The success of KGF Chapter 2 has been remarkable in ways more than one. A sequel working, the sustained trend of pan-India films working, high production values and content are only some of them. Released on April 14 in five languages, the film has, so far, raked in a massive Rs 645 crore worldwide, with the Hindi belt making Rs 240 crore.
Amit Sharma, MD, Miraj Cinemas, a multiplex chain with 160 screens, is understandably thrilled with the response to the film. To him, it is only a continuation of the successful releases such as Gangubai Kathiawadi, The Kashmir Files, Pushpa: The Rise and RRR. “The momentum for KGF was obviously being built,” he says. The mega success of the first part, KGF: Chapter 1 – box-office collection of Rs 250 crore on a budget of Rs 80 crore helped. “It was a huge hit in north India and even now is among the most viewed films on OTT and satellite television,” he said.
Many reasons have been attributed to the success of KGF but at the core of it is the ability to be a mass product. For a while, there has been a significant interest in the south Indian films dubbed in Hindi, especially on satellite television on channels such as Zee Cinema and Star Gold. A senior official at a large television network says it has been “a process of habit creation” and that has seen a surge in viewership in Tier 2 and 3 cities. “That with the fact these films have a lot of VFX and action makes it a good package for the masses,” he said
For Sharma, the numbers are very impressive. His chain had an occupancy rate of 92 per cent across India for the opening weekend (it was an extended one because of two public holidays).
“This is a pan-India film and it has worked across the four languages (Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu) depending on where it has released,” he said.
Taran Adarsh, a well-known trade analyst, thinks south Indian films today have a reputation of providing wholesome entertainment and also being larger than life. “That is where Bollywood has not matched up. They need to work towards a pan-India film instead of having a narrow approach for a limited audience,” Adarsh points out.
He narrates his experience of having watched KGF in Mumbai at a 6 AM show. “It was a full house and we were told there was a show at midnight as well. These are clear indicators that films from the south have caught on even in large cities,” maintains Adarsh. It is a point that Sharma endorses as he speaks of the need for films to reach out to a larger audience base.
“We have seen it with films such as Bahubali, The Avengers, Pushpa, RRR and now KGF,” Sharma said.
Clearly, the success of a film depends on scale but that is merely one part of it. The content, while having to be relevant, needs to be mass in its approach to ensure it brings in footfalls and also repeat viewing. All the big successes in the recent past are ample testimony to that.
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