Despite all the dissent, Sudipto Sen's The Kerala Story continues to yield great results at the box office
Last Updated: 11.19 AM, May 09, 2023
A strange sense of hysteria occupies the air as Sudipto Sen's The Kerala Story continues to yield great results at the box office. A lot's been said and written about the film and one word that often crops up to describe its current reputation is 'polarizing'. On the one hand, critics of the film have been suggesting that despite the lack of sufficient merit, the film is being used as a tool to popularize a specific ideology, especially with the help of distorted facts and statistics. On the other hand, a majority of the audiences have been celebrating the film by claiming that both its narrative and messaging are relevant & poignant, however unpleasant & disturbing its stance might be.
The Kerala Story: Netizens recall John Abraham's old statements about Kerala's communal harmony
Regardless, The Kerala Story has been 'setting the cash registers ringing' and has gone past the Rs. 50 crores mark in a matter of 5 days. And while the discourse about its ethos & intent takes its own shape, the film's box office performance is surely posing a few concerns to competitors such as Ponniyin Selvan 2, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 and others.
In the case of Ponniyin Selvan 2, especially, the Mani Ratnam film was touted to be yet another mega-blockbuster that was to be, at least, on par with the previous instalment, Ponniyin Selvan 1. PS 1, which released in September 2023, not only impressed the critics but went on to become the highest-grossing Tamil film of all time with gross collections of close to Rs. 500 crores. Ponniyin Selvan 2 is a box office success in its own right, no doubt, but the sudden emergence of The Kerala Story as a formidable force seems to have borne a significant impact on the film's theatrical run. And as a result, one might see PS 2 being unable to breach the record set by its predecessor.
According to the latest reports, Ponniyin Selvan 2 has managed to collect a little over Rs. 155 crores (net) in its 11-day theatrical run whereas PS 1, at the same juncture, had gone past the Rs. 220 crores. The latter had collected over Rs. 30 crores in the second weekend (Saturday & Sunday) with PS 2, however, yielding only half of that figure. One of the main contributors to this dip in collections is the unprecedented success of The Kerala Story which mustered more than Rs. 28 crores in its second-weekend theatrical run.
On top of that, the highly positive word-of-mouth publicity for the Tovino Thomas-led Malayalam film 2018, too, has played a significant part in the whole scheme of things.
So, it would now be interesting to see how far Ponniyin Selvan 2 would reach as far as its box office performance is concerned. The makers recently made an emphatic announcement that the film has already gone past the Rs. 300 crores mark worldwide (gross figures) and the reviews have been, almost unanimously, positive. Starring Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Jayam Ravi, Karthi, Trisha Krishnan, Sobhita Dhulipala and many others, Ponniyin Selvan 2 is a star-studded epic that also features the music of maestro A.R. Rahman.