UPDATE: That did not take long at all. S.S. Rajamouli’s box office shattering Baahubali 2: The Conclusion has become the highest-grossing Indian film in history, worldwide. Crossing the 800 crore ($120.3M) mark on Thursday — a first for an Indian pic — the movie has varying total estimates, according to local box office trackers. However, they agree it is well past 800 which leaves Aamir Khan’s previous record-holder, PK, in the dust at 792 crores.
Estimates currently range from 860 crores ($129.3M) to 887 crore ($133.3M). That sets it up nicely to cross an unprecedented milestone of 1,000 crores ($150.3M) in the coming days.
It’s agreed that the Prabhas-starring phenomenon has made $24.8M of its current total overseas, while India grosses range from $104.5M-$108.5M. Box office reporting in India is notoriously difficult given there is no centralized system and entertainment taxes vary across different regions, but those analysts who do track the figures are considered reliable.
The Tollywood sequel previously set myriad records including for opening day and opening weekend. Its Hindi version notably also now bears the distinction of the biggest 1st week ever for a film in that language. At $37.1M, it will soon become a Top 5 all-time Hindi hit joining Bollywood icons like Aamir Khan (PK, Dangal) and Salman Khan (Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Sultan).
In North America, B2 has become the first Indian movie ever to pass $13M. We’ll have more updates in the weekend’s domestic and international box office reports.
PREVIOUS, THURSDAY 3:01 AM PT: S.S. Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2: The Conclusion made history at the Indian, North American and international box office last weekend, and the epic fantasy sequel is showing no signs of slowing. With an estimated 785 crores ($118M) through Wednesday, it is on track to top Bollywood icon Aamir Khan’s PK (792 crores) as the highest-grossing Indian film of all time.
Local box office analyst Ramesh Bala has been steadily tracking the film and has it at 495 net/630 gross crores ($73.6M/$94.7M) in India through Wednesday, plus 155 crores ($23.3M) from overseas play. Because of the way Indian box office is structured, with entertainment taxes varying in different areas, the gross figures are the ones to look at when considering and factoring in overall takings. With that in mind, Baahubali 2 has surpassed its predecessor to become India’s biggest movie ever.
In North America, according to Box Office India, Baahubali 2 has clinched upwards of $12.6M to become the market’s highest-grossing Indian title in history, topping Aamir Khan’s 2016 Christmas release Dangal.
The film has been released in four languages: Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam. For the Hindi version, it’s helpful to look at net numbers. That total through Wednesday is estimated at 222 crore ($33.4M), overtaking all Bollywood movies as 2017’s biggest and entering the all-time Top 10 list of Hindi films at No. 9 and counting.
The highly-anticipated sequel to 2015’s Telugu smash opened last weekend to $81.2M global, playing on 6,500 screens in India and another 2,500 offshore. The top opening weekend ever on an Indian title also saw further milestones achieved by IMAX which digitally re-mastered the Arka Mediaworks fantasy epic for release on 66 screens worldwide.
In India, IMAX scored its best opening weekend ever at $334K on 10 screens. It also clocked the top global IMAX bow for an Indian film ($2.34M) and the No. 1 all-time launch for a foreign language movie in North America ($1.8M/45 screens). Five U.S. locations set new 3-day weekend records.
Other U.S milestones include Baahubali 2 becoming the first film to cross $10M in just three days. North American distributor Great India Films earlier this week expected the movie to get to $15M.
Reportedly budgeted at 250 crores ($37.6M), the film is said to have culled 500 crores ($75.2M) pre-release for satellite and distribution rights. The Tollywood pic stars Prabhas and benefited from the previous film’s cliffhanger ending (why did Kattappa kill Baahubali?) which fueled unprecedented levels of interest.
That’s particularly true for a film that doesn’t star one of the three box office behemoth Khans: Aamir, Salman or Shah Rukh.
An event that fanned out from India across the diaspora, it was selling 12 tickets every second on Indian platform BookMyShow ahead of the weekend. Gulte.com reported lines that stretched for 3 kilometers at a cinema in Hyderabad. The worldwide gross of 217 crore ($32.6M) on Day 1 topped the entire first weekend of Salman Khan’s Sultan. It also topped box office king Aamir Khan’s Dangal opening on Day 1. (Salman Khan’s Tubelight, whose trailer releases today, is the next major Bollywood release on deck — and will get a boost in China with from co-star Zhu Zhu.)
The original Baahubali went on to about $97M in global box office in 2015. B2, also starring Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, Sathyaraj and Ramya Krishnan, has smashed that, and has the potential to become the first movie ever from India to cross the 1,000 crore mark.
It is “a giant blockbuster,” notes BoxOfficeGuru.com editor Gitesh Pandya. As a Telugu film in North America, “its core appeal was to a subset of the overall Indian-American population and there was very little overlap with Bollywood fans.” The cliffhanger “created a dizzying amount of hype for the concluding chapter to the saga, so Baahubali 2 was even more of an event film that fans needed to see right away.”
Pandya agrees that India posted gargantuan numbers for Baahubali 2, particularly in the Hindi version, and that’s playing out elsewhere. He says, “For North America, I calculate two-thirds of the gross came from the Telugu audience but over 20% came from Hindi-speaking audiences which is an incredible performance for a non-Bollywood film from India.”
The BBC reports that for fans in the southern region, Baahubali 2 “is more than a film,” bringing pride and loyalty to its language to the fore. And, there’s extra business to be done: gyms in the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are offering a Baahubali workout regime that promises the fab abs of the film’s male actors.
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