'The success of KGF over Zero proves if the content is good, even if the film is dubbed, it will make no difference.'
The dubbed Hindi version of the Kannada film KGF is doing better business at the box office than Shah Rukh Khan's new release, Zero.
This should be cause for concern not just for SRK, but other Bollywood superstars who have dominated the pan-India box office.
According to trade sources, Prashanth Neel's KGF is not only a blockbuster in its home state Karnataka, it has scored a victory in the Hindi belt as well.
Leading man Yash is gratified by the response.
"I won't say that doing better than a Shah Rukh Khan film in Hindi-speaking belts is something I aspire to do," Yash tells Subhash K Jha.
"Ideally, I would want both films to do well. But yes, the way North Indian audiences have responded has surprised all of us in the KGF team. In North India, they don't know who I am. Yet, they are clapping and cheering at my entry."
Did Yash expect such success for KGF?
"We knew we had made a film that would do us proud," he replies. "We wanted to take Kannada cinema to another level. So far, we were seen as underdogs. We wanted that to end and we have succeeded."
Yash feels the Hindi, Tamil and Telugu dubbed versions of KGF were not treated as typical dubbed products.
"We worked really hard on the dubbing to ensure that there were no overlaps in the lip-sync. Also, the cultural references in the dialogues had to be changed. Certain words and phrases in Kannada have entirely different connotations in Tamil or Hindi."
"We have to make Pan Indian stories and films to attract all audiences or else local films will be taking over more frequently," says Bollywood trade expert Girish Johar.
"After the success of Baahubali, more and more South films are being dubbed in Hindi," says trade analyst Amod Mehra. "The success of KGF over Zero proves that if the content is good, even if the film is dubbed, it will make no difference."