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Regional films see steady innings at box office

Telugu film Love Story, starring Sai Pallavi and Nag Chaitanya, which had made Rs30 crore at the last count, is set to emerge as the highest box office grosser after the second covid wave. Meanwhile, Punjabi film Qismat 2 too is rock steady with collections set to touch Rs13.50 crore after its second weekend, according to trade website Box Office India. Another Punjabi film, Chal Mera Putt 2 had maintained its stronghold at the box office, making over Rs14.50 crore within four weeks.

It’s noteworthy that much-needed green shoots for India’s film industry after the second covid wave are coming from smaller regional language films which do not boast of big stars. Punjabi film Puaada had made box office collections of Rs. 4 crore in the first eight days of release in August.

To be sure, even after the first covid wave, south Indian cinema was the first to roll out money-spinners, with big films sticking to their release dates in contrast with the Hindi film industry which deferred releases as covid cases rose and restrictions were imposed in the Hindi speaking markets, adding to its losses.

While Tamil films Master and Sulthan, and Telugu offerings such as Uppena and Jathi Ratnalu set the cash registers ringing soon after theatres were permitted to reopen, the month of April had seen big films such as Dhanush’s Karnan and Pawan Kalyan’s Vakeel Saab hit the screens even as the north Indian film industry battled crises caused by delays.

The strong theatre-going audiences and fan culture in the south had aided better recovery for its film industry. With big films maintaining schedules, viewers were able to keep up their consumption habits, according to trade experts.

It had helped that southern cinema is less dependent on international markets, many of which hadn’t reopened until earlier this year, than Bollywood and could bring content out, banking on loyal audiences in its home state alone. Live Mint

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