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Express Raja Verdict: Super hit

Release Date: 2016-01-14 AP/TS First Day: Rs. 0.00 Cr
AP/TS First Week: Rs. 5.63 Cr AP/TS Lifetime: Rs. 11.15 Cr
India First Week: Rs. 5.63 Cr India Lifetime: Rs. 11.70 Cr
Worldwide First Week: Rs. 6.68 Cr Worldwide Lifetime: Rs. 13.15 Cr
USA Locations: USA
USA Premiers: $ 22 K USA First Day: $ 46 K
USA First Week: $ 307 K USA Lifetime: $ 417 K


  • ALL INDIA 1st Week: Rs. 5.63 Cr | Final: Rs. 11.70 Cr
  • TELUGU STATES 1st Day: Rs. 0.00 Cr | 1st Week: Rs. 5.63 Cr | Final: Rs. 11.15 Cr
  • NIZAM 1st Day: Rs. 0.00 Cr | 1st Week: Rs. 2.10 Cr | Final: Rs. 4.21 Cr
  • CEDED 1st Day: Rs. 0.00 Cr | 1st Week: Rs. 0.60 Cr | Final: Rs. 1.35 Cr
  • UA 1st Day: Rs. 0.00 Cr | 1st Week: Rs. 0.75 Cr | Final: Rs. 1.35 Cr
  • GUNTUR 1st Day: Rs. 0.00 Cr | 1st Week: Rs. 0.65 Cr | Final: Rs. 1.20 Cr
  • EAST 1st Day: Rs. 0.00 Cr | 1st Week: Rs. 0.56 Cr | Final: Rs. 1.07 Cr
  • KRISHNA 1st Day: Rs. 0.00 Cr | 1st Week: Rs. 0.40 Cr | Final: Rs. 0.88 Cr
  • WEST 1st Day: Rs. 0.00 Cr | 1st Week: Rs. 0.42 Cr | Final: Rs. 0.73 Cr
  • NELLORE 1st Day: Rs. 0.00 Cr | 1st Week: Rs. 0.15 Cr | Final: Rs. 0.36 Cr
  • ROI 1st Week: Rs. 0.00 Cr | Final: Rs. 0.55 Cr

    • Movie HeroSharwanand
    • Movie HeroineSurbhi
    Director: Merlapaka Gandhi

    Sankranti Movies Verdict 2016 – A Statistical Report


    The stakes were high and the bets completed. Of the four films to release this Sankranti, there is a unanimous feeling that all the four films were different from each other and belonging to different genres. This is wonderful news for Tollywood that it selected four different varieties of films for releasing this Sankranti which gave a wide variety of choice for the movie-goers.

    For those who want conventional masala fare, Balayya’s “Dictator” film has been a good bet for them to see things familiar – item songs, punch dialogues, multiple heroines and bashing of villains. For those who want the flavour of something different and intelligent with the requirement to use your brains, “Nannaku Prematho” serves the perfect fare as the smartest film with the unique avatar of NTR, the confrontationist charisma of Jagapathi Babu and the extra glamour of Rakul Preet Singh. Even though many don’t agree with dumb way in which the villain becomes a pauper in the second half, the movie has cast its spell on the audience and being released a few days before Sankranti gives it an extra edge in collections.

    For the youthful audience who are looking for non-stop entertainment and tons of comedy, “Express Raja” is a surprise pack at Sankranti. Excellent production values, power-packed comedy scenes and towering performance by Saptagiri and Prabhas Seenu besides the style of Sharwanand are drawing the audiences in droves. And finally, the real Sankranti festivities and the glamour of village life in all its rich forms are available in only one movie – which is making the rural masses and those who like the quieter pleasures of life flock to  – “Soggade Chinni Nayana”. With a crazy title, attractive dialect, unique Socio-fantasy angle and the power-packed performance of King Nagarjuna, SCN is on its way to be a blockbuster for Sankranti even though it released a day later.

    Finally, all four films, by their varied genres and diverse fan bases of the heroes have the potential to rake in the moolah at the box-office. The good news again is that all of them are made on reasonable budgets and should make quicker bucks.

    From an ROI perspective :

    Nannaku Prematho” is the costliest of the lot to make money and the extra day of release in the long weekend should hold it in good stead. With a budget of Rs.40 crores, it is already counting upwards of 35.5 Crores in India and USA for 5 days. “Nannaku Prematho” has collected a cumulative share of Rs.28.5 crores share for 5 days in the domestic markets as per Reliance Entertainments representative Shibasish Sarkar, and has collected another 7 Crores Share ( $1.63M Gross = $1.04M Share) in the USA market.It could well end up collecting over Rs.45 crores making it a decent hit. However, to be termed as a hit by all corners, this movie needs to be sustain reasonably in second week too. B,C Centers were seen drop in collections already while A Centers and Overseas are holding up good.

    Dictator” is the only white elephant which can make good money in the B and C centers and the areas where Balayya fans feast on his movies like Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. Made at around Rs.27-30 crores,collected 15.1 Crores share in 5 days (including today) in Telugu states and in USA disaster obviously.It has less chance to break even through theatrical rights but with satellite rights it may close to break even for producers. It could still end up collecting as much as the weekend passes as the talk is paisa vasool in B,C Centers.

    Note : Dictator share of Karnataka and other non-telugu states is not included, we will update as we know

    Soggade Chinni Nayana” is made at a cost of Rs.18-19 crores and may go into profit pool once the collections cross Rs.20 crores. Historically, no Nagarjuna film (except “Manam” which had a different appeal because of ANR) had ever crossed Rs.35 crores. “Soggade Chinni Nayana” in 3 days had collected 10.4 Crores Share in Telugu States,2 Crore share in USA( $533K Gross), 1 crore from Karnataka and other indian states.

    From a ROI, Currently sitting at 13.4 Crores share, if SCN crosses Rs.30 crores mark, the film will make 1.57 times return on investment for Producer Nagarjuna.

    Express Raja” is likely to make the good ROI. Express Raja has collected 3.97 Crores share in first four days in telugu states, 85 lakhs share in USA ($253K Gross) and Total 4.82 Crores share.Made at an moderate cost of Rs.8 Crores, it is likely to end up collecting around Rs.10 crores share which means an ROI of 1.25 times. Now, that is the power of ROI versus collections mania usually measured in Tollywood.

    India and USA Shares :

    1. Nannaku Prematho 5 days : 35.5 Crores
    2. Soggade Chinni Nayana 3 days : 13.4 Crores
    3. Dictator 5 days : 15.1 Crores
    4. Express Raja 4 days : 4.82 Crores

    Note : Dictator share of Karnataka and other non-telugu states is not included, we will update as we know

    In summary, the Sankranti promises to be a good money-spinning proposition for distributors as all the four genre films may end up making money for the distributors because of the average-to-above-average talk for all the films. It is only the producer who may have different returns on investment. But at the moment, nobody is complaining this Sankranti and after the good run of “Nenu Sailaja” which ushered in the new year 2016, Tollywood is happy with the crop of Sankranti.

    Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

    Express Raja Review : A Comedy Express


    Express Raja Movie Review

    Sankranti race is not for the weak-hearted. So, when “Express Raja” announced release for Sankranti, eyebrows were raised whether Sharvanand will be able to pull it off. It does seem to pull it off the incredible. Yes, the director of “Venkatadri Express” gives us a satisfying family entertainer again with “Express Raja” with the huge production values of UV Creations banner – the banner that gave us “Mirchi” and “Run Raja Run”. What makes the film  watchable is a stylish presentation with relentless efforts to make us laugh with a handful of artists. Director Merlapaka Gandhi has a knack of making a plot-less story come alive on screen with a panache for humor that just doesn’t know when to stop.

    Genre of the film:

    In 144 minutes, Gandhi has recreated the magic of entertainment with characters that seem more than cardboard cutouts in other movies. Look at the starcast of comedians, not the regular ones but the Jabardast variety of Dhanraj, Shakalaka Shankar, old star and loudmouth Urvasi, Prabhas Seenu and of course, Saptagiri. With all of them and a bevy of traditional villains you see as extras in today’s movies, Gandhi creates a ruckus that generates a decent laughter.


    The story is about a wayward youth Sharwanand who kidnaps the girl, sorry, the cute dog that is being walked by the girl. The girl is the daughter of a benami called British who has to give back cash to another warlord Keshav Reddy who is aspiring to be an MLA but eyes the same girl that Sharwanand is in love with. Sharwanand is helped by Prabhas Seenu and Saptagiri in his kidnapping attempt. The twist in the story is that Benami British converts all his benami cash into a Rs.75 crore diamond that is tied around the dog that is kidnapped by Sharwanand. The first half is about establishing the characters and the flashbacking of the plot where the action begins with Sharwanand’s kidnap to where the background motives of each character begin from. This makes the plot a bit slow-moving with all the zigging and zagging of the story. The second half is where most of the flashbacks end and the stage is set for the real action of chase and fight among the villains and the gang of Sharwanand. The emotional glue to the whole story is the father-son sentiment between Nagineedu and Sharwanand who seemingly see friction but in the end rapproachment comes with a happy ending.


    Technically, the film is an A-class effort with all the framing and style of an accomplished director who knows how to combine the 64 crafts well to make a good story. BGM by G.B gives the energy booster and songs by Praveen Lakkaraju (Sankarabharanam fame) give a fresh sound. Picturisation is realistic while giving the cinematic touches in the usual Sharwanand style – the use of color glasses, Numaish-e-Hyderabad ambience gives the larger-than-life appeal to the songs. Right from the first frame, there is an over-zealous attempt to surprise you with new imagery, new characterisation of oft-beat artists and gigs at every turn attempts to make you laugh.

    Performances and Highlights :

    Comedian-wise, Urvasi’s performance as Sridevi in Vasantakokila is loud and cliched. Barring that, almost everybody else shines. Prabhas Seenu gets his best scenes in a while in the film. But the one who steals the thunder is Saptagiri with the longest characterisation of the season. One cannot make out whether he is spontaneous or deliberately improvises the dialogues because they look interminably funny and pack a punch in every line. His timing is one of the most unique in Tollywood today and it appears we are not going to tire of his antics sooner given his form in the film. After Prudhviraj, he is the next star who can carry a comedy track on his shoulders and this film is a trophy prize for his performance. Sharwanand is stylish and looks good in all songs and romantic scenes but the characterisation is familiar to what we saw in “Run Raja Run”, this film with all the troupe of comedians may not get his potential noticed in a role that passes from one scene to another without substance. Surabhi, his lady-love, is a big disappointment as she lacks the oomph for a heroine. It looks like UV Creations doesn’t have the budget for casting a heroine who can fire up the screen with their heroes.


    What makes the film a bit tedious is the tonnage of jokes and gigs that follow in each scene without a break. If only Gandhi knows how to balance humor with some serious story, we have a winning formula director. It cannot be all flippant and light-heartedness to make you laugh. You sometimes needed a break from comedy also and that’s what made directors like Jandhyala and EVV Satyanarayana stand out from nonstop comedy directors like Relangi Narasimha Rao and Siva Nageswar Rao. A film is about all the nine emotions and even if you can’t have all nine of them, you need to balance the most-dominant emotions with countervailing ones. In this film, Merlakapati Gandhi wrote some of the funniest lines in the book but doesn’t tell a story with depth that can tug at your hearts. But sure, he has great promise and it needs some tweaking to give a wholesome treat to the family with the basic command he has over the crafts. You cannot have strawberry ice-cream for dinner all the time, you need some salt and pepper and some Rasam to begin with.But, the film is a worthy one to go kite-flying this Sankranti with family and friends who are looking for some laughs.

    Telugu360.com Rating 2.75/5

    Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

    Prabhas to unveil Express Raja audio on 19th


    UV Creations share a good rapport with macho hero Prabhas who introduced them to Tollywood with his blockbuster hit Mirchi. The budding production house has bagged decent hits thereafter and is encouraging fresh talent in the tinsel town with sensible selection of the cast and crew for their films.

    Their forthcoming film Express Raja, starring Sharwanand and Surabhi, is gearing up to hit the screens on January 14th. Telugu360 has exclusively learnt Prabhas will grace the audio launch event which will take place on December 19th in Hyderabad. Directed by Merlapaka Gandhi, the film is touted to be road journey with gripping narration. The first look posters and trailers have caught up well with the audience

    Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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