Reflections 2023: Tollywood Roundup (2024)


January started on a high note with the clash of Chiranjeevi and Balakrishna fighting in the Pongal race with “Waltair Veerayya” and “Veera Simha Reddy.” The best thing is both the films turned out to be blockbusters. ‘Waltair Veerayya’ becomes the highest grosser of the year in Telugu. Apart from these two, Santhosh Shoban’s “Kalyanam Kamneeyam,” and Sudheer Babu’s “Hunt” hits theatres but couldn’t make their mark.


Dhanush’s “Sir” and Suhas’ “Writer Padmabhushan” are the highest grossers in February. “Sir,” directed by Venky Atluri is the first straight film Dhanush in his career. Other films such as Sundeep Kishan’s “Micheal,” and Kiran Abbavaram’s “Vinaro Bhagyamu Vishnu Katha” also entertained some section of audience. Apart from these, Kalyan Ram’s “Amigos,” “Butta Bomma,” and “Sridevi Shoban Babu” gets a disaster talk.


March is one of the biggest months for Telugu films. Jabardast Venu’s “Balagam” created huge sensation and brought many people from past generation to theatres. The Telangana nativity and culture has been shown beautifully and bagged many awards. The film garnered more than 100 international awards. After “Balagam,” another Telangana native film “Dasara” starring Nani turned out to be blockbuster for the actor. Other films such as Aadi Saikumar’s “CSI Sanatan,” Naga Shourya’s “Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi” and Vishwak Sen’s “Das Ka Dhamki” tried to grab attention but couldn’t entertain everyone. “Rangamarthanda” which has been released in the same month gets positive reviews but failed in getting footfalls.


April has not been a great month for Tollywood. High-budget movies such as Samantha’s “Shaakunthalam,” Akhil’s “Agent” and Ravi Teja’s “Ravanasura” disappointed audience. “Virupaksha” starring Sai Dharam Tej was the only film in the month which entertained movie lovers. Kiran Abbavaram’s “Meter” also didn’t show any impact at box-office.


Basically, May is slightly helpful for moviemakers asit is a holiday season and people visit theatres. But, it is a different story this year. Not even a single film worked at box-office. Starting with Gopichand’s “Ramabanam,” Naresh’s “Ugram,” Naga Chaitanya’s “Custody,” Santhosh Shoban’s “Anni Maanchi Sakunamule” and Pavithra Naresh’s “Malli Pelli”; every film disappointed on silver screen. Among these films, “Custody” and “Malli Pelli” gets a positive talk after the OTT debut.


June turns out to be blockbuster month for small films. Sumanth Prabhas debut film “Mem Famous,” Thiruveer’s “Pareshan” and Sree Vishnu’s “Samajavaragamana” entertained audience and bagged huge money at the ticket windows. But high-budget films such as Prabhas “Adipurush,” Nikhil’s “Spy” failed to grab attention in spite of getting released amid huge expectations. Though “Adipurush” bagged decent collections, the criticism on the film made it and average one. Other films such as Abhiram’s debut “Ahimsa,” Bellamkonda Ganesh’s “Nenu Student Sir,” Bigg Boss Sunny’s “Unstoppable” couldn’t make any impact at the box-office.


July also turned out as a month for small films. Though, there were many films released in this month, Pawan Kalyan and Sai Dharam Tej’s “Bro” is the only high-budget film. Though, the film collected decent amount at ticket windows, it received severe backlash from the audience. Among the other films, Anand Deverakonda and Vaishnavi Chaitanya’s “Baby” turned out to be the biggest blockbuster of the month followed by Naga Shaurya’s “Rangabali.” Other films such as “7:11 PM,” “Bhaag Saale,” “Rudhrangi,” “Hidimbha,” “Annapurna Photo Studio,” and “Slum Dog Husband” disappointed movie lovers.


August is not much entertaining for film goers. Started with Chiranjeevi’s “Bhola Shankar,” Varun Tej’s “Gandeevadhari Arjuna” Sri Simha’s “Ustaad,” Sohel’s “Mr Pregnant” and Santhosh Shoban’s “Prem Kumar” disappointed audience with a bad talk. Kathikeya’s “Bedurulanka 2012” entertained a bit and gave a huge relief to Telugu audience.


September turns as the month of love stories. Starting with Vijay Deverakonda, Samantha’s “Kushi” and later forwarded by Naveen Polishetty, Anushka’s “Miss Shetty Mr Polishetty,” rom-coms are been encouraged by audience. Though, mass films such as Ram’s “Skanda” and “Pedda Kapu-1” hits screens, they failed to create an impact among audience.


October turned as a month of blockbusters. Started with a medium budget entertainer “MAD” and ended with high budget films such as Balayya’s “Bhagavanth Kesari” and Ravi Teja’s “Tiger Nageswara Rao”; all three films bagged huge money at box-office. “Month of Madhu,” which is also released in this month gets appreciation from all around but failed to collect money. Sudheer Babu’s “Mama Maschindra” and Kiran Abbavaram’s “Rules Ranjann” failed to impress audience.


As, none of the big stars made their presence on silver screen in November, films with medium budget got their slot and get succeeded. Firstly, Tharun Bhascker’s “Keeda Cola,” followed by “Maa Oori Polimera 2,” Payal Rajput’s “Mangalavaaram” and “Kotabommali PS” were among them. Panja Vaishnav Tej’s “Aadikeshava” released in this month amid huge expectations but failed to cash them.


December started with a cool breezy entertainer “Hi Nanna” starring Nani and getting ended with an action entertainer Prabhas and Prashanth Neel’s “Salaar.” Other films such as Nithiin’s “Extra Ordinary Man,” Sudigali Sudheer’s “Calling Sahasra” were released and turned out as the disasters. Kalyan Ram’s “Devil” is yet to be released on December 29th.

Telugu cinema reaches global platform

2023 stands out as a historic and memorable year for the Telugu film industry, marked by the global success of SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus “RRR.” The film achieved a ground-breaking feat by becoming the first Indian feature film to win an Oscar. At the 95th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, “RRR” secured the Best Original Song Award for its track ‘Naatu Naatu,’ composed by MM Keeravani, sung by Kala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj, and featuring lyrics by Chandrabose.

The song had earlier won the Golden Globe for the Best Song, making “RRR” the first Indian film to receive such an accolade at the prestigious awards ceremony.

“RRR” narrates a fictional tale set in the 1920s, drawing inspiration from the lives of freedom fighters Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju. The film boasts an ensemble cast, including Jr NTR, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, and Olivia Morris.

In another significant achievement, the National Film Awards witnessed a historic moment as Allu Arjun became the first Telugu actor to win the prestigious Best Actor award. He received the accolade for his role in the Telugu film ‘Pushpa: The Rise,’ directed by Sukumar. The character ‘Pushpa’ was described as a “charismatic performance of an underdog challenging an entire corrupt system” and an “iconic role.”

Expressing his gratitude, Allu Arjun stated, “Honoured to receive the National Award. This award is not a personal milestone but belongs to all people who have supported and cherished our cinema.” He extended special thanks to director Sukumar, acknowledging him as the driving force behind his achievement.

A comeback year for B-Town

In 2023, Bollywood witnessed a significant comeback for several stars, most notably Shah Rukh Khan, who bounced back with two back-to-back hits – “Pathaan” and “Jawan.” Despite facing controversies, “Pathaan” lived up to the immense hype surrounding its release, becoming a substantial success. In September, Shah Rukh Khan’s “Jawan” hit the screens and emerged as the highest-grossing Bollywood movie of 2023 in India, collecting an impressive Rs 643.87 crore at the box office.

Sunny Deol also made a triumphant return with the blockbuster “Gadar 2,” which amassed Rs 525.45 crore in India. Ranbir Kapoor’s “Animal” marked a career milestone, becoming the biggest hit of his career with a total collection of Rs 470.58 crore. Salman Khan’s “Tiger 3” performed well, earning Rs 284.52 crore, despite receiving mixed reviews.

One surprising success story was the controversial film “The Kerala Story,” which garnered significant attention and collected Rs 242.20 crore at the India box office. Following closely is Ranveer Singh’s “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani” with Rs 153.60 crore, Akshay Kumar’s “OMG 2” with Rs 150.17 crore, Ranbir Kapoor’s “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar,” and Prabhas’ “Adipurush,” both earning Rs 135.04 crore. The year 2023 has indeed been a noteworthy one for the Bollywood box office.

Reflections 2023: Tollywood Roundup (2024)
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