TFI Hits N Misses: First Half Report – 2015

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After a lackluster and disappointing second half of 2014 where we did not see any big success, the first half of 2015 on paper showed lots of promise with good number of biggies and medium budget films in mix. But did it live up to the expectations? Find out.

January

A queasy clash of sorts was created for Sankranthi this year where a Telugu film was pitted against a Tamil film. The Telugu film was thought of as a competition just because of the presence of one star, Pawan Kalyan, at the peaks of his stardom in an extended supporting actor role besides Venkatesh. So how did the competition of Gopala Gopala and I fare and who emerged winner? The answer to this question is none and therein rests the ultimate disappointment.

It is commendable what Gopala Gopala achieved in terms of the final total based on the content it had but purely in terms of number as it was sold at high prices it was a losing proposition to all the distributors barring one. I, courtesy Shankar came with huge hype and had great openings, however it much like Gopala Gopala fizzled out after the strong openings in holidays.

The real winner of the month was Patas that came with little expectations but emerged as a Super hit with good collections all over. The other success of the month came in form of dubbed film Raghuvaran B Tech which was acquired at a very low price keeping the past fates of Dhanush films in mind. Beeruva starring Sundeep Kishan opened with poor critical reviews but the public didn’t mind the entertainer and it ended up being a safe venture in few pockets.

Super hit: Patas
Hit: Raghuvaran B Tech
Above average: Beeruva
Below average to flop: Gopala Gopala
Flop: I

February

Barring the one biggie Temper, the month was mostly dominated by small to medium budgets films like Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju, Bandipotu, Gaddam Gang, Bham Bholenath etc. None except Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju managed to make a mark.

Coming to the biggie Temper starring Young Tiger NTR. The film had everything going for it to be a big success except the season where it had to deal with the World Cup. The result was a unique case where the film continued to have a long and steady run yet it wasn’t enough for distributors to be in green in all areas. The film has breakeven in two areas with one being the overseas territory.

Super hit – none
Hit – none
Average – Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju
Below average to Average- Temper
Flop – Bham Bholenath
Washouts – Gaddam Gang, Bandipotu

March

There were no big releases in March. Most of the month was filled with medium budgeted films. The unique happening in the month was clash of two Nani films on the same day and another one between a long delayed film Rey and fresh off blockbuster success Gopichand’s Jil.

Both the Nani films failed at the box office in two Telugu states. Among the two, Jenda Pai Kapiraju and Yevade Subrahmanium, the latter had better critical and commercial reception comparatively and also way better performance in overseas.

Rey despite the very long delay gained momentum right at the time of release to open decently in the morning shows. But the fate of the rest of the run was sealed with those morning shows itself as the talk about the film spread like wildfire. Jil was better on all aspects but slick presentation and sensational music too couldn’t stop the film from failing.

Nikhil had a release Surya vs Surya. It was another fresh attempt from the actor on the lines (not to be confused with same subject) of his previous films Swamy Ra Ra and Karthikeya. The film had good openings but eventually failed to match the run of previous films. Finally Dhanush couldn’t repeat the success of Raghuvaran B Tech with Anekudu.

Hit – none
Average – none
Below average – Surya vs Surya, Yevade Subrahmanium
Flop – Jil, Anekudu
Disaster – Rey, Jenda Pai Kapiraju,

April

After the Sankranthi and Shivarathri, it was the time again for a biggie. But before that we had some films like Dochay, Avunu 2 and Ok Bangaram in the month. Both at the lower end and medium end all these films failed.

Now coming to the real biggie Son of Satyamurthy, the film came with biggest hype of the year after I. It failed to match the hype and got mixed reviews overall. However lack of any real threat to it and summer holidays ensured it had a long and steady run. Eventually it too had suffered the same fate as Temper as the distribution prices here were higher.

Hit – none
Average – none
Below average to average – Son of Satyamurthy
Below average to flop – Ok Bangaram
Flop – Dochay
Disaster – Avunu 2

May

The poor run of Telugu films continued even at the peak of summer with some respite provided by Pandaga Chesko. It also had mixed reviews but eventually it managed to survive at the box office just enough to get everyone to safety. The biggest success of course came through Raghava Lawrence’s dubbed film Ganga. This horror comedy become the third biggest dubbed grosser ever by touching 20 Cr share mark worldwide. While Lawrence managed to spook the audience enough to rake in the moolah, Suriya couldn’t repeat the same formula to success with Rakshasudu.

Nandamuri Balakrishna returned after a while with Lion. It opened decently and post the weekend saw a sharp fall and never recovered. Another veteran actor Kamal Haasan made a comeback after a gap with Uttama Villain which became a villain for distributors with abysmally poor collections. Ajith’s Yentha Vadu Ganie too had similar fate but loses weren’t that big as the acquisition was done at very low prices.

Other noticeable films were Manchu Lakshmi’s Dongata, Sudheer Babu’s Mosagallaku Mosagadu and RGV’s 365 Days. The two crime capers showed some promise and threatened to succeed but eventually conceded to failure. 365 Days was a nonstarter.

Super hit- Ganga
Hit – Pandaga Chesko
Flop – Lion, Dongata, Mosagallaku Mosagadu, Yentha Vadu Ganie, Rakshasudu
Washout – Uttama Villain, 365 Days

June

The last month in the first half of 2015 saw maximum number of direct Telugu films hitting the cinemas. Every week there were three films vying for attention but only a few managed to have that. Asura, Kerintha, Krishnamma Kalipindi Iddarini and Tiger were those films which attracted people in varying degrees despite the issues with reviews. Among others which failed Jyothilakshmi and Jadoogadu were anticipated ones. The former had a good opening day but the latter didn’t even have that.

Tiger and Kerintha are doing moderately well right now but none have reached a mark of safety yet. Krishnamma Kalipindi Iddarini after a decent opening is a goner now.

Sampoornesh Babu couldn’t repeat the magic of Hrudaya Kaleyam with Singham 123.

Hit –
Average – Tiger*, Kerintha*
Below average – Asura
Flop – Krishnamma Kalipindi Iddarini, JyothiLakshmi, Singham 123
Disaster – Jadoogadu, Andhra Pori, Where is Vidya Balan, Tippu

*still running

Overall the first of the year has been similar to the second half of last year with many disappointments. The respite came through smaller and medium budget films, which included couple of dubbed one’s as well. Let’s hope Telugu film industry is back on track in the second half of year which promises to be very exciting on paper.

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