Mixed reviews or not, this Yash starrer, K.G.F, the Kannada movie which released in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu - and in Hindi - on Friday, has raked in a whopping Rs 67.5 crores within days of its release, dwarfing Bollywood star actor Shah Rukh Khan's 'Zero’, which is trailing at the box office at Rs 59 crores!
Producer Vijay Kiragandur hasn’t gone public with the production cost of K.G.F, a movie on the mafia that ran the Kolar Gold Fields, but industry insiders say the cost of production isn’t more than Rs 30 crores, although what he's forked out for in publicity could be close to another Rs 10 crores, making it to date, one of the most expensive movies ever made in Kannada. A movie, incidentally, that director Prashanth Neel worked on for close to four years.
Yash, the actor who comes from the Old Mysuru heartland of Mandya and is a protégé of Kannada superstar turned politician Ambarish ( who died recently ) has a huge fan following. A former theatre actor who trained under B.V.Karanth, he doesn’t bat an eyelid about flaunting his recently married status, sending pictures of his 'babymoon' with heavily pregnant wife, Radhika Pandit before she delivered their first born, on December 2. One of his biggest fans is Deputy Chief Minister Dr. G. Parameswar who tweeted raving about K.G.F's success outside Karnataka. Bengaluru City Police quickly followed on social media.
The supposed huge collections of K.G.F outside Karnataka however belies a curious fact. Trade analysts have said the film has collected Rs 12.10 crore in four days. This means the film has collected `5,000 per show (1,500 screens with average of 4 shows per day). The film makers are also said to have spent Rs 8-9 crore on publicity in Hindi. Farhan Akhtar who is releasing the movie in Hindi is said to be charging 10 per cent on gross collection. So even if the film continues to earn the same kind of money on Wednesday and Thursday, it may not earn back the money spent on publicity in Hindi. Trade analysts predict the producer's lifetime share from Hindi at Rs 5-6 crore. This is Rs 2-3 crore less than the money spent on publicity.
In Telugu, the film is expected to earn a lifetime gross of Rs 9-10 crore. This is the highest figure for a Kannada film. The share for the producer is expected to be between Rs 4-5 crore.
In Tamil, the film hasn’t really hit home. Dhanush's Mari 2 and Vijay Sethupathi's films which released on the same day left very few shows for K.G.F. In Kerala, the dubbed Malayalam version had no impact at all.
In Karnataka however, the Yash starrer has had the biggest opening for any film in years, beating the young actor's own successful run many times over, and that of multistarrer ‘The Villain’ which released two months ago and had been the frontrunner thus far. In Kannada, the film has released in around 350 screens in Karnataka and around 50 outside including half a dozen theatres in the U.S.
Yash, whose real name is Naveen Kumar Gowda, is 19 films old, and in the industry for barely eleven but with K.G.F, his 20th movie, he may have finally struck gold....