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May movie round-up: ‘Baahubali 2’ spills over to dominate month

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-06-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: The success story of S.S. Rajamouli’s war epic Baahubali 2: The Conclusion continues endlessly. The film that released end of April spilled over into May to dominate the month with collections of Rs1,000 crore across four languages—Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam—with the Hindi version alone netting Rs500 crore.

The impact of high-profile cricket tournament Indian Premier League (IPL) on Baahubali, or other releases of the month remained minimal, said trade experts, restricted to days when important matches were scheduled and to the city whose team was playing.

“Baahubali was definitely the biggest movie last month. Its driving force was far greater than factors like IPL and none of them had any adverse effect on its collections,” said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, cinemas, at online ticketing site BookMyShow. “Once its fever wore off, the audience enjoyed watching movies such as Hindi Medium and Sachin: A Billion Dreams which were able to clock decent box office business.”

What is interesting to note here, Saksena added, is that the audience is increasingly finding the time to go and watch a film that they wish to see. Most of the releases last month came with encouraging reviews which helped in pulling the crowd to the theatres. While Irrfan Khan’s comedy Hindi Medium earned Rs23.25 crore in two weeks of release, Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor-starrer Half Girlfriend managed Rs38.5 crore. Even Sachin: A Billion Dreams, the docudrama on cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s life, brought in Rs41.20 crore, despite not falling within the feature film category.

The same was not true for two other big Bollywood releases this month. While Yash Raj Films’s romantic comedy Meri Pyaari Bindu, starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra, barely made a mark with Rs9.19 crore, Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Sarkar 3, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, did not go beyond Rs9.93 crore. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s comedy Jattu Engineer stayed at about Rs2.68 crore.

The only Hollywood film to make a mark this month was fantasy swashbuckler film Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, which made Rs21.35 crore within a week. Others like Marvel’s superhero film Guardians of Galaxy Vol. 2 and science fiction horror flick Alien: Covenant only managed Rs13.8 crore and Rs3.1 crore, respectively. Especially the former, Saksena said, was severely affected by the Baahubali hysteria.

“The entire month was relatively dull for Hollywood films as the Baahubali fever kept the audiences gripped and the Hindi content that released was also enticing. This is the reason Hollywood films were impacted by compromised showcasing resulting in a limited run,” Saksena said.

While Telugu films like Rarandoi Veduka Chudham and Keshava managed decent business among regional offerings, there is already much to look forward to next month which has begun on a high note with female superhero flick Wonder Woman.

“There is The Mummy to look forward to immediately,” said film trade and business expert Girish Johar, referring to the Tom Cruise action adventure film due for release this Friday. “And there is of course Salman Khan’s Tubelight on the 23rd which is likely to be one of the top films this year.”

All figures in this story have been sourced from movie websites Bollywood Hungama and Box Office India.

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