Rajinikanth's Darbar to face tough competition from three Telugu biggies on Sakranthi 2020 weekend

The makers of Rajinikanth-starrer Darbar may want to reschedule its release date since his last film Petta bombed at the Telugu box office.

Raja Sekar July 01, 2019 08:40:17 IST
Rajinikanth's Darbar to face tough competition from three Telugu biggies on Sakranthi 2020 weekend

Earlier this year, Rajinikanth-starrer Petta went on to become a superhit at the Tamil Nadu box office but the film could not shine as much in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Usually, Rajinikanth’s films perform at par with big Telugu films in Tollywood but both Kabali and Kaala proved his market has shrunk considerably in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Rajinikanths Darbar to face tough competition from three Telugu biggies on Sakranthi 2020 weekend

Rajinikanth and the poster of Darbar. Twitter

Though 2.0 grossed nearly Rs 83 crore in the two Telugu-speaking states, his next film Petta miserably failed at the Tollywood box office mainly because the production house’s (Sun Pictures) poor decision to clash against  three Telugu biggies — Ram Charan’s Vinaya Vidheya Rama, Nandamuri Balakrishna’s NTR: Kathanayakudu and Venkatesh-Varun Tej’s multi-starrer F2: Fun and Frustration.

As we all know, Rajinikanth’s upcoming cop action thriller Darbar is scheduled to release on Pongal/Sankranti 2020. Just like how Petta lost out on a huge revenue chunk in the Telugu-speaking states by clashing against three biggies, Darbar also runs the same risk as it will have to clash against three big-budget Telugu films.

Mahesh Babu’s Sarileru Neekevvaru has been confirmed for Sankranti 2020 release as director Anil's previous film, F2: Fun and Frustration, minted huge money owing to its release on the festival day.

Tollywood trade sources also say that Allu Arjun-Trivikram Srinivas' most anticipated film, which is progressing at a rapid pace, will also hit the screens for the Sankranti festival weekend. Another interesting update is that Balakrishna’s new film with veteran commercial filmmaker KS Ravikumar is also targeting the same festival release.

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Sankranti is considered to be a bigger festival than Diwali so any Tamil heroes, who have a sizable market in Tollywood, should not release their films on Pongal as they will not get enough screens in the Telugu-speaking states.

On the other hand, Pongal is also one of the best release dates for Tamil biggies so stars have to choose between their Tamil and Telugu markets. In Tamil Nadu, both Diwali and Pongal are considered to be important release dates for big budget films because only long holiday weekends can help buyers to recover their mammoth investments.

Though the shoot of Darbar will be wrapped up by September, the makers prefer Pongal release for two reasons — the Diwali release slot is already occupied by Vijay’s sports-based action entertainer Bigil with director Atlee; and the other reason is that the Pongal festival worked in favour of Rajinikanth’s Petta in Tamil Nadu.

The other two areas where Darbar will lose out its revenue are Karnataka and the US, where Rajinikanth will have to clash against Mahesh Babu, who has a greater command in these territories. As the US is the main overseas market for Telugu films, it will not be an easy task for the Darbar distributors to get record number of screens.

Though experts in the Telugu film trade say that team Darbar could postpone the Telugu dubbed version to the Republic Day weekend, there is a huge risk involved as any negative review for the Tamil version would have a ripple effect in Tollywood.

Produced by Lyca Productions, AR Murugadoss of Sarkar-fame is directing Darbar, in which Rajinikanth will be seen playing an audacious cop. The film also boasts of an ensemble cast, including Nayanthara, Nivetha Thomas, Suniel Shetty, Prateik Babbar and Yogi Babu.

Murugadoss is currently shooting Darbar in Mumbai, the same lucky location where he shot Vijay-starrer Thuppakki. Ace lensman Santosh Sivan is cranking the camera for the Rajinikanth-starrer and Anirudh Ravichander is composing the music.

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