Remakes of South Indian movies have become huge money makers on the big screen, the latest in this trend being Akshay Kumar’s Rowdy Rathore (from the Telugu film Vikramarkudu; 2006). In fact, Rowdy... has joined the coveted Rs. 100 crore club. Now, small screens are cashing in on this popularity by airing originals from the South dubbed in Hindi.
Manisha Sharma, weekend programming head, Colors, states, “Southern movies are making their presence felt across general entertainment and movie channels, especially for the weekend line ups.” Mohan Gopinath, business head, Zee Cinema, feels this trend has been on for years and says, “Perhaps the fact that Southern films are being remade in Hindi is getting them noticed more than before.”
Rowdy Rathore’s Telugu original was recently aired on Colors and called Pratighat — A Revenge. Viewers who’ve seen both versions were amazed by the extent to which the Hindi version was “inspired”. People connect with Southern films after seeing the remade Hindi version as they can then follow the story better. Southern superstars Nagarjuna, Surya, Chiranjeevi and Rajnikanth’s films are in demand, though movies by less well-known actors are also gaining traction. These films are aired with catchy titles like Sabse Bada Don and Ek Ziddi.
Manasi Sapre, director programming and acquisition, movie channels, UTV, says, “Audiences lap up these movies as they have a high dose of action and drama and good production values. Earlier, we saw one-off dubbed films, but now awareness of this industry has increased. Lately, Hindi films have become urban, while Southern films are still mass-oriented and action-driven.”
The number of South movies on TV has gone up, though it hasn’t crossed 10 per cent of the total content. If that figure was any higher, “a Hindi movie channel would look like a different channel altogether,” explains Gopinath. Out of about 49 movies aired per week on Zee Cinema, seven to 10 films are dubbed ones from the South.
* Sivaji - The Boss -1.60 (Star Gold)
* Vidhwansak - The Destroyer -1.40 (Star Gold)
* Ragada 1.40 (Star Gold)
* Meri Taqat Mera Faisla -1.14 (Colors)
* Pratighat - A Revenge -0.68 (Colors)
* My Boss Bajrangbali -0.60 (UTV Movies)
* Mere Badle Ki Aag -0.50 (UTV Movies)
* Taqdeerwala -0.76 (Colors)
All ratings according to TAM