Sankranthi Showdown: Telugu Movies to Battle at Box Office, Uncertainty Looms Over Ravi Teja’s ‘Eagle

In a battle of the box office this Sankranthi, the Telugu film industry anticipates a showdown among several notable releases. The festive season is set to kick off with a grand cinematic spectacle as five prominent films gear up for release: Mahesh Babu’s “Guntur Kaaram,” Venkatesh’s “Saindhav,” Ravi Teja’s “Eagle,” Teja Sajja’s “HanuMan,” and Nagarjuna’s “Naa Saami Ranga.”

The lineup promises an action-packed start to the year 2024, not just with these Telugu movies but also considering the influx of Telugu-dubbed versions of Tamil and Hindi films. Despite ongoing debates among Tollywood producers, it seems all five filmmakers are resolute about releasing their movies during this festive season. Speculations have surfaced regarding potential postponements, but here’s what we have gathered so far. Trivikram Srinivas’ much-anticipated “Guntur Kaaram” featuring Mahesh Babu, Sreeleela, and Meenakshi Chaudhary, alongside Prashanth Varma’s “HanuMan” with Teja Sajja, Amritha Aiyer, and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, are scheduled for release on January 12.

On January 13, Sailesh Kolanu’s “Saindhav,” starring Venkatesh, Ruhani Sharma, Shraddha Srinath, and Andrea Jeremiah, along with Karthik Ghattamaneni’s “Eagle,” starring Ravi Teja and Kavya Thapar, are set to hit the screens. Additionally, Vijay Binni’s “Naa Saami Ranga,” featuring Nagarjuna, Ashika Ranganath, Allari Naresh, and Raj Tarun, is slated for release on January 14.

Amidst this lineup, reports emerged suggesting a potential postponement of “Eagle” to Republic Day on January 26. These reports, however, created a stir of confusion. A film critic shared information about “Eagle” withdrawing from the Sankranthi race, indicating a shift to January 26. This alleged move aimed to benefit other movies struggling for adequate theater releases during the Sankranthi period.

Contradicting these reports, a representative from the “Eagle” team clarified to Hindustan Times, stating uncertainty about any postponement. They affirmed their commitment to the original release date, believing in the film’s potential for success if released during Sankranthi rather than on an alternate date. Previously, rumors also circulated regarding the potential postponement of “HanuMan,” eventually dispelled when Mythri Movie Makers joined as distributors.

Sankranthi has historically proven to be a lucrative season for Telugu filmmakers, a period ripe for box office success, particularly for family-oriented films. Audiences in the Telugu states eagerly anticipate this festive occasion, marking it as a time for theater visits with their families to catch the latest releases.

Reflecting on the past, clashes between films have been common during Sankranthi, such as the simultaneous release of Balakrishna and Shruti Haasan starrer “Veera Simha Reddy” and Chiranjeevi and Shruti starrer “Waltair Veerayya” in 2023. Similarly, this year’s lineup not only features Telugu releases but also includes Telugu-dubbed versions of Tamil movies like Vijay’s “Varisu” (released in Telugu as “Vaarasudu”) and Dhanush’s “Captain Miller,” both set for January 12. Additionally, Sriram Raghavan’s Hindi film “Merry Christmas,” starring Vijay Sethupathi and Katrina Kaif, aims for a theater release on the same date, further intensifying the competition.