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‘Hanu Man’ Indian Superhero Film Emerges as Hit, Adds Screens in North America (EXCLUSIVE)

Telugu-language Indian superhero film “Hanu Man” has emerged as a hit and is adding screens in North America.

The film is set in the fictional village of Anjanadri and follows Hanumanthu, who miraculously awakens Hindu god Lord Hanuman’s power after being involved in an accident near the sea. It is directed by Prasanth Varma (“Zombie Reddy”), stars Teja Sajja (“Adbhutam”), Amritha Aiyer (“Arjuna Phalguna”), Varalaxmi Sarathkumar (“Kota Bommali PS”) and Vinay Rai (“Gandeevadhari Arjuna”). It is produced by Niranjan Reddy Kandagatla for Primeshow Entertainment.

“Hanu Man,” distributed by California-based Nirvana Studios in North America, opened in 430 locations to a three-day weekend debut of $2.3 million, according to numbers released by Comscore.

“It was a crowded release weekend but we were well prepared and put in a lot of thought, had a release strategy planned for the film, and we covered every city. For a film of this scale, opening across 430 locations is pretty good,” Nirvana’s Sundeep Yerramreddy told Variety.

India celebrates the Pongal/Sankranthi holiday on Monday, Jan. 15, which is also MLK day in the U.S., and several films released during the period to benefit from the long weekend. In the Indian film release lineup “Hanu Man” opened against Telugu-language action films, “Guntur Kaaram,” starring superstar Mahesh Babu, and “Saindhav,” headlined by veteran Venkatesh Daggubati and Nawazuddin Siddiqui; Tamil-language film period action epic “Captain Miller,” starring A-lister Dhanush; Sriram Raghavan’s thriller “Merry Christmas,” featuring Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi, in Tamil and Hindi-language versions; Tamil-language sci-fi film “Ayalaan,” starring Sivakarthikeyan; Telugu-language period action drama “Naa Saami Ranga,” headlined by Akkineni Nagarjuna; and Malayalam-language crime thriller “Abraham Ozler,” starring Jayaram.

Made on a modest budget of approximately $2.5 million, “Hanu Man” released Jan. 12 and has already grossed $9 million worldwide, including $6 million in India, $188,000 in the U.K., $181,000 in Australia and $136,000 in the U.A.E., besides the U.S. collections.

In North America, the film was promoted across radio and social media, especially Instagram. This was backed up by offline, on the ground promotions via tie-ups with South Asian restaurants and grocery stores. In Hindu mythology, Hanuman is the devoted companion of Lord Rama, in whom interest is exceptionally high these days ahead of the consecration of a temple in his name at Ayodhya, India, next week.

“The film received a tremendous response and we are receiving requests to add cities that we couldn’t get due to the competition in the first week,” Yerramreddy said. Nirvana is adding at least 100 locations across North America from Jan. 18. Yerramreddy anticipates that the film will cross $3 million during the extended MLK weekend. “The film is going very well and $6 million to $7 million is achievable at this point,” Yerramreddy said. If it does, “Hanu Man” will join the ranks of “RRR,” the “Baahubali” films and “Salaar” as one of the highest grossing Telugu-language films in North America.

As revealed at the end of “Hanu Man,” a sequel titled “Jai Hanuman” is due in 2025.

Meanwhile, the team is basking in the success of the film. Varma told Variety, “The response is overwhelming. It feels surreal. I’m humbled by all the praises and love.” Sajja added, “This is possible only because of the audience. This is their success. Just one word – gratitude.” Kandagatla said, “We are incredibly grateful to our amazing audience whose overwhelming support turned our film into a blockbuster. Your enthusiasm and love have made this journey truly unforgettable. Thank you.”

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