'Inside The Box' is a series in which we will take a deeper-dive into the Box Office collections and web numbers of major films released across India.
It's time to bring in the puns with RRR, as the film, expectedly, charts the ladderrr of success. Even though the film's collections are massive, it's not surprising that SS Rajamouli is competing with himself at the box office. While the collections of his previous film, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017), is for the history books, RRR, in itself, is creating a mass hysteria of its own – earning a staggering Rs. 371 crore gross domestically over its first three days of release, as per Ormax Media.
The film, made on a budget of over Rs. 500 crores, is well on its way to recover most of its costs within Week 1. However, the humungous numbers don't necessarily imply that high a number of footfalls. "The film does justice to its hype but the cost at which the tickets are being sold is a concern," says entertainment tracker Sreedhar Pillai. On one hand, the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – the film's biggest domestic market – officially allowed hiked ticket prices for the first 10 days of its release. It's essential to note then that over the weekend, Rs. 197 crores were earned out of these two states alone, according to figures generated by Ormax Media.
On the other hand, the popularity of Rajamouli in the northern belt resulted in excessive pricing over its first weekend due to its demand. The highest, in fact, was in New Delhi, where one ticket for a 3D show was being sold for Rs. 2100. While that isn't necessarily a party pooper, it doesn't look as disruptive as Baahubali 2 in comparison, which, at its time of release, didn't involve higher ticket pricing. "The challenge will now be to sustain its business for the first 10 days," Pillai adds.
One of the first films to be billed as a 'pan-India project' since the time of its announcement in 2018, RRR is doing tremendous business all across the nation, with its Hindi dubbed version earning Rs. 74.5 crores nett (as per Box Office India) in its first three days – the second-highest Hindi-language grosser in the post-pandemic era after Sooryavanshi (Rs. 77 crores nett). "The spectacle cinema with big screen worthy visuals and SS Rajamouli's brand name has worked in favour of the film's Hindi version," says Gautam Jain, Partner at Ormax Media. Interestingly, the popular choice of viewing the film has been its 3D version, which is seeing a steady growth, despite it being costlier than the 2D version.
The film is, in fact, doing particularly well in the regions of Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan and CPCI too. "It has the effect of a pan-India film that no other film has had in recent times. It's even better than Pushpa, which had earned a lifetime collection of Rs. 100 crores in Hindi, but this has already made around Rs. 70 crores in a single weekend," says Pillai.
Internationally, the film has grossed a weekend collection of Rs. 120 crores, taking its global collections beyond Rs. 490 crores in three days itself – a first for an Indian film in the post-pandemic era. In general, it is only second to Baahubali 2, which had crossed Rs. 500 crores on its first weekend. "RRR's performance in the US market has been very good and is on its way for a record," says Jain. According to worldwide numbers, RRR was, in fact, even ahead of Robert Pattinson's The Batman and Sandra Bullock starrer The Lost City in the international market the past weekend. Both the latter films, however, are in their third week at the box office.
Another film still going strong in India is Vivek Agnihotri's The Kashmir Files. Going into its third week, the film now has surpassed Rs. 200 crores, earning a supremely impressive profit margin for its budget of under Rs. 25 crores. After its popularity and demand eclipsed Akshay Kumar-starrer Bachchhan Paandey, the film slowed down but managed to hold onto its own post RRR's release. "Because of its strong hold on the northern belt, it is still able to survive at the box office – despite being an older release. It'll probably settle for Rs. 225 crores domestically, which is unbelievable for a small budget film like that," says Pillai.
The response to RRR will come as a boost to another pan-India project awaiting its release – KGF Chapter 2. However, the good news for the makers and investors of RRR is the three-week open window before the big Yash starrer enters the theatres on April 14. Till then, it's expected to be a single-handed Rajamouli show – a factor that could heavily contribute to the film's earnings in the coming weeks.