Karan Johar on triumph of 'Rocky aur Rani...' amidst 'Oppenheimer' and 'Barbie' clash

The Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt-starrer outperformed the Hollywood blockbusters in India

By CT Desk

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Published: Tue 8 Aug 2023, 5:28 PM

Director Karan Johar delves into the resounding triumph of his latest cinematic offering, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. Amidst the concurrent release of Hollywood juggernauts Barbie and Oppenheimer, which hit Indian theatres a week prior to the romantic comedy drama, Johar opens up about his initial apprehensions and the film's remarkable journey to the top.

While both Hollywood blockbusters have dominated global box offices, the Indian scenario paints a different picture. Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani has remarkably outperformed its international counterparts in the Indian market. Garnering over Rs1.90 billion domestically and exceeding Rs2 billion worldwide, the film's success stands as a testament to its unique appeal.

Speaking to Variety, Karan Johar admitted to his initial concerns, citing the success of South Indian films in the previous year and the surge of streaming platforms. These factors had led him to believe that contending with Hollywood releases might prove overwhelming.

“At first I had apprehension and fear and then there was deep-rooted anxiety because both these films also performed very well in India,” he said.

However, he remained steadfast in his creative vision, producing a movie that resonated across multiple generations “So even the Gen X, Gen Z kids, the millennials and the boomers, who’ve grown up watching the old Hindi film music, all of them collectively love the film for various and different reasons,” he added.

Central to his strategy, he said, was the avoidance of preachy political themes, focusing instead on storytelling that resonated universally. The film's star-studded cast, led by Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, and featuring iconic names like Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, and Shabana Azmi, contributed to its broad appeal.


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