Minus any major competition for a couple of weeks, this is a good time for both films to make a mark
It hasn’t been a great summer for Telugu cinema in terms of box office revenue - only a handful of films like Virupaksha, Bichagadu 2, Mem Famous and Samajavaragmana held the fort in theatres with most small/medium budget failing to enthuse audiences. While Samajavaragamana continues its victorious march, two films are locking horns in Telugu states this weekend.
Baby and Nayakudu are the only major releases on July 14. Baby, directed by Hrudaya Kaleyam maker Sai Rajesh, stars Anand Deverakonda, Vaishnavi Chaitanya, Viraj Ashwin. Nayakudu, the Telugu version of Maamannan, a rural saga directed by Mari Selvaraj, features a dream lineup including Udhayanidhi Stalin, Keerthy Suresh, Vadivelu, Fahadh Faasil and has music by AR Rahman.
No prizes for guessing that Baby holds the edge in this box office battle. Baby has many aspects working in its favour - Vijai Bulganin’s music, steady promotional campaign over many months, the terrific trailer and the rooted storytelling. The film has been made under a budget of Rs 10 crores and the makers are already in profits prior to the theatrical release. With good buzz, Baby is likely to open well.
With several heavyweights, Nayakudu’s potential cannot be underestimated, but the truth is that there’s limited interest for the film due to its poor promotional campaign. AR Rahman’s songs, surprisingly, haven’t released in Telugu yet and the promotions are restricted to the obligatory trailer, posters and social media posts. Suresh Productions and Asian Cinemas are distributing the film. Good word-of-mouth will remain the key for it to perform well.
With Nayakudu and Baby both promising good content, it’ll be a good weekend for those seeking meaningful, entertaining mainstream cinema. None of the last week’s releases - Rangabali, Rudrangi, Circle, Bhaag Saale have made any impact.