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Yours Southerly: SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ Cements South Cinema’s Supremacy

If there was any doubt about RRR at all, then let it please rest. Roudram, Ranam, Rudhiram has created a tsunami, like never before – a stupendous and unprecedented success story. I don’t think there must be any movie lover in India who doesn’t know what Roudram, Ranam, Rudhiram means. But for those who are… Continue reading Yours Southerly: SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ Cements South Cinema’s Supremacy

If there was any doubt about RRR at all, then let it please rest. Roudram, Ranam, Rudhiram has created a tsunami, like never before – a stupendous and unprecedented success story. I don’t think there must be any movie lover in India who doesn’t know what Roudram, Ranam, Rudhiram means. But for those who are still wondering, it translates to Rise Roar Revolt, and yes RRR, the film has been able to do that and like how! 

In the recent history of cinema, no other film was able to create a rhetorical question that resonated across India: why did Katappa kill Baahubali? That was in 2017 when the sequel to Baahubali (the beginning), Baahubali 2: The Conclusion had the cash registers shaking with the film grossing Rs 1,796.56 crores worldwide. The world was left awestruck when The Conclusion collected approximately Rs 8 billion worldwide within just six days of its release. That was what started the winds of change, where everyone sat up and took note of South Indian movies not only breaking all previous box office records, but also winning hearts worldwide. 

5 years later, of which two years went by waiting for Covid to abate, RRR is here to eclipse the success story of the Baahubali franchise. 

But first up, a bit about the creator of Baahubali and RRR. Of course, we know his name: S S Rajamouli, but as we ask in the south — full name? It is Koduri Srisaila Sri Rajamouli. Yes, he is Telugu, but he wasn’t born in either of the Telugu-speaking states, but in Raichur in Karnataka and speaks Kannada fluently. 

That was a small curtain-raiser on a director who is today considered to be definitely larger than the superstars he works with — Prabhas, Rana Daggubatti, NTR Jr, and Ram Charan. 

Before I tell you how RRR has done at the box office, don’t you notice a similarity between Baahubali 2 and RRR? Both are fantasy dramas, of course, but what is more of a common thread is the showcasing of old-world physically strong and mentally unsurpassable male protagonists who seem to have walked out of an Indian epic! 

Whether it was Amarendra Baahubali, Bhallaladeva, Alluri Sita Rama Raju, or Komaram Bheem — all of them explode the myth that Indian audiences are done with inspirational stories from mythology. 

And S S Rajamouli’s films are hardly religious in the strictest sense — the fabulous but thrilling special effects and a great plot do it for him. Also, both Baahubali and RRR were made in all the south Indian languages plus Hindi, and the former also in Japanese and Spanish, amongst others. Baahubali was made on a budget of Rs 250 crore while Rajamouli sunk in Rs 550 crores for RRR

RRR was released just 4 days ago — yes, 96 hours ago only. And brace yourselves — RRR has made Rs 223 crore worldwide on day one of its releases. In India, the film made Rs 156 crore and added another Rs 42 crore from the US and Canada. 

SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ entered the Rs 500-cr club in just 3 days and earned USD 60 million in the March 25 to 27 weekend, surpassing other major grosser like The Batman and The Lost City. Let’s cut to the chase — RRR has earned Rs 750 crore worldwide so far.

In the home territory, that is in the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana alone, RRR confirmed making Rs 200 crore and this was on the 27 of March. Remember that day was a Sunday? Usually, films see a dip on Mondays as one is back to work the first day of the week. But no such thing for RRR! It earned Rs 15 crore on Monday taking the total earnings from the Telugu-speaking states to Rs 154 crores! 

Let us look at the day-wise collection of RRR in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: 

Day 1: Rs 74.11 Crore
Day 2: Rs 31.63 Crore
Day 3: Rs 33. 35 Crore
Day 4: Rs 15 Crore
Total: Rs 154.09 Crore (approx) 

Finally, RRR has earned Rs 750 crore worldwide so far. Take a bow, S S Rajamouli for with RRR you have proven two things — success can always be repeated and there is money to be made in a post-Covid world, provided we have solid, good-looking stories to be told.

The story, however, isn’t limited to only RRR. Allu Arjun and Rashmika Mandanna’s Pushpa: The Rise also made a phenomenal business at the box office, grossing Rs 365 crore and emerging as the highest-grossing Indian film in 2021.

Other films like Saaho, Kurup, Radhe Shyam and more have also earned several hundred crores each, proving that the coveted 100-cr club is in no way a Bollywood monopoly anymore. And all of this, while the buzz for upcoming movies like KGF: Chapter 2 seems to know no end.