5 most-anticipated South Indian films in 2023

Indigenous storyline & compact action sequences filled with riveting cinematography sets the expectations high


February 11, 2023

/ By / New Delhi

5 most-anticipated South Indian films in 2023

After the massive success of RRR at the global stage, expectations are high among the audience from the Industry

With barely an exception, Bollywood failed to make its mark on the box office in the year 2022. In contrast, the south Indian films churned out some of the biggest draws, which also won acclaim overseas, notably SS Rajamouli's RRR's Oscar 2023 nomination, which is set to be announced in March of this year.

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After nearly two years of drought caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, cinema halls across the world and here in India saw a massive upsurge in the visitors in the year 2022. There have been several blockbuster films that have entertained the audience and also succeeded in making huge earnings at the box office.

However, unlike most years in the pre-pandemic era when the list of top grossers was dominated by Hindi films, with a sprinkling of regional language cinema, mainly Tamil or Telugu and an odd Hollywood production thrown in, the year 2022 saw a near-total decimation of Hindi films by south Indian films.

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb), which is an online database of information related to films and television series, has ranked the highest-earning Indian films as follows:

K.G.F.: Chapter 2 (Kannada, INR 12.50 billion), RRR (Telugu, INR 12.29 billion), Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 (Tamil, INR 5.05 billion), Vikram (Tamil, INR 5 billion); Brahmastra Part 1: Shiva (Hindi, INR 4.31 billion); Kantara (Kannada, INR 4.78 billion); Drishyam 2 (Hindi, INR 3.434 billion); The Kashmir Files (Hindi, INR 3.401 billion); Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 (Hindi, INR 2.669 billion); and Beast (Tamil, INR 2.435 billion).

While the list is led by K.G.F. Chapter 2 and RRR, both of which have earned more than INR 12 billion, only four films from Bollywood—Brahmastra Part 1: Shiva, Drishyam 2, The Kashmir Files, and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2—have succeeded in securing a spot on the list. However, their earnings are nowhere close to those of the top films, as none of them exceeded INR 5 billion.

As if to turn the knife in the wounds of Bollywood biggies, in an interaction with the audience in the United States, veteran film director SS Rajamouli outright rejected the notion that RRR was a Bollywood film. He said it was a Telugu film from the southern part of India.

Besides earning a whopping more than INR 12 billion, SS Rajamouli’s RRR earned two wins in the Critics’ Choice Awards  for the best song and best foreign film at the 28th Critics Choice Awards, held in Los Angles, USA. RRR has also been shortlisted for the Oscars in 2023. Besides RRR, K G F: Chapter 2, Ponniyin Selvan: Part I, Vikram, Kantara are some of the films which have made massive success in the world of cinema in the year gone by.

‘‘In my view, the Indian audience has a great thirst for an overall entertaining film. In 2022, while Bollywood films were marred by viciously negative narratives, weak storylines, and songs, South Indian films have successfully met the demand and energy of the audience. South Indian films consist of an ingenious storyline, mesmerising music and songs (even dubbed), and the charisma of the stars, backed by rigorous marketing and publicity. ‘‘Elements like the systematic association of diverse characters in Loki-universe in Vikaram, cinematography and possession of demigod in Kantara, tethering background score and enigmatic presence and performance of their beloved star in KGF and RRR. It all has translated the love and affection of the audience in a thumping box office collection,’’ Shantanu Shekhar who studies cinema studies in Delhi University and aspires to be a filmmaker, tells Media India Group.

Although there are numerous films to be released in 2023, here’s the list of most awaited South Indian films in this year:

Pushpa: The Rule

Allu Arjun in and as Pushpa

Pushpa: The Rule is highly anticipated by fans, who are curiously waiting for its theatrical release. This is the second part of the critically acclaimed superhit film, Pushpa: The Rise. The tussle continues as Pushpa and Bhanwar Singh continue their rivalry in this epic conclusion to the two-part series.

Sukumar’s action-entertainer film Pushpa the Rule is expected to have a budget of about INR 4 Billion. The movie stars Allu Arjun and Rashmika Mandanna in the lead roles, along with Fahadh Faasil, and many others are seen in supporting roles. The music is composed by Devi Sri Prasad, while the cinematography is done by Miroslaw Kuba Brozek, and it was is by Karthika Srinivas. The film is produced under the Mythri Movie Makers banner.

While the exact date of its release is still unknown, the film is expected to hit the theaters across the country in the first half of 2023.

Indian 2

Indian 2: Tamil action-thriller, is expected to arrive in cinemas across India by end of this year

Filmgoers have been anticipating its release in theaters since its announcement. Directed and written by S. Shankar, Indian 2 is an upcoming Tamil action-thriller which is the next part of the critically acclaimed pan-Indian blockbuster film Indian. While the lead role is being played by Kamal Haasan, Indian 2 also stars Kajal Aggarwal, Rakul Preet Singh, Priya Bhavani Shankar, and Samuthirakani, among others.

Senapathi (Kamal Haasan) murders his own son in the final scene of the 1996 film Indian before fleeing from India. The plot of Indian 2 begins at the climax of Indian, when Senapathi returns to India and begins to uproot societal evils and seek to eradicate deeply embedded corruption.

The film is produced by Allirajah Subaskaran, B. Jeyamohan, Lakshmi Saravana Kumar & Kabilan Vaira Muthu. The screenplay and dialogues are written by Jayamohan,Vamsy Krishna, and Lakshmi Saravanakumar.

The filmmakers haven’t announced their release plans, but, Indian 2 is expected to arrive in cinemas across India this year.


Rajinikanth starrer Jailer is scheduled to release in theatres in April 2023

It is one of the most anticipated films among Rajinikanth fans and moviegoers. Directed by Nelson Dilipkumar, Jailer is an action drama film in which the lead roles are being played by Superstar Rajinikanth and Ramya Krishnan. while the other key roles are played by Mohanlal, Yogi Babu, Shiva Rajkumar, Mirnaa, and many others in supporting roles.

Jailer, depicts the plot of a syndicate attempting to free their heads from prison, but the warden of the jail foils their efforts by putting on a show for the remaining criminals. Made with a budget of INR1.75 billion, it is produced by Kalanidhi Maran under Sun Pictures; the screenplay of the film is written by K S  Ravikumar; the music is composed by Anirudh Ravichander; and the cinematography is done by Vijay Kartik.

The movie Jailer is all set to release in theatres on April 14, 2023.


Baahubali fame Prabhas debutes in the Telugu film industry with Salaar

Salaar is one of the most highly anticipated films among Prabhas fans, as it marks the debut of a superstar in the Telugu film industry. Prabhas steps into the territory of the Telugu film industry with Salaar and plays the lead role, Shruti Haasan has been cast opposite her in a neo-noir action thriller film.

While the film is being made under Hombale Films’ production house, its cinematography is done by Bhuvan Gowda, its music is by Ravi Basrur, and it is produced by Vijay Kiragandur. Other actors such as Jagapathi Babu (Rajamanaar), Madhu Guruswamy, and Easwari Rao will also be seen in key roles.

Made with an estimated budget of INR 2 billion, the film is scheduled to be theatrically released on September 28, 2023.


Project K

Bollywood fame Deepika Padukone debutes in Telugu films with multi-starrer Project K

This is one of the most anticipated films among moviegoers. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, in her Telugu film debut, and Disha Patani, Project K is a 2023 upcoming Indian and Telugu action-sci-fi film. While the music is composed by Mickey J Meyer, the cinematography is by Dani Sanchez Lopez, and the film is written and directed by Nag Ashwin, Project K also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vyjayanthi films.

Made with an estimated budget of INR 5 billion, it is considered one of the most expensive films ever made in India. The film is expected to complete its shooting in the first half of 2023 and is scheduled to be released across India on October 18, 2023.




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