Home / Industry / Media /  Southern films ‘K.G.F:2 ,’ ‘Beast’ set for clash, eye massive openings

A clash of the titans is on the cards with two big-ticket south Indian films, Beast and K.G.F: Chapter 2, set for blockbuster release on 13 and 14 April 2022, respectively, said cinema owners and trade analysts.

According to ticketing platform BookMyShow, the Hindi version of the Kannada movie, K.G.F:2, with advance bookings of 2.5 million tickets on the site will have record first-day earnings of 50 crore, beating even Bollywood blockbusters of all times. Beast is set to notch up 40 crore-plus on the first day, with advance bookings crossing 1.8 million in south India, led by Tamil Nadu. It will also woo audiences from the North with a Hindi version.

In a testimony to the growing might of southern cinema in the Hindi belt, the release date of Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey was pushed by a week to avoid clashing with the two films.

And, theatre owners across India hope to benefit from the long weekend on account of Baisakhi, Vishu, Ugadi and Good Friday.

“The writing on the wall is clear. With advance bookings going through the roof, Hindi dub of K.G.F:2 will make a massive opening and possibly beat the first day earnings of RRR," Kamal Gianchandani, chief executive officer, PVR Pictures Ltd, said.

It is likely to beat the opening record of all-time hits such as Thugs of Hindostan in 2018, Marvel’s superhero flick Avengers: Endgame and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. Late last month, the Hindi version of RRR made around 19 crore on the opening day .

Rajendar Singh Jyala, chief programming officer, INOX Leisure, said while K.G.F has an advantage of being a sequel to a hugely successful film and may follow the same trajectory as Baahubali 2, Beast will dominate screens and mind space in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, where Vijay has a huge fan following. With blockbusters like Master, Bigil, Sarkar and  Mersal, he has not seen a flop since 2015. “Beast is the biggest film of the year for us and K.G.F has been completely overshadowed here. We’re expecting five absolutely packed days," Rakesh Gowthaman, managing director, Vettri Theatres in Chennai, said.

Vishek Chauhan, an independent exhibitor from Bihar, said K.G.F. is one of the biggest films for north India this year and will run without opposition for at least a week. The Hindi belt has been starved of commercial entertainers since Bollywood turned to urban multiplex narratives, he said. “If word-of-mouth around it is good, all records will be broken," Chauhan said he will discontinue with RRR to run K.G.F. in all four shows in his single screen cinema.

In the past three months, southern offerings have received overwhelming response, hinting at heightened interest towards quality and compelling content on the big screen, which is language agnostic, said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, cinemas, BookMyShow.

“While regional films do see dominant interest in cities that are native to the language they are originally presented in, there is rising interest from audiences across the length and breadth of the country with Hindi dubbed versions of regional films helping break the long-standing barrier to cinema consumption," hew added.

The Hindi version of K.G.F: 2 with a higher opening screen count is leading the charts for advance ticket sales. “Having said that, we expect Kannada to follow suit as soon as more screens open up to make the movie a nationwide success. Beast is also set to be a humungous success, especially in the Tamil-speaking regions, with the cinephiles from Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Bengaluru and Trichy the quickest to grab tickets," Saksena said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lata Jha

Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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