Biopic films
For a long time, Telugu filmmakers are working on a line-up of biopics. These biopics can be from sports to politics to history. These biopics share their thoughts on trend and tend to be successful.
Biopics are not really new to the film industry, especially to the South Indian films. Ushakiran Movies releases include Mayuri – based on dancer Sudha Chandran, and Ashwini – based on athlete Ashwini Nachappa. Though most of us believe Mayuri to be a biopic, the director of Mayuri Singeetham S. Rao does not consider it a biopic and comments that it is a movie inspired by Sudha Chandran’s life; Mayuri is a fictional character but S. Chandran played an eponymous role, it gives an impression of being a biopic.
Kadiri Venkata Reddy, the veteran director points out that Telugu cinema had produced many biopics like Yogi Vemana and Bhakta Potana. According to him, the success of Mahanati lies in not being overdramatized.
After the release of Mahanti, Telugu writers are in the process of churning far more challenging scripts that go beyond regular biopics so that the Telugu cinema industry can goal for new heights.
There is a slight difference between a biopic and a historical movie. The director, Mahi V. Raghav does not see much difference between Rudhramadevi and Manikarnika. He says they both follow one person’s story. He also says that the older the characters are featured by biopic films the fewer the people will challenge its authenticity. He accepts that no director can ever make a truly honest biopic because there is need to make the protagonist charming and he is uplifted in the movie. It is necessary because a biopic is not a documentary and it is bound to have some dramatized content to capture the audience.
Baahubali is another big example of the success of regional films. Nobody knew Prabhas and S. S. Rajamouli in the north before the success of Baahubali but in the last few years small films are working well and the status of South Indian film industries is uplifting to reach new heights.
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