Prashanth Neel and Hombale Films' monumental success completes one year of its theatrical release and fans cannot keep calm
It was exactly a year ago when one of Indian cinema history's most momentous occasions arrived in cinema halls in the form of K.G.F: Chapter 2. The film carried tremendous expectations ahead of its release with the optimism in the air almost palpable at the time as fans, moviegoers, trade analysts, pundits, critics and just about everyone volunteered to be swept up by the mania. And living up to the promise and how, Prashanth Neel and Co. stamped their authority on both the box office and the audiences' hearts with such flamboyance that the entire proceedings remain vivid to date.
Rocking Star Yash as Rocky Bhai immortalized himself as a 'cultural icon' whereas director Neel and producer Vijay Kiragandur of Hombale Films announced themselves in an emphatic manner and together, the trio created a rarely-witnessed theatrical experience. KGF 2 did receive its share of criticism, no doubt (mainly for its hypermasculine-ish setting) but there is no denying that the film, along with films like RRR, caused a paradigm shift in the post-pandemic world of cinema.
And a year ago during its theatrical run, fans' celebrations were as larger-than-life and as uncontained as the film itself. Those who experienced it first-hand do not need a callback or a reminder and the few of those who weren't part of the long occasion are only one Google search away from comprehending the 'April 2022 frenzy'.
Outside cinema halls, fans gathered in unprecedented numbers and beckoned to Diwali to arrive a little earlier that year. Crackers were lit ahead of screenings and Yash's most iconic entry in KGF 2, too, received a similar response inside theatres!
In the same vein, rituals were conducted when Rocky Bhai appeared on screen, prayers were read and chanted and cries of joy and excitement were exclaimed simultaneously. The climax portion of the film, including the credits, boasted its own share of unleashed madness.
That isn't all, KGF: Chapter 2 managed to transcend boundaries and become a thunderous success in all of its dubbed releases (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam). The film became a blockbuster in each of these versions, so much so the Vijay starrer Beast, which released a day prior on April 13, was first threatened and then almost dethroned in Tamil Nadu.
In the southern state, midnight and early morning shows were added to suffice the exceptional demand and the Hindi version of KGF 2 set new box office records. KGF 2 (Hindi) collected over Rs. 430 crores during its theatrical run, making it one of the biggest box office successes in the history of Hindi cinema.
During its theatrical run, KGF 2 managed to gross more than Rs. 1200 crores and was at one point the third highest-grossing Indian film of all time, until S.S. Rajamouli's RRR went past to grab the podium finish. But the KGF dream is far from over and both Prashanth Neel and Hombale Films are keen on expanding the franchise to its maximum limit.