2022 - TFI First Half in a nutshell

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It is popcorn time now as the first half of Tollywood 2022
is complete and boy, has it been a roller coaster of a journey. But how has it
been… Good? Bad? Ugly? Let’s find out...

The start itself was a killer with thriller screenplay of 4
movies trying to battle out within a week’s window of Sankranthi, which without
a doubt is the best season for Tollywood. And while biggies like RRR, Radhe
Shyam, Bheemla Nayak
and Bangarraju fought it out for a release
date, the villain Corona had the last laugh due to which 3 movies moved out
their releases to a later date while only Bangarraju made it to the
theatres. This movie fared reasonably at the box office along with which a
couple of other low budget movies Hero and Rowdy boys made hay as well.

And after this interesting starting sequence, the scene
moved to February where the screenplay took to crime thrillers out of which DJ
made the most with some rib-tickling comedy while Khiladi
soured the audience with lackluster screenplay. Son of India which came
around the same time may have failed to even cover release expenses, forget
about movie making. Then came Bheemla Nayak promising an action fest and
it indeed opened to a fest at the box office but slowly battered down to remain
an average fare, thanks to some ticket pricing issues as well. Read about the
ticket prices issue Here.

March promised sentiment in the form of Aadaallu Meeku Joharlu
but the movie lacked both story and screenplay making it a failure. What
followed afterwards was a huge disaster in the form of Radhe Shyam which
failed to convince the audience with a storyline which fielded love against
destiny. And just while it seemed like a wayward screenplay for Tollywood, came
the monster RRR. The movie which ticked almost all the boxes turned out
a huge blockbuster as expected and toppled the records of mighty Bahubali in
the Telugu states while it also made its way to the top 5 grossers of Indian
cinema worldwide.

Just when the audience were about to feel full of RRR came
in KGF2 which turned out to be a double dhamaka. Even though a dubbed
film, audience thronged to theatres and made a huge hit out of this movie, so
big that a medium budget movie Ghani which released in between was
crushed to dismal box office performance. And just as life would have it, these
blockbusters were followed up by a huge disaster in the form of Acharya which
at any point from the release did not make an impression on the audience.

Sarkaru Vaari Paata and F3 wanted to provide a
bang for buck after the RRR-KGF mayhem but both failed to match expectations
and tuned out average fares at the box office. And with them were gone the hope
of a thumping interval bang after a blockbuster pre-interval. Ashoka Vanam
lo Arjuna kalyanam
managed to provide the audience with some laughter and
sentiment to make a decent watch.

June had an excellent start in the form of Major
which managed to draw some audience to the theatres while the follow up movies
in Ante Sundaraniki, Viraata parvam and Sammathame failed to make
a sprint and turned out blue soon after start. Sammathame, being a low budget
movie turned out a bit better result at the box office.

And lastly, dubbing movies have also had their say in the
first half with movies like KGF2, Vikram and Don which turned out
hits and blockbusters but that’s not all. A few of them drowned in competition
as well and even big-ticket heroes like Vijay and Ajith couldn’t help the cause
of Beast and Valimai.

OTT releases weren’t a flourish as earlier and only The
American Dream
and Bloody Mary managed to make an impression.

Overall, what started as a thriller of a year slowly pulled
the graph upwards North and peaked during the RRR-KGF period. The impetus
however did not last long as the pace slowed down towards the end of the first
half. That said, a good percentage of the big-ticket releases were able to make
a good run backed by a few good medium and low budget movies as well making it
decent first half. But the sheer adrenaline in the February-April period has
been excellent which pulls the bar up from decent to good and so, it has been a
good first half, sure!

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