Tollywood VS Bollywood: Is Telugu Film Industry Outshining Bollywood?

The Tollywood vs Bollywood war might not be real, but their fans do not see them less than the rivals

Tollywood’s ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ stormed the Indian film industry with its fantastic theatrical performance last year and topped as the highest-grossing movie in 2021. The movie reportedly crossed a collection of Rs 340 crore in four weeks worldwide. The Telugu film industry has given significant blockbuster movies in recent years, from Bahubali to Pushpa, it has not only impressed the Bollywood fans but the stars too. Several big Bollywood stars are making their presence in the Telugu film industry as well.

Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn are starring in SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR,’ Salman Khan was offered a role in Chiranjeevi’s ‘Godfather ‘, Ajay Devgan is also making his Telugu debut with SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR.’ As the Tollywood movies and superstars are making a loud entry in the Hindi-belt, we wonder if it is becoming a Tollywood vs Bollywood war and millennials are shifting their interest from Hindi masala to Telugu action.

Read more – Gangubai Kathiawadi to Gehraiyaan, Top 5 Bollywood Films that will release in February

Tollywood vs Bollywood

tollywood vs bollywood
tollywood vs bollywood

Tollywood took the throne from Bollywood and became the highest-grossing film industry with Rs. 1,070 crore gross in 2021. Comparing Bollywood and Tollywood will not serve justice, and frankly, the Tollywood vs Bollywood comparison would not be evenly balanced. Bollywood has a wider audience and a dominance in the Indian film industry due to the Hindi speaking audience, while Tollywood would be limited to only Andhra Pradesh and Telangana if not dubbed to Hindi or other languages.

Unlike Bollywood, we don’t find Telugu movies promoting the films in the Hindi belt, while Bollywood massively promotes their movies through PR and other mediums.

However, Tollywood is now marketing its big-budget movies in the North as well. With some big blockbusters, Telugu movies even broke Bollywood’s collection records. ‘Baahubali 2: The Conclusion,’ with ₹1,429 crores, stays at the top as the highest-grossing movie. ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ was the highest-grossing movie released in 2021 with over ₹324 crore collection, beating Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi.

Tollywood is known for its thrilling actions and unconventional stories, and it is not a secret that most of the mega Bollywood blockbusters are the remake of Tollywood. Pokiri became Wanted, Ravi Teja’s Kick became Salman Khan’s Kick, Vikramarkudu became Rowdy Rathore, Ram’s Ready became Salman Khan’s Ready, Arjun Reddy became Kabir Singh. The remake movies perform better up North than down in South with Bollywood superstars’ faces.

After the Pademic, Bollywood suffered huge losses. However, the filmmakers, cast, and crews hoped for a flourishing year ahead as some big movies were in the queue for 2021. Ranveer and Deepika’s 83, Kangana’s Thalaivi, Arjun Kapoor and Parniniti’s Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, and Akshay Kumar’s Bell Bottom kept some hope alive for the stars, but the movies did not perform as expected and except 83 and Sooryavanshi, no other Bollywood movie could enter the 100 crore club. Bollywood’s biggest stars have been failing to impress their fans for the past few years.

From Zero, Chappak, and Radhe to Bell Bottom, 83 and Saina, the Khans and other leading actors made a poor appearance in the theatre. Salman Khan’s Radhe was even listed as one of the worst movies of 2021 by The Indian Express. In the same year, the Telugu film industry gave three blockbusters – Pushpa: The Rise, Vakeel Saab, and Akhanda, that crossed the ₹100 crore mark.

Tollywood VS Bollywood
Tollywood VS Bollywood

The reasons behind the poor Bollywood movies’ performance vary from political reasons and cringeworthy content to “sexiest” nature and “plagiarised” stories. Bollywood movies have also faced boycotts and outrage from time to time that affected the viewership and revenue of the industry.

Bollywood And Boycott

While Tollywood is known for its thrilling action, refined acting, and elegant love stories, Bollywood is often accused of promoting nepotism, politics, and hurting religious sentiments. Bollywood faced wrath, protests, and boycotts several times before the release of its movies. The topic of nepotism was raised many times, but after Sushant’s alleged suicide, the Bollywood industry faces a typhoon of criticism.

Several Bollywood leading actors, including Swara Bhaskar and Tapsee Pannu, are labeled as “anti-nationals” by right-wing groups for being involved in the protests against the governments, while some movies such as Tanhaji were tagged as “Islamophobic” by some leading media organizations. The outrage against the movies and the stars and negative feedback from the critics mislead the audience and lead to a boycott call and causes revenue losses.

Deepika Padukone’s ‘Chappak’ became the victim of negative feedback and received heavy criticism and boycott calls for being involved in the anti-CAA protests. While many called it a PR stunt for her movie promotion, others called it an anti-India move, which led the movie to poor ratings and losses.


Well, saying Bollywood is losing its charm won’t be right as Bollywood is full of talent and GOATs, but Tollywood is definitely getting recognition and fame equally as Bollywood in both national and international markets. Tollywood is now making more patterned releases to PAN India with a well marketing structure, and people are enjoying the storyline, content, distinguished characters, and action.

Though the past couple of years did not go well for our beloved Bollywood, we hope for a better year with some blockbusters scheduled to release in 2022. Lal Singh Chadda, Brahmāstra, and Gangubai Kathiawadi are some of the most awaited movies to be released this year, and we expect Bollywood to make a comeback with its astonishing stories and drama.

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