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Telugu fantasy action film Bimbisara has set the cash registers ringing, having made around Rs.40 crore worldwide at last count. The film has been directed by debutant Mallidi Vasishta, and stars Nandamuri Kalyan Ram, Catherine Tresa, Samyuktha Menon and Prakash Raj.

Box office revenue is expected to touch a record Rs. 12,515 crore in 2022, beating the previous high of Rs. 10, 948 crore in 2019, as audiences throng cinemas in large numbers with revenge consumption kicking in after two years of covid-led disruptions, according to a report by media consulting firm Ormax and media investment firm GroupM.

In fact, revenue generated from ticket sales between January and April was also at an all time high of Rs. 4,002 crore for the period. Besides for the first time monthly average collections was at over Rs. 1,000 crore, the report added. In comparison, in the first four months of 2019 box office collection was at Rs. 3,550 crore.

The records were achieved despite the impact of the third wave of covid-19 for the better part of January, when theatres were not allowed to operate and film releases were pushed back. Besides, 18% of cinemas were then not open compared to 2019, and sitting capacity was at 82% of pre-pandemic levels in April. However, operating capacity was expected to breach the 90% mark by June, leading to incremental footfalls in the second half of 2022.

Regional language contribution to revenues has played a major role with Telugu cinema seeing significant growth in share of box office collections in the last three years. In January-April, almost 60% of Hindi box office revenue came from dubbed versions of south Indian films, thanks to two big releases, K.G.F: Chapter 2 and RRR, it said. In the four-month period Telugu films contributed 27% to overall revenues compared to 12% in 2019 while Hindi cinema’s share fell from 43% in 2018 and 39% in 2019 to 38% in 2022.

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