Director Nag Ashwin’s Telugu language period drama – Mahanati (Nadigaiyar Thilagam in Tamil – releasing on May 11), is based on the the life and times of one of the finest and most successful South Indian actress Savitri. The film that stars Keerthy Suresh in the titular role, with Dulquer Salmaan as Gemini Ganesan, Samantha Ruth Prabhu as Madhuravani and Vijay Devarakonda as Vijay Anthony, is all set to hit screens in India on May 9. However, the USA premiers will be held on May 8 and the figures of the morning show sales have already come in. As per early estimates, the film Mahanati has raked in $64k (around 45 lakh) by 10.30 am from just 92 centres. It has released in 150 centres across the US.
In India, where the film releases in Telugu and Tamil – is expected to reach a wider audience and shows in the non-Telugu centres are also seeing good advance booking. The film is expected to open well in India and abroad and rake in around Rs 10 crore worldwide at the Box office of its opening day. The film brings together an ensemble cast and tells a story of a real, celebrated personality from the South Indian film industry therefore the buzz is high. However, expectations are high as well. While the trailer, songs and first looks of all the characters have left audience impressed, it will be a strong word of mouth that will further help the film Mahanati to keep the cash registers at the box office windows ringing.
What also works for Mahanati is that it is a first ever Telugu language biopic. The film’s cast and director have already maintained that it is a non-fictional account of Savitri’s life, her successes and failures and her highs and lows and therefore, this aspect makes the film all the more anticipated. Apart from the aforementioned cast members, the film also stars Akkineni Naga Chaitanya, NTR, Prakash Raj, Shalini Pandey, Malavika Nair, Srinivas Avasarala, Rajendra Prasad and Mohan Babu in key roles.
Mahanati is a Telugu film and this fact may also work in its favour considering the recent two films from the stables of Tollywood – Mahesh Babu’s Bharat Ane Nenu and Ram Charan’s Rangasthalam (period film) were huge successes in non-Telugu as well as international markets – especially Australia and USA. Let us see how Mahanati fares at the worldwide box office on Day 1.