After ‘Baahubali’ Mahesh Babu’s ‘Spyder’ Casts Its Web Worldwide

Mahesh Babu’s ‘Spyder’ opens in almost 3000 screens worldwide.

Indian Cinema
4 min read
Mahesh Babu in <i>Spyder.</i>

The Spyder has cast its web, as biggest Indian film after Baahubali 2 gets ready to hit screens worldwide on Wednesday, 27 September. The big budget action extravaganza in Telugu and Tamil, has Tollywood superstar Mahesh Babu in the lead and is directed by one of South India's most consistent hit maker - AR Murgadoss. It will have one of the biggest ever releases in nearly 3000 screens worldwide including the two Telugu states of Andhra and Telangana .

Spyder is a said to be a slickly made spy thriller revolving around a savvy intelligence officer played by Mahesh Babu, who has a huge fan base.  The director of the film AR Murgadoss has a proven track record of super hits. He has worked with some of the biggest stars in Indian cinema like Aamir Khan (Ghajini), Akshay Kumar (Holiday), Chiranjeevi (Stalin) Vijay (Thuppakki, Kaththi) Ajith (Dheena) Surya (Ghajini, 7am Arivu) and now with Mahesh Babu.

And its for the first time that Mahesh Babu, son of legendary Telugu star Krishna, who grew up in Chennai is doing a Tamil film. Spyder has been shot in Telugu and Tamil and like Baahubali is a bi-lingual. And the fans are excited about the Mahesh - Murgadoss combo coming together along with SJ Surya, Bharat and Rakul Preet in supporting cast. The film is shot by ace cameraman Santosh Sivan and action scenes have been choreographed by Peter Heins, who did Baahubali. Spyder is reported to have been made on a budget of Rs 125 crore, one of the costliest films from south.

Murgadoss who makes commercial entertainers laced with a social message says, “Spyder is about the importance of being humane. When we witness a road accident, today the urge is to take pictures on our smart phones and upload it on social media. True empathy is in realising the pain other people go through and how they crave for security, safety and comfort. Spyder let me say has all these elements laced with commercial elements and is sure to entertain.”
Mahesh Babu and Rakulpreet in <i>Spyder.</i>
Mahesh Babu and Rakulpreet in Spyder.

On his choice of Mahesh Babu playing the lead, Murgadoss says, "A few years back I saw his Okkadu and was very impressed by his screen presence. All big heroes in south become superstars when they do larger than life action hero roles with lots of heroism. Mahesh Babu brings about the right balance as an action hero and does heroism in a realistic and stylish manner, which I'm sure will appeal to Tamil audiences and he has dubbed in his own voice."

The market reality is that today for a superstar in any South Indian language, he has to have a reach in all five South Indian states. So far only Rajinikanth and to a certain extent Kamal Haasan (a long time ago) had an all south reach, but Baahubali 1 & 2 broke that myth. The Prabhas and Rana-starrer did extraordinary business in all South Indian  markets.

Mahesh Babu realises he has to capture Tamil Nadu and Kerala markets if he has to make big budget movies. And riding on the shoulders of AR Murgadoss, he gets that all important south penetration. For some strange reason Spyder does not have a Hindi dubbed version. Rumour mill has it that if the film succeeds in south Indian markets, the Hindi remake will be done by a Bollywood superstar, who wants to do a film with AR Murgadoss.

However, the big news is that Spyder is having the biggest ever release in USA, where Telugu big hero movies are on par with Bollywood’s Khan movies. The Mahesh Babu film is releasing in 300 plus locations across USA, on par with Baahubali 2, Dangal and Dilwale’s release.

Spyder according to its USA distributor  ATMUS Entertainment and AZ India Media has created a new record even before release. They have sold over $500,000 worth tickets in advance booking before the film premieres on Tuesday night in America!
A poster of <i>Spyder.</i>
A poster of Spyder.

A spokesperson of ATMUS Entertainment said : "Mahesh Babu is the biggest South Indian star in the US market after Rajinikanth. His previous films have all crossed the magic $ 1 million gross  officially in USA. He has an awesome track record here, most number of million dollar grossers for any hero. With Spyder we expect him to break Baahubali 1’s record . I don't think the Baahubali 2 record can be broken by any Indian film in the near future."

Now, due to the huge buzz around Mahesh Babu, the big question being asked is whether Spyder will come somewhere near the SS Rajamouli mega blockbuster Baahubali : The Conclusion’s all -time record of $ 20.2 million - the highest ever collection for an Indian film in American theatres ?

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