On Saturday morning, 29 April 2017, the buzz among film trade circles was all about the opening day box office collections of SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (also being spelt as Bahubali 2).
And even though an official confirmation was awaited, the portent were clear: Bahubali 2 was well on its way to breaching the Rs 100 crore mark — on its first day in the theatres.
What is absolutely clear at this moment, is that Rajamouli’s film is proving to be a pan-India game-changer.
Karan Johar, who is marketing the Hindi version of Bahubali 2, tweeted: “Unthinkable and unimaginable highest day 1 ever. Data being tabulated; will take a while.”
Meanwhile, trade analyst Taran Adarsh too had tweeted along similar lines: “As per early tracking estimates, Bahubali 2 (has) opened bigger than Sultan (Rs 36.54 crore) and Dangal (Rs 29.78 crore).”
As of now, all eyes are on the Bahubali 2 team — producers Arka Media, Karan Johar and Rajamouli — to reveal the official box office numbers.
Based on early information from our sources, this is how Bahubali 2 has performed in South Indian centres:
In Andhra and Telengana — the ‘citadel’ of its collections where the Telugu version is playing across more than 1000 screens in multiple shows — Bahubali 2 has grossed Rs 58 crores, with a nett collection that Andhra Box Office has reported at Rs 43 crore.
In Tamil Nadu, Bahubali 2 has earned Rs 10.25 crore gross from 650-odd screens. It is the second highest box office collection of 2017 here, after Vijay’s Bairavaa, which opened on Pongal.
Bahubali 2 would have broken all records if the early morning shows were not cancelled (see our earlier report). The film has already been declared a blockbuster by the trade.
Says S Pictures’ Srinivasan, who is distributing the film in North and South Arcot, “Bahubali 2 is going to be a mega blockbuster and everybody in the trade will profit from it — the distributor, exhibitor, those who run the concessions (canteen and parking). The film is being loved by family audiences. Rajamouli sir has created an Indian version of The Lord Of The Rings.”
And in Karnataka, the Bengaluru multiplexes had a field day with ticket charges hovering between Rs 500 and 1200. The Karnataka government order regarding the cap on tickets (with Rs 200 being the highest chargeable rate per ticket at multiplexes) clearly hadn’t reached the exhibitors! As per trade sources, the film has grossed Rs 15.5 crores on day one of its release. Sudheer, who is distributing the film for Arka, sid, “We are still counting and tabulating (the collections). One thing we can say with confidence is that Bahubali 2 has taken a gargantuan opening and will beat Baahubali: The Beginning‘s records (it had an opeining collection of Rs 60 crore).”
In Kerala, Bahubali 2 has created box-office history. The film has grossed a new record — Rs 5.45 crore on day one (Friday, 28 April) of its release. It has become the highest collecting film in any language in the state on its first day in theatres here. That’s phenomenal, as no Malayalam film has crossed more than Rs 2.75 crore in a single day, not even those with superstars Mohanlal or Mammootty. Prem Menon of Global United Media, who are distributing the film in Kerala, said, “The success of Bahubali 2 in Kerala is unprecedented, and it is doing well across the state. The family audiences love it and there are also repeat audiences.”
Meanwhile unconfirmed sources are saying the Hindi version has netted over Rs 50 crore, making Bahubali 2 the first Indian film to gross over Rs 100 crore on day one of its release. Everybody is now waiting for Karan Johar’s official announcement, for the celebrations to start.