Agnyaathavaasi and Jai Simha
Agnyaathavaasi and Jai SimhaCollage of photos taken from Facebook and Twitter

Tollywood releases like Agnyaathavaasi (Agnathavasi) and Jai Simha have together put out a dull show during this Sankranti, with their poor collections at the worldwide box office in the first weekend.

Sankranti is considered the most auspicious occasion for the Telugu film industry to release movies. It is also the first festival of the year for the industry. If we look at history, Tollywood has released a minimum of two big-ticket films in the previous five years (with one exception), and these mega clashes created a lot of buzz in the industry.

Almost every year, the Sankranti releases have turned out to be either big hits or average-grossers, but none of them went on to incur losses for the distributors. However, 2018 witnessed the release two big-ticket films — Agnyaathavaasi and Jai Simha — and both failed to cash in on this festive-season sentiments.

Director Trivikram Srinivas' Agnyaathavaasi, starring Pawan Kalyan, was obviously the most hyped film of this festival season. The movie got a massive opening at the box office, making it the biggest non-Baahubali opener in Telugu. But it went on to suffer a huge setback at the ticket counters on the following days due to bad word-of-mouth publicity.

Agnyaathavaasi has collected around Rs 84 crore at the worldwide box office in six days. The film has earned more than Rs 53 crore for its global distributors, who had invested Rs 125 crore on its theatrical rights.

As per its current pace of collection, the movie will not be able to recover 100 percent of their investments and is likely to spell losses to the tune of over Rs 50 crore for them in the coming days.

On the other hand, KS Ravikumar's comeback movie Jai Simha starring Nandamuri Balakrishna is another big-ticket release of this season. The film was released amidst decent hype and expectations and received a decent opening at the worldwide box office. Despite getting good word of mouth, the movie failed to make good collections on the following days.

Released two days after Agnyaathavaasi, Jai Simha has collected approximately Rs 27 crore gross at the worldwide box office in four days. It is estimated to have earned over Rs 16 crore for its distributors, who had shelled out Rs 27 crore for its theatrical rights. As per its current trends, the film is likely to incur some losses to them.

There were a couple of other releases, like Rangula Raatnam starring Raj Tarun and Gang starring Suriya. Both films got good openings and made decent collections the box office in the first weekend. However, they are small in terms of the prices of their theatrical rights, and their success cannot be compared with the huge losses suffered by Tollywood.

Here are the business details of the Sankranti releases in the previous five years. These numbers are based on various reports and may not match actual figures. All the numbers are in Rs and crore.

Year Movie Rights Gross Earnings Status Loss/Gain
2017   Khaidi No 150 89.00 164.00 104.00 Super hit +43.45
GPSK 46.80 78.60 50.25 Hit
Shatamanam Bhavati 8.00 53.50 33.30 Blockbuster
2016    Nannaku Prematho 51.50 87.20 53.20 Hit +23.80
SCN 18.50 82.46 47.60 Blockbuster
Dictator 27.00 35.70 20.60 Flop
Express Raja 8.00 28.35 13.30 Super Hit
2015 Gopala Gopala 46.00 66.10 41.10 Average -4.90
2014  1: Nenokkadine 72.00  47.50 28.90 Flop -41.00
Yevadu 45.00 79.00 47.10  Hit 
2013  Naayak 23.00 76.50 46.50 Hit 46.50
SVSC 28.00 86.00 51.00 Hit

GPSK: Gautamiputra Shatakarni
SVSC: Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu
SCN: Soggade Chinni Nayana