SMASHING RECORDS: Mahesh Babu in `Pokiri'.
HYDERABAD: The `Pokiri' storm is yet to abate. The runaway hit of 2006 and the biggest grosser ever in Telugu cinema history has added yet another jewel in its crown, reaching the 365-day run mark!
And yes, flush with success, the director is planning a sequel too!
"Yes, there are plans to make a sequel. The idea is to come out with it, perhaps in a year," Puri Jagannadh, the film's director said.
The film, which was released on April 28 last, has completed a year's run at a Kurnool theatre this week and is still going strong.
The Mahesh Babu-starrer raked in a staggering Rs. 40 crores, a task not even Telugu cinema's biggest star Chiranjeevi could accomplish in his illustrious career, and in the process toppled several existing records.
Screened for four shows a day, the film completed 100 days in as many as 200 centres in the State and neighbouring States, including 17 in Hyderabad alone and silver jubilee in a record 63 centres.
In 15 centres, it completed 200 days.
"The entire team is ecstatic. It is a honour that the film has entered the super league of Telugu cinema that touched the golden mark of 365 days," Jagannadh, who is now busy with the maiden venture of Chiranjeevi's son, Ramcharan Teja.
Over 25 years ago
The last time a Telugu film ran for 365 full days all over the State was almost two-and-a-half decades ago when NTR and ANR, despite passing their prime, still lorded over the Telugu box office.
NTR's delightful `Adavi Ramudu' and his emotional volcano `Bobbili Puli', ANR's pathos-laden `Premabhishekam' held the record so far. Several new stars reigned themselves in subsequently, be it Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Balakrishna or Venkatesh and delivered their own big successes, but none could close-in on the magical 365-day mark.
Only Vijayashanti's `Osey Ramulamma' ran for 365 days in the Nizam area mostly covering the Telangana region. Incidentally, Union Minister and filmmaker Dasari Narayana Rao has the distinction of directing `Bobbili Puli' and `Osey Ramulamma', two different genre films in two different times.
Trade pundits say `Pokiri's stupendous run was all the more commendable in the changed scenario of Telugu cinema distribution and much more evolved audiences.
"If films in the earlier days ran for so long, it was mostly due to hero worship which was at its peak. Television too did not make inroads. In the present scenario, the trend is to make the best within a few days of the film's release by going for more number of prints," a senior film journalist pointed out.
This movie was remade in Tamil with Vijay. Prabhu Deva wielded the megaphone. Maverick filmmaker Ramgopal Varma had plans to make the film in Hindi in the Mahesh Babu-Puri Jagannadh combination, but the move was shelved. Producer Boney Kapoor is now making the Hindi version with Salman Khan.