How Brahmastra broke South Indian box office records
The Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt starrer is reportedly made on a budget of Rs 400 crore and has already collected more Rs 300 crore worldwide
When ‘Brahmastra’ was all set to release on September 9, the producers and stars of the film were possibly hoping that it would break the box office jinx that Hindi biggies had been facing throughout this year. Luckily, the film, made on a reported budget of Rs 400 core, has been performing really well at the box office (BO) not just in the Hindi belt but also in south India. In fact, National Cinema Day which was to be held on September 16 in over 4000 screens across India where tickets would be sold at Rs 75 only, was pushed to September 23 because of this film’s successful run. The Hindi release of the film made Rs 110 crore in the first weekend of its release in India and has now entered the Rs 300 crore club making it a big hit for Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. But the BO numbers from the non-Hindi-speaking states have also been excellent.
One of the main reasons that this film was able to connect with non-Hindi-speaking audiences was the fantasy action-adventure story with a mythological theme revolving around Shiva and a weapon of the Gods (astra). Though it cannot be compared to the MC Universe or the DC Universe or to SS Rajamouli’s films, director Ayan Mukerji who has written and directed the film, has attempted to try something new in Hindi cinema after a long time. With Rajamouli promoting the film across the south states, the movie saw an added marketing boost that it required. Of course, the movie is not without its flaws – the audience and critics felt it had over-the-top VFX, a weak love story and a run-of-the-mill story. But it didn’t deter the audience from flocking to theatres to feast on this visual spectacle.
South box office booms
The south box office numbers show that the people here also bought into Ayan Mukerji’s story as the film had the biggest Bollywood opening in 2022. The Kerala box office had reported gross collections of Rs 49.24 Lakhs on day one and Rs 53 lakhs on day two making it the recent best for a Bollywood film. The dubbed versions of the film in various local languages contribute to about 15% of the film’s collections. And given the film’s massive budget, it is imperative that the regional markets deliver numbers for the film and they have.
In Tamil Nadu, the movie’s gross collection was said to be about Rs 6 Crore while in Karnataka it was Rs 9.5 Crore. In Andhra Pradesh / Telangana, it apparently made Rs 6.7 crore on day one and the movie is said to have turned profitable already in the Telugu speaking states given that it broke even at Rs 5.5. crores. It has reportedly crossed Rs 20 crores in the Telugu-speaking states now. These are outstanding numbers for a Hindi film after a long time. Another aspect that is pushing BO numbers, is that it released in IMAX which gives audience a great cinematic experience.
Take the feedback
The idea to create an ‘Astraverse’ is exciting but so far only director SS Rajamouli has proved that he can bring to life a big budget film with as few flaws as possible and produce magic at the box office. There are a lot of learnings to be had from Rajamouli’s school of filmmaking and those embarking on high-budget larger-than-life films, should ideally imbibe those before they start shooting. ‘Brashmastra’ is set to be a trilogy and the first part was released as ‘Brahmastra Part One: Shiva’. If director Ayan Mukerji is able to take the feedback for the first film and enhance the sequels and ensure he makes corrections in terms of the script (if any) then the film could make much bigger numbers worldwide – including the regional market.
Latha Srinivasan is a senior journalist based in Chennai. Her passion is entertainment, travel, and dogs.
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