S.S. Rajamouli’s Bahubali 2: The Conclusion has taken a historic opening at the box office. The occupancy is record-breaking across the board – north, east and west have all taken the best opening of the year – surpassing the opening of all Hindi films so far this year and competing with festive releases like Sultan, Dangal and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo.
In the south, ‘Baahubali 2’ is recording close to 100% occupancy. The opening record of top Kannada film, ‘Hebulli’, featuring Karnataka’s top superstar, has been eclipsed by a distance in the morning. The all-time highest Kannada grosser, Kirik Party, will be surpassed in a matter of days as both regional and Hindi version have taken a earth-shattering opening.
In fact, several ‘preview’ shows of Bahubali 2: The Conclusion were held late last night in the South and almost all shows were filled to capacity.
Business in Tamilnadu was affected in the morning, as shows were cancelled at the last minute due to some financial settlement issue between the distributor and producers of the film. The issue is said to have been sorted out and shows are now running 12PM onwards. The advance is spectacular here and with the morning shows getting cancelled, the noon/evening/night shows will be packed to capacity.
Inspite of the fact that today is a working day, the people of Baahubali’s home state Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are celebrating it like a festival. Several offices are closed, with reports coming in that corporates have bulk-booked tickets for Friday. As expected, the occupancy has exceeded the capacity. Extra chairs are being added at single-screens, tickets in black are getting a huge premium.
In short, the country has probably never ever seen the kind of craze a film like ‘Bahubali 2’ has managed to generate. It isn’t quite like the hero worship of a Rajnikanth in Tamilnadu.. that level of insanity isn’t there, but the film itself is the superstar here.
When it comes to recovery, Bahubali 2 has been sold for record prices all across. The pre-release theatrical recovery (not including the various rights like satellite, music, digital etc), is 275-280 crore from Hindi and other regional versions. What that also means is, the film has to collect more than the lifetime business of the first film – just to attain ‘HIT’ status. The Hindi version will be a ‘HIT’ once the film crosses the 150-160 crore mark – which is around 30% more than the Hindi collections of the first film.