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Bollywood asianculturevulture vibes – Monsoon mayhem, big budget stars hit home or genre films well done…?

Bollywood asianculturevulture vibes – Monsoon mayhem, big budget stars hit home or genre films well done…?

A movie with a massive budget and another with a small one is what June is all about, as the monsoon season sweeps across the country…

By Rodrigues C

MUMBAI has been witnessing late monsoon showers in the last few days. The rainy season started with a bang but lasted just two days. Thankfully, there has been some respite from the scorching heat.

So ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ has been dominating headlines in India when it comes to filmdom. The movie hit theatres on Thursday (June 27) in six different languages; Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and English. And, if trade experts are to be believed, the Nag Ashwin directorial sci-fi thriller has got the biggest opening within India, £8.7 million to be precise.

Kalki 2898 AD

Worldwide, the film collected £18.1m on its opening day, making it India’s third highest grosser behind SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ (£21.2m) and ‘Baahubali 2’ (£20.6m). Strangely, the Deepika Padukone, Prabhas, Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan starrer witnessed a sharp decline in revenue on the second day of its release, £5.1m, which is as much as 43 per cent fall from day one.

The film’s storyline is a mix of Hindu mythology and special effects. It is set in a dystopian world where a select few embark on a mission to save the unborn child of Padukone’s character. The unborn child is believed to be Kalki, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Other than its colossal budget of £57m, – understood to be among India’s largest – there are several interesting titbits about the movie.

For example, Bachchan and Haasan got together for a film project after a gap of 39 years; they last worked in ‘Geraftaar’ (1985).

This film’s lineup of cameos include actors Vijay Devarakonda, Dulquer Salmaan and Mrunal Thakur as well as filmmakers SS Rajamouli and Ram Gopal Verma – all recognised in their own rights.

Chandu Champion

Actor Shobana made her comeback to Telugu cinema after 18 years in ‘Kalki 2898 AD’. Vancouver-based The Embassy Visual Effects and London-based Prime Focus DNEG are responsible for the film’s visual effects. While the former is credited for having worked on the effects of the Iron Man series and Marvel Cinematic Universe, the latter’s slate of films include ‘Blade Runner 2049’, ‘Dune’, ‘Tenet’, ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ as well as six Oscars for their VFX and animation projects.

The second biggest movie release of the month released on June 14. A lot was at stake for this biopic called ‘Chandu Champion’ and it is holding on as far as numbers are concerned.


Based on the life of Murlikant Petkar, India’s first Paralympic gold medalist in freestyle swimming, the movie featured Kartik Aaryan in the lead. On day one the movie generated just about £500,000 at the box office. Due to positive word of mouth publicity, this rose to £700,000 on day two. The third day of the film’s release, a Sunday, saw its box office numbers swell to more than £1m. So far, the numbers look promising and it seems like the Kabir Khan directorial is headed for glory, which in Bollywood terminology is passing the ₹100 crore or £9.5m mark. Budgeted at around £11.4m, ‘Chandu Champion’ has now minted about £5.7m at the worldwide box office.

In Bollywood, there are few surprises when it comes to box office numbers. Big stars and big budgets either mean big numbers or the opposite. Rarely does a movie with a small budget and almost no star power succeed at the box office, which is exactly what happened on June 7, when a completely unknown film called ‘Munjya’ released in theatres.


Made on a paltry £2.8m, this horror comedy would have passed off as any other low-budget box office dud. But the movie collected about £330,000 during its first weekend. And now in its fourth week, this Aditya Sarpotdar directorial has surpassed the ₹100 crore (£9.5m) milestone in gross revenue; net revenue is about £8.2m. It’s expected to reach ₹100 crore (£9.5m) in the next few days. Set in Konkan, which is in the south western coastal area of the state of Maharashtra, the film focuses on the mythical creature Munjya, which brings disruption to the life of actor Abhay Verma’s character. The movie stars Sharvari Wagh, Mona Singh and Sathyaraj.

Another movie, which released on June 14 is ‘Maharaj’. The only reason the film held significance and gained oodles of publicity is the fact that that it marked the debut in Bollywood of Aamir Khan’s son Junaid Khan.

Directed by Siddharth P Malhotra it also features Jaideep Ahlawat, Sharvari and Shalini Pandey – with the movie released directly on Netflix.

For Mumbai, the lack of rains mean water shortages for the entire year. Hopefully, July will bring in more rains to this drinking water deprived city as well as box office numbers to big July releases such as Akshay Kumar’s ‘Sarfira’ and Ajay Devgn’s ‘Auron Mein Kahan Dum Tha’. Till then, cheers to rains, Akshay and Ajay.

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture