Unlike the first quarter, the second quarter started amidst hope rather than expectations. And unlike the previous three month period, the 2nd quarter of 2019 started with a bang. Three back to back hits in three weeks and two of them among the best movies of the year. While Majili emerged as one of the well-reviewed films in recent times, Jersey is unanimously accepted as a modern-day classic. In between these two is a successful Chitralahari.
Delightfully for the informed audience, a few new-age filmmakers left their mark on this quarter with films like Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya and Mallesham. The success percentage also increased compared to the first quarter and all types - small, medium, and big budget -of films found success at the box office. Only two among a slew dubbed films scored success.
April Brought Spring To Telugu Cinema
It is more than three months since Tollywood has seen the audience flock to the theatres while Kollywood and Bollywood churned out one hit after another during the same time. April started with hope than expectations but turned out to be one of the best months in recent memory for Tollywood. April well and truly brought Spring to Telugu Cinema. Starting from the first weekend, April has seen three major releases - one each week - and every film hit the bulls-eye.
Naga Chaitanya's search for success come to fruition with Majili which went on to become a well-loved blockbuster. Sai Dharam Taj scored a career-saving success with Chitralahari as Sai Tej. But it is Nani's Jersey which made bigger waves and received universal acclaim and never-seen-before positive word of mouth.
The enthusiasm for these three movies is so high that the failure of Prema Katha Chitram 2 has no effect on the audience attendance numbers. All movies ran for more than 6 weeks at the box office. Raghava Lawrence's Kanchana 3 turned out to be a winner in mass circuits. Overall, April gave new energy for the Telugu Film Industry with an unprecedented success percentage of 80.
|1||Majili||Shiva Nirvana||Naga Chaitanya, Samantha, Divyansha Kaushik, and Ananya Agarwal||Blockbuster|
|2||Prema Katha Chitram 2||Hari Kishan||Sumanth Ashwin, Nandita Swetha, Siddhi Idnani and Prabhas Sreenu||Disaster|
|3||Chitralahari||Kishore Tirumala||Sai Dharam Tej, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Nivetha Pethuraj, Sunil, and Posani Krishna Murali||Hit|
|4||Jersey||Gowtam Tinnanuri||Nani, Shraddha Srinath, Sathyaraj, and Ronit Kamra||Super Hit|
|5||Kanchana 3 (Tamil dubbing film)||Raghava Lawrence||Raghava Lawrence, Vethika, Oviya Helen, Nikki Tamboli, Kovai Sarala, and Devadarshini||Blockbuster|
MAYde For Maharshi
Superstar Mahesh Babu who scored big success with Bharat Ane Nenu last year has been determined to continue his success with his silver jubilee film Maharshi. Virtually uncontested, the Vamshi Paidipally directorial Maharshi enjoyed an unusually long and sustained run at the box office and turned out to be another memorable hit for the actor. It is one of the biggest grossers in Telugu Cinema.
With all the other films being smaller ones and failed to make noise both with the critics and at the box office, Maharshi raked in monstrous numbers and went on to join the coveted 100 Cr. share club as per the official statement from the makers. Surprisingly for a Mahesh film, this film underperformed overseas (virtually unheard of). The same happened in the Ceded area. But Maharshi aced Nizam area to become non-Baahubali highest grosser.
Young actor Vishwaksen turned director with Falaknuma Das which turned out to be a profitable venture despite generally mixed reviews. Suriya's market share in Teluguland decreased with the dud like NGK. And Sudhakar Komakula's Nuvvu Thopu Raa faded away after the pre-release buzz. But the biggest disappointment is Sita directed by senior director Teja which despite high expectations proved to be a damp squib.
|1||Nuvvu Thopu Raa||B. Harinath Babu||Sudhakar Komakula, Nithya Shetty, and Nirosha||Flop|
|2||Maharshi||Vamshi Paidipally||Mahesh Babu, Pooja Hegde, Allari Naresh, Jagapathi Babu, and Prakash Raj||Big Hit|
|3||ABCD - American Born Confused Desi||Sanjeev Reddy||Allu Sirish, Bharath, Rukshar Dhillon, and Raja Chembolu||Below Average|
|4||Sita||Teja||Kajal Aggarwal, Bellamkonda Sreenivas, and Sonu Sood||Disaster|
|5||Lisaa (Tamil dubbing film)||Raju Viswanath||Anjali, Makarand Deshpande, Sam Jones, and Yogi Babu||Disaster|
|6||NGK (Tamil dubbing film)||Selvaraghavan||Suriya, Sai Pallavi, and Rakul Preet Singh||Disaster|
|7||Falaknuma Das||Vishwaksen||Vishwaksen, Uttej, Saloni Mishra, Harshita Gaur, and Tharun Bhascker Dhassyam||Hit|
|8||Abhinetri 2||A. L. Vijay||Prabhu Deva, Tamannaah Bhatia, Nandita Swetha, Dimple Hayati, and Kovai Sarala||Disaster|
June Comes As A Breath Of Fresh Air
Of course, June has seen a considerably higher number of failures but three movies stood out and are loved by the critics as well as the audience. We are talking about Priyadarshi starrer Mallesham which tells the story of Chinthakindi Mallesham the inventor of Asu Yantram. The movie received unanimous critical acclaim and recovered all the expenses. The Raj R directorial is backed by the prestigious Suresh Productions and is hailed as a classic and received praise for portraying the Telangana culture.
Another film that wowed the audience is Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya which also went on to be declared Pycker India's Best Movie of the Week. The Naveen Polishetty starrer directed by Swaroop RSJ brought the detective genre back to Telugu Cinema and won laurels from one and all. The native touch and interesting characterization mixed with a thrilling story helped the movie to become a commercial success. Sree Vishnu's Brochevarevarura directed by Vivek Athreya is another film which received high acclaim this month.
When it comes to other releases, Vijay Antony scored a well-deserved hit in the form of Killer with a different subject and innovative narration by director Andrew Louis. The cat and mouse game between senior hero Arjun and Vijay Antony thrilled the genre lovers. Senior Telugu hero Rajasekhar made his presence felt with Kalki directed by young sensation Prasanth Varma of Awe fame. Despite a commercial underperformance, the film received appreciation for performances and direction. Rest of the releases failed to gain traction among the audience.
|1||Hippi||T. N. Krishna||Karthikeya Gummakonda, Digangana Suryavanshi, Jazba Singh, JD Chakravarthy, and Vennela Kishore||Flop|
|2||Killer||Andrew Louis||Arjun Sarja, Vijay Antony, Ashima Narwal, Seetha, and Nasser||Hit|
|3||Vajra Kavachadhara Govinda||Arun Pawar||Sapthagiri, Vaibhavi Joshi, and Archana||Disaster|
|4||Viswamitra||Raaja Kiran||Sathyam Rajesh, Nanditha Raj, Ashutosh Rana, and Prasanna||Flop|
|5||Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya||Swaroop RSJ||Naveen Polishetty, Shruti Sharma, Masala Sandeep, and Suhas||Super Hit|
|6||First Rank Raju||Naresh Kumar HN||Chetan M, Kashish Vohra, Naresh, and prakash Raj||Flop|
|7||Mallesham||Raj R||Priyadarshi Pulikonda, Ananya Nagalla, and Jhansi||Hit|
|8||Voter||G. S. Karthik||Manchu Vishnu, Surbhi, Posani Krishna Murali, Sampath Raj, and Nasser||Disaster|
|9||Brochevarevarura||Vivek Athreya||Sree Vishnu, Priyadarshi Pulikonda, Rahul Ramakrishna, Nivetha Thomas, Nivetha Pethuraj, and Satya Dev||Hit|
|10||Kalki||Prasanth Varma||Rajasekhar, Adah Sharma, Nandita Swetha, Rahul Ramakrishna, shutosh Rana, Shatru, and Siddhu Jonnalagadda||Below Average|
Second Quarter Verdict
The second quarter of 2019 started with a bang for Tollywood and it rained hits. Including the dubbing films, TFI has seen an unprecedented 80% success in April. The success streak continued each month via Maharshi, Falaknuma Das, and then the new-age films like Mallesham, Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya, and Brochevarevarura. Fan favorite Vijay Antony scored a hit with Killer at long last after Bichagadu. With several big releases including Saaho, Manmadhudu 2, etc. exciting times are ahead. Tollywood enjoyed a satisfactory Summer despite IPL and Cricket World Cup.
Best Movie of the Second Quarter
Undoubtedly Nani's Jersey is the best movie of this quarter. Apart from receiving unanimous critical acclaim, the movie weathered the toughest competition from fellow Telugu films Majili and Chitralahari not to talk about Kanchana which ate away its collections in mass circuits. But co-existing with all these films and unaffected by Avengers juggernaut, Jersey has a sustained good run at the box office and raked in good profits for all concerned parties. Stunningly good performances, excellent direction, and the audience love make Jersey easily the best movie of the year in Telugu as of this writing.
Surprise of the Second Quarter
New director. Relatively unknown hero. New actress. Limited budget. A genre untouched in decades. But all these youngsters proved conventional wisdom wrong with this detective thriller and scored a roaring success. The movie not just impressed the genre lovers, it brought a new audience to the theatres with the promise of a special film. Deservedly the film went on to become Pycker India's Best Movie of the Week (17-22 June 2019), an honor it shared with Majili and Jersey among Telugu films this quarter. Says a lot! And we highly recommend this film.