MUMBAI—There are smash-hits, and there is “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion.” And so what is the real ‘Conclusion’? Well, for starters, as my review of the film says, “Move aside, Hollywood. HERE COMES Indian cinema.”
In a thunderous, incredibly fantastic feat, the Hindi version of “Bahubali2” alone has collected an all-time record-breaking Rs. 41 crore (Rs 4.1 billion) NBOC in India on Day 1, Apr. 28. And what does NBOC stand for? Simply, Nett Box-Office Collection, that is, the money collected after deducting India’s sizable Entertainment Tax.
The Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam versions have netted double: Rs. 80 crore, taking the total to a ‘superrcallifragilisticexpialidocious’ Rs 121 crore! This is an auspicious figure in any case, and the film is set to grow at least until Sunday!! What a contrast to “Bahubali: The Beginning” (2015), which collected (for the HINDI version) Rs. 5.15 crore on day one, Rs. 22 crore in the opening weekend, Rs. 45 crore in the opening week and Rs. 120 crore lifetime! That said, the earlier movie was also the first dubbed movie ever to join the 100 crore club.
But “Bahubali2,” if anything, shows the sheer potential of Indian cinema and its market. Suddenly, the 100 crore club (with several movies being actually losers or just average in terms of return on investment among them) seems irrelevant, passé, a minuscule pygmy – like collection of movies (led by “Dangal” in India with a Rs. 387 crore collection) that denote but a fraction of the complete potential.
Effortlessly, “Bahubali 2” is set to dwarf even the global leaders from Indian cinema – “PK,” “Bahubali: The Beginning” and “Bajrangi Bhaijaan.” It is awesome to realize that this film that now makes joining the Rs. 500 crore club a cinch (across the opening weekend only) and the Rs. 1000 crore club a distinct possibility, shares the story writer – “Bahubali” franchise director S.S. Rajamouli’s father V. Vijayendra Prasad – with all these other leaders except “PK!” Yes, Prasad also wrote the story of “Bajrangi Bhaijaan!”
Below are the gross figures (including entertainment tax) for the biggest openers in India in cinema across all languages. No film had grossed anywhere near Rs. 100 crore, while “Bahubali 2” has smashed the previous record by more than that figure!! Interestingly, “PK” does not even make the grade here!
1. Bahubali 2: The Conclusion – Rs. 155 crore*
2. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo – Rs. 55 crore
3. Kabali – Rs. 53.96 crore*
4. Sultan – Rs. 51.15 crore
5. Happy New Year – Rs. 50.78 crore
6. Bahubali – Rs. 49.48 crore*
7. Dhoom 3 – Rs. 45.67 crore
8. Singham Returns – Rs. 43.44 crore
9. Khaidi No.150 – Rs. 41.64 crore*
10. Ek Tha Tiger – Rs. 41.29 crore
11. Dangal – Rs. 41.19 crore
12. Chennai Express – Rs. 40.81 crore
13. Sardaar Gabbar Singh – Rs. 37.10 crore*
14. Janatha Garage – Rs. 36.48 crore*
15. Bajrangi Bhaijaan – Rs. 36.23 crore
The films marked with an asterisk (*) are non-Hindi and account for six of the 15 highest grosser!!
A leading trade analyst tweeted, “No Republic Day... No Eid... No Independence Day... No Diwali... No Christmas... #Baahubali2 creates MAGIC at the BO on non – holiday.” As we keep saying ad infinitum in our features about the box – office, nothing stops a good movie, and no bad movie is helped by any auspicious date, day or season!
Living up to expectations, “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion” has also got off to a very strong start on Thursday at the North American box-office, pulling in approx. 2.5 million USD from 330 locations. Interestingly, the said figures are merely estimates since all theaters have not yet reported.
It is also learned that the film is by far one of the biggest Indian film releases within this territory with 450 North American theaters screening the film, of which 45 or so will be showing the film in IMAX, and about 50 will show the film on large format screens. The weekend estimate collections in the North American circuit are currently estimated to be in the vicinity of 9.5 million USD (Rs. 61.06 crore).
Needless to add, in India, it is by leagues the biggest opener, beating “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo” (Salman Khan / Diwali 2015)’s opening day collections across Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, which stood at Rs. 39 crore NBOC.
Finally, last but emphatically not the least, “Bahubali 2” proves what this writer has ALWAYS believed – that a film’s true heroes are the script and the director. So, if we need this level of success, we should not look at Salman Khan, Aamir Khan or Rajinikanth but men like S.S. Rajamouli and his father instead!
And THAT is the real conclusion about the secret of this “Bahubali” (all-powerful) success!