‘It came, it saw, it conquered, and continues to conquer’ is a phrase that aptly describes the box office journey of ‘Karthikeya 2’ the latest Tollywood offering to capture the country’s imagination. Starring young actor Nikhil Siddhartha, the Chandoo Mondeti directorial has entered the Rs 100 crore club and shows no signs of flagging anytime soon.
The well-crafted socio-mythological thriller revolving around Lord Krishna and Krishna-tattva or philosophy, has been attracting people to theatres in droves without resorting to the high-blitz promotion campaigns that are the staple of most Bollywood releases.
From a low-key entry in about 50 theatres, ‘Karthikeya 2’ soon spread like wildfire across theatres in Hindi markets. At last count more than 3000 screens were showing the movie even on weekdays.
“It’s the word of mouth that is taking the movie forward. There’s nothing bigger than word of mouth and it went viral and was discussed a lot on social media. So I feel the conventional forms of promotion which I feel are definitely important but for this movie it was the guerrilla marketing that helped and the content took it over.”
“Overseas too it is my first movie which crossed 1.5 million dollars,” an ecstatic Nikhil Siddhartha told IANS.
Made on a modest budget of Rs 15-20 crore, ‘Karthikeya 2’ collections have crossed the 100 crore mark. “We have crossed the Rs 25 cr nett barrier in Hindi which is huge,” Nikhil exclaims.
In contrast, it’s predecessor ‘Karthikeya’ was made at a cost of Rs 5 crore and registered around Rs 20 crore at the box office. Nikhil says it was a conscious plan to make the sequel a pan-India project.
“We thought we’ll have a Hindi release because it talks about our Indian culture as a whole and how we have to get back to our roots. We have some very important aspects of Lord Krishna, which many people do not know. So what happened after the Mahabharat, what happened after the end of Lord Sri Krishna’s avatar. This was the point that we picked up and we thought this should reach maximum people.”
Although dubbed in Tamil and Malayalam, the makers haven’t gone for theatrical releases in those languages. They now plan for an OTT release in these languages, Nikhil said.
Meanwhile, Nikhil Siddhartha is busy criss-crossing the country to promote ‘Karthikeya 2’.
While some quarters are describing ‘Karthikeya 2’ as the latest flag bearer of southern cinema in Bollywood, Nikhil Siddharth modestly attributes it all to the movie’s content and Lord Sri Krishna. “There are no South-North barriers now,” he signs off.