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Yearender 2022: Success of RRR, KGF 2, Kantara, Vikram, and others dominated Bollywood?

As we move forward, let's evaluate Bollywood in 2022.
04:57 PM Dec 24, 2022 IST | Shruti Kaushal
yearender 2022  success of rrr  kgf 2  kantara  vikram  and others dominated bollywood

The curtains are almost down on 2022 but the show seems to will itself on. The year was much-awaited as Bollywood was rooting for its big releases after two years of the country being in lockdown mode with the pandemic. But Hindi cinema had the most challenging time impressing audiences.


Many major releases including Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmastra, Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, Gowtam Tinnanuri’s Jersey, and others pushed their launch dates to escape the lockdown impact. But they ended as a lost cause. While Bollywood failed to break records, South Indian films ruled the box office. 

Several regional films saw the audience lapping it up, including diehard Hindi viewers. The year saw new grounds as SS Rajamouli’s pan-India film RRR roared at the box office. Following this came Prasanth Neel’s KGF Chapter 2, Kamal Haasan’s Vikram, and other blockbuster films when Bollywood failed to read the audiences’ pulse despite starring A-listers like Ranveer Singh in Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Shahid Kapoor in Jersey, Vijay Devarakonda in Liger, Aamir Khan in Laal Singh Chaddha, Ranbir Kapoor in Shamshera, and Hrithik Roshan along with Saif Ali Khan in Vikram Vedha and how could one not mention the recent bomb, Rohit Shetty’s film Cirkus starring Ranveer Singh.


As we evaluate the passing year, let’s take a look at regional films that did better than Hindi films.


The SS Rajamouli film starring Ram Charan, NT Rama Rao Jr, Shriya Saran, and Samuthirakani in the lead roles hit the theatres on March 24. It also featured Bollywood’s Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn who played a key role in the promotions making it a blockbuster hit. Alia Bhatt was seen promoting RRR along with SS Rajamouli, Ram Charan, and NTR Jr in all major cities including Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai.


Credit goes to the marketing team who made use of its Hindi cast Bhatt and Devgn and made sure the film reaches a wider audience.

For those unversed, RRR is the most expensive Indian film to date made on a budget of a whopping Rs 550 crore. Reports say RRR made Rs 240 crore worldwide on its first day in theatres breaking the record for the highest opening day collection by an Indian film. The film not only became the highest-grossing film in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana but also became the third Indian film and the first Telugu film to be nominated at the Golden Globes in the Best Non-English Language Film category and for the Best Original Song.

Speaking to Screendaily, SS Rajamouli said ‘I’m trying to find out why Westerners like the film so much. From what I’ve read on social media, it’s a mix of unapologetic superheroism and the unexpected movement from action to romance, comedy, dance and action. But this is how we tell stories in India. There’s something for everyone.”

The film’s success was not only because of its star cast or the director. From the well-written script to catchy music, Rajamouli didn’t go wrong with any element accountable for making a film a hit. And Naatu Naatu song being shortlisted in the Best Original Song Category at the 95th Academy Awards is its testimony.

KGF: Chapter 2

After RRR, this Kannada film directed and written by Prashanth Neel took over the theatres. Featuring Yash, Sanjay Dutt, Raveena Tandon, Srinidhi Shetty, and Prakash Raj in prominent roles, KGF: Chapter 2 went on floors on April 14 in five languages including Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam.

The period action thriller shattered records and became the second highest-grossing film in India, the highest-grossing Indian film in 2022, and the third highest-grossing Indian film worldwide. Reports say KGF: Chapter 2 was produced on a budget of Rs 100 crore which is the most expensive Kannada film in history. The film collected Rs 1,200-1,250 crore globally.

On the failure of Bollywood, KGF 2 star Yash, while speaking to Film Companion, said he doesn’t want Kannada people to put any other industry down as even the Kannada industry faces the same problem.

“I don’t want the people of Karnataka to put any other industry down, because we have faced the same problem when everyone treated us the same way. We have worked hard to get that respect. After that, we cannot start disrespecting anyone. We should respect everybody. Respect Bollywood. Forget this north and south,’ Yash said.


The Kamal Haasan-Vijay Sethupathi film was released theatrically on June 3 after a long delay due to Covid restrictions. Directed and written by Lokesh Kanagaraj, the film was shot on a budget of Rs 120-150 crore and earned Rs 420-Rs 500 crore after its release and became the second highest-grossing Tamil film and fifth highest-grossing Indian film of 2022, and the fourth highest-grossing Tamil film of all time.

Vikram was released in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi and received rave reviews for its cinematography, writing, cast, and action sequences. The film’s trailer was released in May and crossed over 1.2 crore views within 24 hours of its release, reports said.

Sita Ramam

Sita Ramam is a poetic and poignant love story that will give you a sense of the 60s-70s romance caught on film in Indian cinema. Starring Dulquer Salmaan and Mrunal Thakur, the film became a critical and commercial success and earned more than Rs 91.4 crore at the box office.

Directed by Hanu Raghavapudi, the film faced a ban in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. However, the simple-hopeless romantic film, but not cliche, earned praise.

This Telugu-period romance was also compared with the classic Hindi romantic film Veer-Zara starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, and Rani Mukherjee.


Kantara was the cherry on the cake for Kannada cinema that couldn’t suppress a triumphant smile with the success of KGF: Chapter 2. Rishab Shetty’s direction and writing became the talk of the town when Kantara hit theatres on September 30, unveiling the Bhoota Kola tradition.

The film emerged as a huge commercial success and became the second-highest-grossing Kannada film of all time and the second-highest-grossing Kannada film of 2022. After the success of its Kannada version, the makers announced its dubbed Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam versions as well. The domestic net collections of all the versions crossed Rs 200 crore in 30 days, reports said.

Kantara also found itself in a plagiarism controversy as Thaikkudam Bridge, a popular music band from Kerala, accused the makers of lifting their tune. Given the social media age, Thaikkudam Bridge slammed Kantara on Instagram levelling serious plagiarism charges for a blatant infringement of copyright laws as the song Varaha Roopam in Kantara had been allegedly copied from their song, Navarasam.

Nonetheless, Rishab Shetty’s directorial impacted a wider audience and the Karnataka State Government announced a monthly allowance for Bhoota Kola performers over 60 years of age.

Ponniyin Selvan: I

Mani Ratnam’s epic historical action drama, Ponniyin Selvan: I starred Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Jayam Ravi, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Trisha, Karthi, Jayaram, Sobhita Dhulipala, Prabhu, Vikram Prabhu, R Sarathkumar, Prakash Raj, R Parthiban, Rahman, and Lal in lead roles.

The multi-starrer film was made on a budget of Rs 500 crore. Although it received mixed reactions from both critics and the audience, it became the highest-grossing Tamil film of 2022, the fourth-highest-grossing Tamil film of all time, and the 15th-highest-grossing Indian film of all time.

Mani Ratnam also confirmed Ponniyin Selvan: II which will be released theatrically after 6-9 months of PS1.

As is very visible, not even one Bollywood film did the numbers like regional films in 2022. The year, however, proved to be a success for Alia Bhatt as her film with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Gangubai Kathiawadi which released in March was the lone Bollywood hit, she continued with her other successes in RRR, Brahmastra, and Darlings on Netflix.

Other films that made some noise at the box office were Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files, Bhool Bhulaiya 2, and the most recent Drishyam 2.

Now, the concern is whether Bollywood will make a comeback next year or go further down. 2023 has a lot on its plate for Bollywood with big releases like Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone’s Pathaan, Prabhas’s Adipurush, Siddharth Malhotra’s Mission Majnu, Salman Khan’s Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan, Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, Luv Ranjan’s Tu Jhooti Main Makkar, Rajkumar Hirani’s Dunki, Ajay Devgn’s Bholaa, Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada, Salman Khan’s Tiger 3, Varun Dhawan’s Bawaal, and others.

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