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Why Pushpa Is Such A Huge Hit

By SUBHASH K JHA
January 20, 2022 09:24 IST
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'A well made masala film will never go out of fashion. Pushpa proved it yet again.'

Just what has made Director Sukumar's Pushpa: The Rise such a phenomenal success?

Originally in Telugu, this Allu Arjun-starrer has accumulated a staggering profit of Rs 40 crore (Rs 400 million) in its dubbed Hindi version.

If the film had not started streaming on Amazon Prime Video in January, it would have shown no fall in its box office figures despite the third wave of the COVID pandemic.

Trade analysts and film folk try to explain just what worked in its favour.

Taran Adarsh trade analyst" 'Pandemic era...Non-holiday release (one week before Christmas) ...Tough opponents (SpiderMan in Week 1; '83 in Week 2)...Minimal promotions + limited screens/shows... Normal ticket pricing (not enhanced rates).

'Pushpa braves it all...What made it so successful? Several factors, in my opinion.

'One, Allu Arjun's popularity and rich fanbase in the Hindi market, thanks to the dubbed versions available on YouTube and satellite channels.

'Two, the wholesome content it offers. Complete masala entertainer.

'Three, weak opposition in '83 gave Pushpa ample breathing space to fly high. '83 appealed more to the metros, but Pushpa, with its wholesome content, appealed to metros as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 belt.

'A well made masala film will never go out of fashion. Pushpa proved it yet again.'

 

Nagarjuna, actor: 'The success of Pushpa: The Rise is indeed an eye-opener for all film-makers and trade experts who thought it was too regional in flavour to appeal to a pan-India audience.

'The fact is Pushpa has done much much better in the dubbed Hindi version than in the original Telugu version. If the box office collections were to be judged by the performance of the Telugu version only, Pushpa wouldn't qualify as much of a success. How do we explain this phenomenon?'

Adivi Sesh, actor: 'It's a film made with conviction, without alterations by the marketing departments, to cater to a particular set of the audience.'

Mayank Shekhar, film critic: 'The mass/masala, theatrical, all-genre entertainer -- in parts romance, comedy, action; both extreme heroism & villainy... Hardcore, desi audiences found it in Pushpa, and not '83, for instance. They'd been craving it, evidently.

'With regional language dubs the norm for years on Hindi movie channels, plus access to masala films from the South through OTT/Internet, language is seemingly no more the issue.

'Bollywood needn't always bother with remakes of Telugu films in order to bolster Bombay stars for North Indian audiences, as it were (as was the case, say, with Salman Khan for Wanted, or Shahid Kapoor with Kabir Singh).

'Pushpa's incredible, sleeper success proves the pan-India Baahubali was not a fluke!'

Suneel Darshan, film-maker: 'Guess it's perhaps the only Indian film released since -- unpretentious, unapologetic, hardcore and not appearing to be a Hollywood/American.'

 

Atul Mohan, trade analyst: 'Opening at 3 crores on day 1 with limited screens and publicity and less support by multiplexes, Pushpa The Rise rose to 80+ crores till date and that's phenomenal...

'Changing the rules of the game post-pandemic, the success of Pushpa proves that the public wants paisa vasool entertainers to lure them to cinemas and Pushpa delivers all that masala to its paisa-paying audience.

'The one-liners like 'Pushpa Jhukega Nahi' and 'Pushpa is not flower, it's fire' have become a rage among youngsters and we can see its memes online and all this adds to the craze of the film.

'Allu Arjun is already popular in Hindi belt, thanks to his past dubbed films available on YouTube and satellite channels.

'Manish Shah of Goldmines, who owns most of the Hindi rights of Allu Arjun starrers, knew Arjun's popularity and is now laughing all the way to the bank.'

 

Girish Johar, trade analyst: 'Despite the SOPs and restrictions across the states, Pushpa has grossed phenomenal numbers not only at the domestic box office but overseas too.

'It has collected a whopping 300 crore rupees at the global box office, which truly, no one was expecting.

'Yes, lack of competition did prove beneficial, but it also boasted of the content which the public liked and which they preferred to enjoy in cinemas.

'Clearly, it was preferred despite some biggies as opposition because of its presentation, its making and its writing. The characters simply connected with the audiences.'

'Despite being a simple story, the performances of all the actors truly upped the film. It was clearly the masala entertainer content which audiences were looking for. And surprisingly despite no major promotions, it has been lapped up by the Hindi audiences as well.

'Pushpa has firmly put across to the film fraternity that marketing gimmicks will no longer help at the box office, it's sheer content that counts.'

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SUBHASH K JHA