If one were to point out Tollywood's kingpin, then it surely is one man and that is Dil Raju. It is not the heroes or the families that have been in the industry for generations. He is the one who decides a film's fate thanks to the number of theatres he owns and the distribution network he runs.
In Andhra and Nizam, he has been increasing the number of theatres he owns step by step over the years. There is also talk in the industry that if he is not very interested in a film, then the film's fate will be in a dilemma.
So the latest buzz in industry is that Dil Raju is not very keen on Mahanubhavudu. Of course, he hasn't done anything to affect the film due to personal reasons. But he has his set of reasons.
It is Dassera season and he has two big films in theatres. One is NTR's Jai Lava Kusa and the other one is Mahesh's Spyder.
Dil Raju had bought the rights of JLK in Nizam area for Rs 16 to 17 crore (though a different figure is being floated, this is the actual price) and Spyder for Rs 23 crore. And for goodwill, Dil Raju has taken up the distribution of NTR's JLK in Vizag area.
So, they cannot cut down on theatres. Also, if the film runs through the festival weekend, there are hopes of the film breaking even. On the other hand, Dil Raju has a similar obligation with Mahesh. And to add to it, he is producing Mahesh's next, being directed by Vamsi Paidypalli.
That brings us back to the other release of the season Mahanubhavudu. The film wasn't bought by Dil Raju. Due to some financial transactions pending from the time of Sharwanand's Radha, the film has been placed in the hands of Dil Raju in the Nizam and Vizag area. So, he need not worry about the film's collections. If there are losses, the makers will bear them and if there are profits, well and good.
Due to this, Mahanubhavudu has been denied single screens in Vizag say industry insiders. Despite having low collections, JLK has been given a lot of screens there. Similarly, Spyder too is not running to full houses. But Dil Raju has refrained from mixing theatres they point out.
Naturally, this is said to have irked the film's makers UV Creations. They are likely to get theatres after Monday, but had they got the theatres before this weekend, it would have added to the collections of their film.
But that's not all. There is another reason here. Mahanubhavudu has been making more than Satamanam Bhavathi in all areas except for Nizam and Vizag areas. It is known that Dil Raju was the producer of Satamanam Bhavati. So, another bit of gossip is that he is doing it intentionally to make sure that Mahanubhavudu does not break the record set by his film.
Well, whatever might be his reasons, Dil Raju is surely Tollywood's kingpin right now!