'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.
There's one particular clip getting recirculated on the internet that aptly describes the hysteria that SS Rajamouli's latest RRR has created. The clip involves an ecstatic Ram Charan waving to a mob outside Gaiety Galaxy in Mumbai. When was the last time, especially since the pandemic, did we see something like that? If Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017) were the beginning of the pan-India phenomenon, then RRR has become the worthy successor. Having earned over Rs. 700 crores domestically over its first 10 days of release, it is now only the second film ever to cross that massive number. The only other film to do so is Rajamouli's own Baahubali 2. "The first and second film in the list are now both in Rajamouli's name," says Rajkumar Akella, Managing Director, Comscore Theatrical.
RRR's Hindi-dubbed version too, which started with Rs. Rs. 74.5 crores nett (as per Box Office India) over its first weekend, is now well on its way to cross the Rs. 200 crores mark. "It is the biggest hit since the pandemic and its lifetime collections in the Hindi market is on course to cross the collections of The Kashmir Files as well," says Akella.
While there were growing concerns over the film's hiked ticket pricing all across the country, the film has now finally gone back to normal ticket rates all over – a situation that could work well in terms of footfalls. Lesser prices could ensure higher viewership, and with the popularity of the 3D version seeing a steady growth in the northern belts, it won't be wrong to expect the theatres to continue to get flocked.
What has also steered its collections is the fact that the film is practically without any competition from any language at this point in the domestic market. In the Hindi circuit, John Abraham starrer Attack did release but got completely eclipsed by RRR in several areas including Maharashtra, Rajasthan and CPCI. The film was only able to rake in a dismal Rs. 10 crores nett approximately, as per Box Office India. The largely negative reviews for the film also didn't help.
But what is it about Rajamouli's cinema that bodes so well with the Indian masses? It's the balance between extravagant visuals and core emotions, experts believe. "He is one of the most sought-after Indian directors today, so he commands that kind of a brand value. People trust him for the kind of content that he makes," says Akella. Such has been the power of his brand that the collections of RRR have surpassed the earnings of Baahubali 2 in the Telugu-speaking states – the key market of his cinema. The film has grossed a humongous Rs. 315 crores from the Telugu-speaking states alone; Baahubali 2 had grossed approximately Rs. 311 crores.
With its worldwide collections touching a lucrative Rs. 900 crores already, and pre-sales revenues of Rs. 700 crores already in place, the film, made on a budget of over 500 crores is churning in a collection to remember for all its shareholders. In the worldwide box office charts for the weekend of April 1-3 released by Comscore, in fact, RRR was the most-watched India movie in the world, securing the fourth position behind Morbius, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and The Batman.
However, does that mean the film has lived up to its expectations? Individually, yes. Comparatively, not so much. Considering that the film was touted as the one to surpass the collections of Baahubali 2 all across India, its dubbed versions haven't performed as well for the film as its Telugu version when compared to the record-shattering Prabhas film. "At an India level, it may not be possible anymore because Baahubali 2 had done exceedingly well in Hindi," explains Akella. "If you single handedly look at RRR's performance, then it is outstanding. But if you compare it with Baahubali 2, then it's not in the same league."
Will the highly-anticipated KGF Chapter 2 be that film that surpasses Baahubali 2 then? We'll know in a couple of weeks from now.