Tollywood is part of the Indian film industry producing Telugu films. It is based on the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. This industry is well known for its action and drama. Since 2021, it has become the largest film industry in India regarding box-office collections.
This article covers the top 10 Tollywood movies produced in India.
1. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is an epic action movie released in 2017. S.S. Rajamouli directed the movie. He also did co-write the film with V. Vijayendra Prasad. The movie was produced under the banners of Arka Media Work. The film's cast is full of superstars, including Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, Ramya Krishna, and many more. This movie is a follow-up to Baahubali: The Beginning (2015). It is both a prequel and a sequel to the first part.
The movie's timeline is in Medieval India and shows the rivalry between two young princes, Amarendra Baahubali and Bhallaladeva, for the throne of the Mahishmati Empire. Bhallaladeva killed Baahubali in a conspiracy. In the movie, Amarendra Baahubali returns to avenge his father's death. The movie is filled with various moments raising goosebumps. It was released in 2D & IMAX formats and shot at the famous Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad.
It had an estimated budget of Rs. 250 Crores. The movie got Rs. 1,810 crores worldwide collection at the box office. Now, it is the second highest-earning movie in India. It also became the first movie to cross the Rs. 1,000 core mark in Indian Cinema history. This movie has a rating of around 8.2 on IMDb. It got positive reviews from critics. The film also won three National Film Awards.
RRR is an epic action-drama film released in 2022. The full form of RRR is“Rajamouli, Ram Charan, and Rama Rao”. S. S. Rajamouli directed the movie. He also wrote the story with V. Vijayendra. DVV Entertainment produced the movie. The main star cast includes NTR Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgan, Aliya Bhatt, Shriya Saran, Samuthirakani, and Ray Stevenson. K. K. Senthil Kumar did the Cinematography, and A. Sreekar Prasad edited the film.
Rajamouji gets to know about the life stories of Rama Raju and Bheem. He connected the coincidences between them, assuming that both were friends. It is a work of fantasy, inspired by two Indian revolutionaries who fought bravely against the British Raj and the Nizam of Hyderabad. The film was announced in March 2018 and finished in August 2021. But, COVID 19 pandemic led to a delay in its release. Many shots were taken outside India, in Ukraine, and Bulgaria.
The movie was made on a budget of Rs. 550 crores, the second-highest in India after Rs. 570 crores of 2.0. With Rs. 240 crores worldwide, it became the biggest opening ever by an Indian film. The total gross worldwide collection was about Rs. 1,150-1,200 crore. IMDb gave a rating of 8.1 to RRR. It got positive reviews, and the actors got praised for their performance.
3. Baahubali: The Beginning
Baahubali: The Beginning is an Indian epic action movie released in 2015. It was the first part of the Baahubali franchise. S. S. Rajamouli was the director and the movie was produced by Arka Media Works. V. Vijayendra Prasad wrote the story of the film. The movie cast had a group cast including Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, Ramya Krishna, and Sathyaraj.
In this movie, Baahubali helps his lover to release Devsena from the Mahishmati palace. Devsena was the former queen of the Mahishmati Empire, but she was captured by tyrannical Bhallaladeva. In the beginning, Baahubali didn't know his true identity, but when Devsena was released, she told him the truth. Baahubali was the son of Amarendra Baahubali, who was killed in a conspiracy.
The movie had a budget of Rs. 180 crores, making it the most expensive Indian movie then. The movie was set at the theatres on 10 July 2015, with its dubbing in Malayalam and Hindi. This movie received positive reviews from critics and the audience and was a big success. The movie grossed 586.45 crores worldwide in theatres. At that time, it was the highest-grossing film in India. It was also the highest-grossing Hindi dubbed movie. It got a rating of 8 out of 10 on IMDb. The movie has many awards, including the National Film Award for best special effects and feature film, making it the first Telugu film to win these awards.
Saaho is an Indian action thriller film released in 2019. Sujith gave direction and also did the scripting of the film. UV Creations did the production work. The film's cast has Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor in lead roles. Additionally, the cast includes Jackie Shroff, Arun Vijay, and Neil Nitin Mukesh.
In the story, a thief has stolen 2000 crore rupees, and two cover operatives are chasing him. But later, they discover that the case is associated with the death of a crime lord and can lead to a rising gang war. The film was shot in the United Arab Emirates, Romania, Austria and India. T-Series labelled the songs in the movie. On 30 August 2019, Saaho was released in the theatres and IMAX. The Saaho in North India was distributed by T-Series, while SPI Cinemas did the distribution in Tamil Nadu. The international release was managed by YRF and Phars films.
The movie was made on a massive budget of Rs. 350 crores making it one of the most costly Indian films. But it grossed only Rs. 433 crores worldwide. It became the second-biggest opening Indian movie with 130 crores on the first day of its release. The writing and length of the film received mostly negative reviews from critics, though the performance of actors and action sequences were praised. The movie got only 3.8 % on Rotten Tomatoes and 5 on IMDb. The movie performed well compared to its budget.
5. Pushpa: The Rise – Part 1
Pushpa: The Rise – Part 1 is an action drama film set in the theatres in 2021. The film's direction is given by Sukumar and produced by Mythri Movie Makers and Muttamsetty Media. Stylish Superstar Allu Arjun is the main protagonist in the film. The movie's cast includes Fahadh Faasil, Rashmika Mandanna, J. P. Bhandari, Sunil, and Rao Ramesh.
The movie revolves around Pushpa Raj, a coolie, who works in the smuggling of red sandalwood. It is a rare and precious wood found only in the Seshachalam Hills of Andhra Pradesh. In the movie, he gains the trust of his employer Konda Reddy and becomes his partner. The movie's shooting was done at Ramoji Film City and Maredumilli forest, Andhra Pradesh. The movie was originally released in the Telugu language, but its dubbed versions in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi were also released.
Against the budget of Rs. 170-200 crore, the movie collected Rs.365 crore worldwide at the box office. It was a big success and became the highest-grossing Indian movie of the year 2021. Most of the reviews were positive, while a few were mixed. The performance of Allu Arjun was praised for his character and action sequences. But the movie's 179 minutes runtime was criticized. The movie managed to get a rating of 7.6 on IMDb. Its sequel "Pushpa 2: The Rule" is currently under production.
6. Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo
Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is an Indian action drama film released in 2020. Trivikram Srinivas directed the movie, and Geetha Arts produced it. The movie has Allu Arjun and Pooja Hegde along with Tabu, Jayaram, Sushanth, and Nivetha Penthuraj in lead roles, while supporting actors include Samuthirakani, Murali Sharma, Navdeep, Sunil, Sachin Khedekar, Harsha Vardhan, and Rajendra Prasad.
In the movie, a man named Bantu grows up in hate with his father. His father, Valmiki, always neglected him. Later, Bantu finds out that his father had swapped him as an infant. His birth father, Ramachandra, was a very big businessman. Bantu returns to Vaikuntapuram to protect his real family from a threatening influential man. The movie was shot in areas around Hyderabad, and songs were shot overseas.
The movie became a big commercial success in South cinema. The movie earned Rs. 262-280 crores worldwide at the box office against its Rs. 100 crore budget. The movie received positive reviews, and critics praised the hard work of Allu Arjun and Murali Sharma, the film's story, direction, and music. It managed to get a rating of 7.3 on IMDb. The movie was awarded the Best Telugu Film. One of its songs, "Butta Bomma", became the most-watched Telugu song, with more than 77 crores of views.
7. Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, released in 2019, is an Indian historical action film. Surender Reddy was the director, and production was done by Ram Charan under the banners of Konidela Production Company. The movie is inspired by the life of an Indian independence warrior Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy. The director scripted the original story by the Paruchuri brothers. The film also features Nayanthara, Tamannaah, Sudeep, Jagapathi Babu, and Vijay Sethupathi in supporting roles. Guest appearances were made by Amitabh Bachchan and Anushka Shetty. Narration in the film was given by Pawan Kalyan, Kamal Haasan, and Mohanlal.
It was formally introduced on 22 August 2017, Chiranjeevi's birthday. The movie was partially filmed in Georgia, and partially in Hyderabad, Kerala. A. Sreekar Prasad handled the editing, and R. Rathnavelu was in charge of the film's cinematography. Amit Trivedi scored the soundtrack for the movie, and Julius Packiam wrote the background music. On 2 October 2019, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy was theatrically distributed all throughout the world, with simultaneous releases in Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, and Tamil.
The film received largely good reviews from critics. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had success with the Telugu version of the film. However, the dubs in other languages did not have much financial success. The movie collected only Rs.240.6 crore despite having a big budget of Rs. 200-300 crores. It managed to get a rating of 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb.
8. Sarileru Neekavvaru
Sarileru Neekevvaru is an Indian action comedy film released in 2020. The movie was directed and scripted by Anil Ravipudi. Production was done under the banners of Sri Venkateswara Creations, G. Mahesh Entertainment. The movie cast has stars like Mahesh Babu, Rashmika and Vijayashanti, while Prakash Raj and Rajendra Prasad play their supporting roles. The composition of the music was done by Devi Sri Prasad for the movie.
Hyderabad's production started on 31 May 2019. In Kashmir, shooting started on 5 July and continued through mid-November 2019. In conjunction with Sankranti, the movie opened on 2050 screens worldwide on 11 January 2020.
The courageous army officer Major Ajay Krishna (Mahesh Babu) travels to Kurnool to carry out his colleague's duties. Nagendra (Prakash Raj), the local minister, set out to kill Bharati (Vijayashanti), a serious professor in the city of Kurnool, and her family. The remainder of the movie's plot revolves around Major Ajay's efforts to protect Bharati and her family from Nagendra.
The movie, with a production budget of 75 crores, was a commercial triumph upon release, earning more than 260.9 crores globally. The movie has reportedly made US$37.39 million, ranking it as the forty-first-highest-grossing movie globally in 2020, according to box office tracking website Box Office Mojo.
Rangasthalam was released in theatres in 2018. Sukumar directed this action drama movie and Mythri Movie Makers produced the movie. Devi Sri Prasad composed the soundtrack for the movie. Ram Charan and Samantha Akkineni play lead roles, with Aadhi Pinisetty, Jagapathi Babu, Prakash Raj, Naresh, and Anasuya Bharadwaj as supporting actors. The movie is built about a fictional village in the 1980s.
The movie tells the story of two brothers named Chittibabu and Kumar Babu, who stood against the local government and the corrupted cooperative society headed by Phanindra Bhupathi. A set of the village was created in Hyderabad costing Rs. 5 crores. About 10% of the movie was shot in or around Rajahmundry.
The movie showed to be a blockbuster at the box office. It grossed Rs. 216 crores worldwide against its budget of Rs.60 crores. Rangasthalam got positive reviews, and critics appreciated the whole cast and the works of Sukumar. The movie got a shining rating of 8.2 out of 10 on IMDb. National Film Award was given to the film for Best Audiography. Also, The Film Companion considered it to be the "25 Greatest Telugu Films of the Decade".
10. Sarkaru Vaari Paata
Another super hit film, Sarkaru Vaari Paata, by Mahesh Babu is Sarkaru Vaari Paata. The movie made its appearance in theatres on 12 May 2022. Its direction was given by Parasuram and produced under the banners of Mythri Movie Makers, 14 Reels Plus and G. Mahesh Babu Entertainment. Film's cast includes Mahesh Babu, Keerthy Suresh and Samuthirakani in lead roles, while Nadiya Moidu, Subbaraju and Vennela Kishore are in supporting roles.
This movie starts with the story of a young boy named Mahi. His parents borrowed Rs. 10,000 and could not repay the debt. So, they committed suicide, and Mahi spent all his childhood at a Christian school. Later, he grows up and becomes a finance agent having his loan agency in Miami. In the movie, he comes back to India and stands against a corrupted MP of Rajya Sabha, Rajendranath.
The movie scenes were shot in Hyderabad, Goa, and Spain. Thaman S composed the soundtrack and the movie was edited by Marthand K Venkatesh. Its release was delayed a few times due to COVID 19 Pandemic.
The budget for the movie was Rs. 60 crores, and it collected about Rs. 180-200 crores worldwide. The movie got mixed reviews but got praise for Mahesh Babu's performance. The movie got 5.9 out of 10 on IMDb. Overall, the movie Sarkaru Vaari Paata was a success.