The first film to release after the nationwide lockdown in India last year was Sai Dharam Tej’s Solo Brathuke So Better. The film was the first theatrical release in the country after the lockdown, which released in December. SBSB opened to a resounding response from the audiences, who flocked to the theatre for the theatrical experience they had missed out on for several months.
Despite 50% occupancy, SBSB did good business, raising the hopes of theatre owners in the Telugu states, and the hopes of Tollywood producers. From January, Tollywood went ahead with continuous releases every Friday, most of which turned out to be huge successes. From 50% occupancy, theatres went to 100% occupancy, and things looked to be good. However, the second wave of coronavirus once again cast a dark shadow on the industry.
Theatres in the Telugu states are expected to be reopened in the last week of July, or in the first week of August. Venkatesh’s Naarappa and Naga Chaitanya’s Love Story are reported to be the first release for Tollywood now. Both the films have good expectations on them, and how they perform at the box office will determine a major part of how audiences are going to respond going back to theatres once again, thus resting the immediate future of Tollywood on these two films.
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