When director Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan 1 was released on September 30, 2022, it proved to be a box office disruptor. While the original Tamil version edged out its other regional counterparts, the film became the highest grossing Tamil of 2022, with its worldwide gross collection exceeding Rs 500 crore. Now, as the second part of the movie Ponniyin Selvan 2 (PS2) gears up for release this Friday, all eyes are on how the sequel will perform not only on the pitch but in all five languages.
Ponniyin Selvan, a film adaptation of author Kalki Krishnamurthy’s 1950s novel, has a solid cast of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram, Jayam Ravi, Trisha Krishnan, Karthi, Sobhita Dhulipala and Aishwarya Lekshmi. As the sequel returns to complete the story of The Chola Empire, excitement is already running high among moviegoers in Tamil Nadu.
Business analyst Ramesh Bala told Indianexpress.com: “Ponniyin Selvan, at least in Tamil Nadu, is #1 all time and also in most major foreign markets. Many families and fans are waiting to see this sequel. In May, schools and colleges have their summer holidays. He will do well and there are fan expectations to see how the movie wraps up the story. It will have a steady run at the box office (in Tamil Nadu). “
He adds, “It may not be some kind of Pathaan bargain, but it will be fine. Considering the genre, it will do well wherever PS1 has done well. In Hindi and Telugu, the first iteration did not work well. I expect the PS2 to mirror the PS1 in terms of picking up in strong areas as well as weak areas.
Comparing the box office performance between the two sequels, Ramesh says, “If you look at other movies like KGF1, KGF 2 and Baahubali 1 and Baahubali 2, the collections had a huge difference between the two parts, but I think that on PS2, there might not be. be a huge increase in revenue. It comes a few months after the first movie and people didn’t have to wait two or three years to watch it. It will be more or less the same gain at the box office.
While Ponniyin Selvan 1 was a clear winner in the Tamil market, its box office performance geographically closer to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh was very different. The PS1 grossed Rs 14.97 crore in the Telugu version, despite household names such as Trisha, Jayam and Karthi in the star cast. At the Malayalam box office, it collected Rs 7.44 crores.
Venkat Prasad, Head of Programming at Prasads Multiplex Chain, Hyderabad reveals that advance booking in Telugu market for opening day is better for Telugu PS2 than Tamil PS2.
“Comparatively, there is more than 50% increase in collection on opening day. The first part didn’t do well in Telugu but did well in Tamil. But if you look at advance reservations, Telugu is much bigger than Tamil. The difference between Tamil and Telugu is only 10%, but if you look at the collections in advance, comparatively, Telugu is bigger,” he says.
Film critic and trade expert Jeevi explains why the PS1 hasn’t moved the needle in the Telugu market. He says, “The problem with PS1 was that Dil Raju bought it for a certain amount and he almost got it back. The problem with PS1 with a Telugu audience is that it is rooted in the Tamil milieu in terms of character names, places. For Telugu, there is no reference to these characters.
In his opinion, Telugu public excitement for the PS2 is less than for the prequel, but feels that “it could improve with word of mouth”. He also thinks that after the release of OTT, many people know about the characters in the movie and the second part could be interesting for them.
However, the PS2 this time has a legitimate competitor in the Telugu market. Jeevi shares, “Another movie coming out is Agent and obviously it will be bigger and there will be a comparison. The agent is sold at a higher price. If you look at the standalone Telugu market, Agent is a much bigger movie in Telugu than PS 2. I’m talking about movie sales.
The Agent stars Akhil Akkineni and Mammootty. The film also brings Bollywood actor Dino Morea to the Telugu industry for the first time.
During the promotions for Ponniyin Selvan 2, Karthi, who plays the role of Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan in the film, explained how in the Hindi belt, the PS1 only picked up after the release of OTT on Prime Video. Speaking at a press conference, the actor said: “I think they (Northern audiences) found it a bit difficult to understand. That’s how I felt initially. When you read a novel, you’ll forget the names by the time you get to the tenth page. Also here too they had this problem. However, when the movie came out on OTT, they were able to get it. So they can better understand the film when the second part arrives.
So, does the Hindi PS2 box office have a better chance than the PS1, which collected Rs 22.91 crore? Mumbai-based business analyst Atul Mohan says, “People who saw the movie on OTT did not pay for it and if anyone watched the movie for free, they don’t want to spend money and will come back to OTT. . There is no Hindi excitement and absolutely no buzz. There is also no excitement in the trade.
Not to mention that Salman Khan’s Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan is still in theaters and, according to Atul, “Anyone who wants to go to the theater, their first choice will be Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan.”
However, business analyst Taran Adarsh hopes for the fate of PS2 in the Hindi belt. He cites the example of other films and says, “I think Mani Ratnam is a master storyteller and he’s an absolute genius. The first part was a huge hit down south. I’m sure it will take huge hit in Tamil version but in Hindi it’s a wait and watch. It happened with Drishyam also that he created a land on OTT for the second part.
Weighing in on this, Ramesh Bala concludes by saying, “This (buzz created by OTT) will definitely help part two, but I think 10-20% more audience footfall. Of course people watched it on Prime, they know the movie but I don’t expect them to show up in large numbers. So I think the PS2 attendance could increase by 20% because of the OTT phenomenon. Anything more than that is definitely a bonus.
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