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‘Baahubali 2’ dominates cinemas in April

LiveMint logoLiveMint 03-05-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: By the end of what may easily be regarded as a month that changed the Indian movie box office history, S.S. Rajamouli’s historical war epic Baahubali 2: The Conclusion continues to break every possible record. The film grossed Rs385 crore in its opening weekend across four languages—Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam—in India, with the Hindi version alone netting Rs128 crore, emerging as the highest opening weekend earner ever.

Released in about 6,500 screens across India, the Prabhas and Rana Daggubati-starrer had earlier turned out to be the highest opening day earner in India, making Rs121 crore on Friday, beating recent blockbusters like Dangal and Sultan.

“We’ve had a great extended opening weekend for Baahubali 2 and have never seen so many houseful shows per day till now,” said P.V. Sunil, chief executive officer and director of multiplex chain Carnival Cinemas. “The film has broken all previous records of number of admits and per day occupancy at Carnival.” Sunil estimated that about 1.4 million people had watched the film in 5,174 shows with around 85% occupancy within the first four days of release. The opening day registered about 1,314 shows, the highest number ever given to a film at Carnival. Aamir Khan’s December release Dangal had 1,240 shows, for example, while Salman Khan’s Eid offering Sultan had 1,280 shows per day.

While the scale and anticipation sustained over two years worked in Baahubali’s favour, the other winner this month was Vin Diesel-starrer Fast and Furious 8, the seventh instalment of which was the first Hollywood film to cross the Rs100 crore mark when it released in India in 2015. The new film ultimately netted Rs84.29 crore here.

“Fast 8 did quite well but its box office prospects were hampered by two things,” said film trade and business expert Girish Johar. One, the fact that they decided to not release the film in non-2K cinemas which ate up about 20% of the business. 2K is a high resolution standard of digital cinema viewing set by Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), a joint venture of several Hollywood film studios. Two, Baahubali 2 came in two weeks after F8’s release. Johar estimated that a third successful week for F8 (had Baahubali not arrived) could have brought another Rs5-7 crore for the film.

However, the same was not true for other releases of the month. While Bollywood films like Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Noor and Vidya Balan’s Begum Jaan managed Rs7.52 crore and Rs20.68 crore, respectively, Hollywood offerings like animation comedy Smurfs: The Lost Village, science fiction comedy Colossal and drama thriller Aftermath sank without a trace.

In the regional space, while Mani Ratnam’s romantic thriller Kaatru Veliyidai opened to about Rs8 crore in the first weekend, family drama Manje Bistre set the cash registers ringing with collections of Rs14 crore.

The coming month has much to offer, including the much-delayed Sarkar 3, Yash Raj Films’s romantic comedy Meri Pyaari Bindu and Half Girlfriend, starring Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor.

“They are all good, exciting films and make for a pretty strong line-up,” Johar said.

All figures have been sourced from movie website Bollywood Hungama

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