The 'Pushpa' myth explodes, south films do miserable business in Hindi

Written By: Subhash K Jha
New Delhi Updated: Mar 02, 2022, 07:14 PM(IST)

Samantha and Allu Arjun in a still from 'Pushpa The Rise' Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Two major South Indian releases in the last two weeks 'Khiladi' in Telugu featuring superstar Ravi Teja and 'Valimai' in Tamil featuring the iconic Ajith, have crashed woefully in their dubbed Hindi versions.

The classic  Pushpa may hate tears(as Rajesh Khanna’s iconic dialogue in 'Amar Prem' suggests). But the modern-day 'Pushpa' laughed all the way to the bank. The Telugu film 'Pushpa The Rise' raked in the moolah as if there was no tomorrow even in its dubbed  Hindi avatar.

Suffering from a serious  Bollywood malady called the herd mentality, a slew of Southern superstars have lined up their films for release in dubbed Hindi avatars.

However, the Hindi market has not welcomed the post-'Pushpa' South Indian releases. Two major South Indian releases in the last two weeks 'Khiladi' in Telugu featuring superstar Ravi Teja and 'Valimai' in Tamil featuring the iconic Ajith, have crashed woefully in their dubbed Hindi versions.

Both the films have done roaring business in their home states but recorded abysmal collections in  Hindi. According to box office figures available to this writer from a multiplex chain, the collection for the dubbed  Hindi version of Valimai on the day of release was as low as Rs 25 lakhs, while Khiladi was even lower.

What went wrong? According to Maharashtra’s leading film exhibitor Akshay Rathi,  “Those films have not done well because the  North Indian audiences’ awareness about those films was not significant. Any South Indian film whether in Tamil Telugu Malayalam or  Kannada, need to hit the Hindi belt after  bigtime promotions. Today a   lot of these South Indian stars have a pan-India audience. However  it is still  imperative that they come  accompanied by  a significant amount of publicity.”

 Says producer  and trade  analyst  Girish Johar, “The Hindi audiences connected with the story line and characters of Pushpa. It was very desi heartland for them. Whereas other films, which have been released recently, are very regular stuff for Hindi audiences. Also there is a constant flow of Bollywood  releases, so the options are wide and  first preference obviously goes to the local native language.”

 All eyes are now  on Prabhas’  hugely expensive love story Radhe Shyam a Telugu film that will get a  massive  release  in Hindi on  11 March. If that fails  to work—and Prabhas's previous  film Saaho was  a dud in  Hindi-- the dubbed South Indian films in Hindi are  in trouble.

Read in App