₹5.15 crore on its opening day and went on to earn ₹118.7 crore at the box office. The second part, released in 2017, opened at ₹41 crore and clocked ₹510. 99 crore in lifetime earnings.
The strategy has resonated with audiences at a time hardcore commercial cinema with an adequate doze of action and emotion, is hard to come by, and big stars are failing to draw people to theatres, Pillai said. Besides, there are cost benefits when two parts of a movie are shot without a break, even though production expenses are substantial and lead actors may also command hefty fees. “It’s like shooting two films at the cost of one," he said.
Allu Arjun’s Pushpa stands out as an exception; it was initially announced as a two-part franchise but is presently filming its second instalment following the success of the first part. On the other hand, Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan has reaped benefits by completing the two parts within a budget of ₹175 crore, despite its period setting and an ensemble cast. Mukesh Mehta of E4 Entertainment, a Malayalam film production and distribution firm, said announcing a two-part franchise in advance also helps negotiate better deals for the sale of satellite and digital rights.
“A higher amount is justified when another part is in the works and essentially the idea is to shoot a lot more footage than is required for one film and simply use it for the second so that continuity is maintained," Mehta said. The strategy, however, definitely, comes with its set of challenges. Not only is significant planning and prep required before extensive shooting, a lot more time is needed from artistes who may ask for higher remuneration.Read more on livemint.com