Why Prabhas, Allu Arjun, Yash and other South Indian stars are planning to explore pan-Indian markets for their films
Prabhas recently unveiled the first look of his multilingual Radhe Shyam opposite Pooja Hegde, and announced another one with Deepika Padukone.
The South Indian film industry always makes sure to push the boundaries by exploring new markets beyond their home-turf. The makers of Baahubali dared to make the magnum opus despite knowing that they do not have well-known stars to conquer the Bollywood market. But the gamble paid off so well that the Baahubali franchise went on to surpass all the Hindi films at the box office.
KGF: Chapter One was made in Kannada, and grossed more than Rs 200 crore at the box office. Even before these two biggies, S Shankar's Endhiran grossed more than Rs 280 crore at the box office, and tasted decent success in Hindi. The Hindi version of India's most expensive film 2.0 also performed well in the Northern territories.
However, films like Chiranjeevi-starrer Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, Sudeep's Pailwaan, Rajinikanth-starrer Petta, Kaala, and Darbar could not move beyond the home ground although they were marketed as multilingual. The trend of making films in one language and marketing it in other territories has been there in the film industry for a long time. Now, keeping the success of films like Baahubali, KGF and 2.0 (Hindi) in mind, producers of the upcoming Tamil and Telugu films starring Superstars want to explore the Bollywood market.
The uncertainty in the film business due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic has also forced the producers to think beyond the tried and tested business strategy. As there is no clue about the theatrical income and footfalls, the producers want their upcoming films to release in multiple languages.
Before the pandemic, producers from the South had fully utilized the lucrative Hindi satellite and digital rights. For example, a big South hero film is estimated at around 15 to 30 crores in the Hindi satellite market. Now, the producers also want to explore the theatrical market in the North. If a film gets a proper theatrical release in Hindi and proven to be successful in the ticket window, the producers can sell the satellite rights and digital rights for a fancy price.
Even in the South trade belt, the producers don't want to restrict their films to one language. Yes, the following films would give a clear idea of the booming trend in the Tamil and Telugu film industries.
Telugu cinema's leading star Allu Arjun who tasted phenomenal success with his Sankranti release Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo (grossed more than 240 crores) has decided to release all his upcoming films in Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi. Arjun's already commenced film Pushpa will be simultaneously releasing in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam. Directed by Sukumar of Rangasthalam fame, Mythri Movie Makers is bankrolling Pushpa.
Allu Arjun's recently announced yet-untitled film with Koratala Siva is also being marketed as a multilingual. Tamil cinema's current generation Superstars Vijay and Ajith have also decided to expand their boundaries. While Vijay has proven his strong foothold in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada, the producers of actor's upcoming action thriller Master are eyeing for a possible Hindi dubbed release for the film.
Vijay's recent films including Mersal, Sarkar, and Bigil grossed more than 250 crores at the box office so ideally, a Hindi release would elevate his stardom and box office status to a different level.
Another hot buzz is that Boney Kapoor, the well known Bollywood producer who is bankrolling Ajith's new cop action entertainer Valimai is also looking at the possibilities of dubbing the film in Telugu and Hindi. While Telugu dub is almost confirmed, Boney Kapoor is also planning to dub the film in Hindi, thanks to the presence of Huma Qureshi in the film and the producer's prior experience in Hindi. For Vijay and Ajith, the next big step in their career is to conquer the Hindi market following the footsteps of Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan.
Besides these three films, Rajamouli's upcoming films including RRR starring Jr.NTR and Ram Charan will be dubbed in Hindi. It goes without saying that all the new films of Prabhas including Radhe Shyam and his untitled film with Deepika Padukone will be simultaneously made in Hindi. Needless to say, just like Prabhas, NTR and Ram Charan's future films will also be dubbed and released in Hindi after the release of RRR.
Kamal Haasan who proved his box office mettle in Hindi in the late 80s and early 90s is also planning to dub his new film Indian 2 in Hindi, the original version Indian (also dubbed in Hindi as Hindustani ) was a huge hit in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi.
Yash's KGF: Chapter 2 has a very good expectation in the Hindi market due to the popularity of the first part and the presence of Sanjay Dutt and Raveena Tandon in the sequel.
Mohanlal - Priyadarshan's magnum opus period action film Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham starring an ensemble of actors including Suniel Shetty, Mani Ratnam's 18th century period drama Ponniyin Selvan featuring Vikram, Jayam Ravi, Karthi, Aishwarya Rai, and Trisha will also be dubbed in Hindi for a grand simultaneous release.
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