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'Hanu-Man' is a pakka family watch with a huge potential: K Niranjan Reddy

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K Niranjan Reddy says that 'Hanu-Man' is a pure festival movie that can be watched by anyone from age 5 to 75. He suggests that the budget of the Prasanth Varma directorial is in for the long haul. "It is going to play in theatres for six weeks at a minimum. We saw how 'Balagam' and 'Baby' became huge last year," he adds. The producer reveals the film's budget, the pre-release revenue from a couple of key territories, and more.

My father hails from Nalgonda. He is a retired government employee. I grew up in Hyderabad. I have no film background. I want to stay in the film industry for the next 25 years. I have been a distributor in Guntur and Vizag territories. We have also dabbled in Nizam. Unless I do distribution and exhibition, I won't get to learn the game and understand the nitty-gritty. There was a time when the small players among distributors and producers used to accuse the big players of unfair practices. With time, my perspective has been transformed.

We are hoping for a fair release for 'Hanu-Man' this January 12. We have to be given a fighting chance first. Otherwise, we won't be able to cash in on the buzz that our film has come to enjoy. The exhibitors are very positive about the content of 'Hanu-Man'.

Earlier, some industry people believed that we would back off. But we never had such an intention. We were the first to announce the release date (before 'Guntur Kaaram' did). We can only request for an adequate number of screens to be allotted. If we don't get a fair share, it is for the audience to decide. The response to our film's teaser and trailer has been huge. This potential must not be killed. That's our view.

Dil Raju garu wants our film to be released on either January 11 or 14. But ours is not a one-language film. We have spent crores of rupees announcing the release date as January 12 across languages and territories. The date can't be changed now.

Mythri Movie Makers is going to release our movie in Nizam. Single screens in Hyderabad are about 75 in number. Multiplex chains decide the scale of a movie's release based on the demand for it. With single screens, there is a game of monopoly at play. In Hyderabad, we want around 20 screens for 'Hanu-Man'. So far, even this much is not certain. ('Guntur Kaaram' is getting released on about 70 screens, reports say). Our release is sorted in all languages except Telugu.

The release in foreign languages (like English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese) won't be happening in the first phase. It will happen after the release in the Indian languages.

'Hanu-Man' may feature a small actor, but its budget is Rs 75 Cr. How can it be called a small movie, given the budget? It can't be compared with a big movie made on a budget of Rs 150 Cr featuring a superstar. Our movie is a major one in its own right. The final budget of 'Hanu-Man' went up by five times. I was amazed by the director's vision. This is meant for the global audience. We have seen limited superhero movies like 'Krish' but we have nothing rivalling American superhero movies. That thought made Varma come up with a film revolving around Lord Hanuman's stature. My collaboration with Varma's future movies will continue if he continues the association.

'Hanu-Man' has made a theatrical business revenue of Rs 20 Cr in the Telugu States. This is huge given the small star cast. We have made very good numbers in the Hindi belt as well from the pre-release theatrical business.

Our film has no support from the Hindutva wing. We want the audience to lap up the content of 'Hanu-Man' organically. I don't believe in an aggressive publicity campaign. Our Hindi release is going to be big. The Hindi version of 'Hanu-Man' will have no competition until the release of 'Fighter' on January 25.

'Salaar' was challenged by 'Dunki'. The producer of 'Baahubali' felt that 'Salaar' has underperformed for want of enough promotions in Hindi. We will be promoting 'Hanu-Man' after its release in theatres. Ours is not a big-star movie to do promotions before the release. It won't be of any use.

There is a talk that Chiranjeevi garu will be seen in a scene in 'Hanu-Man'. The surprise factor is for the audience to discover, if at all (smiles). I can't thank Ravi Teja garu enough for lending his voice to a monkey's character.  

Updated on January 4, 2024