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Bahubali-2 makes epic debut at box-office

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 28, 2017

Seeking answers from Kattappa Fans throng a theatre showing ‘Bahubali 2: The Conclusion’, in Hyderabad. The film was released across India and the world on Friday

Splashed across 9,000 screens, sequel may have collected ₹100 crore on Day One

The question that haunts a cinema-frenzied nation — Why did Kattappa kill Bahubali? — may or may not have a satisfactory answer. But there are no questions whatsoever about which movie has set alight cinema screens and box office tills across the country with its record first-day collections.

It’s Bahubali-2: The Conclusion, the much-awaited Telugu sequel to the monster hit Bahubali-The Beginning.

The epic fantasy opened on Friday in over 9,000 screens nationwide, including 1,500 in just the two Telugu-speaking States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Day One collections may, by some estimates, have crossed a jaw-dropping ₹100 crore. Comparatively, the Salman Khan-starrer Sultan raked in ₹36 crore on its first day and Aamir Khan’s Dangal collected ₹29.50 crore. Even Bahubali-1, which garnered ₹60 crore on its first day, now seems an underperformer.

BookMyShow, the online ticketing platform, which saw bookings of 3.3 million tickets for Bahubali-2, said the film would breach the ₹100-crore mark on the first day. Its COO Ashish Saksena said bookings were 35 per cent higher than for Bahubali-The Beginning.

Carnival Cinema Chief Executive Officer PV Sunil pegged the first-day domestic collections alone at ₹70 crore.

Cinepolis ran 1,300 shows of the movie and Carnival Cinema in 1,314 shows across the country. Going by advance bookings, multiplexes across the country could see a full run for the next three weeks.

Premium show tickets are being sold in the US for a reported ₹2,100-2,800.

The spectacular start has had film industry analysts and stakeholders at a loss for superlatives to describe the first-day performance.

“We have never seen such a grand scale of film release in India,” said Sunil. “All morning shows are running at 100 per cent occupancy. We had shows as early as 5.30 a.m. in Bengaluru. Advance bookings were huge at 85-90 per cent and for the rest of the week it is at 70 per cent.”

PVR Chief Executive Officer Gautam Dutta estimated that the movie would have over 5 lakh admits per day over the weekend at PVR cinemas.

The two parts of Bahubali were made on a ₹450-crore budget over four years of shooting. The first part collected over ₹600 crore, and the sequel may well double the take. “The film’s producers are confident of raking in ₹1,000-1,200 crore in revenue,” a Telugu film industry source told BusinessLine.

Bahubali has redefined how an Indian movie is made, sold and released,” said Jeevi, film analyst and who runs the film website Idlebrain.

“It is being released in 200 locations in the US and 345 screens in the Gulf countries. I’m in Dubai now, and the response has been unprecedented for an Indian movie,” he added.

Bahubali-2 is undoubtedly the most-awaited film of the year, and it has opened with a phenomenal response from movie lovers across India,” said Devang Sampat, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Cinepolis India.

“Till 1:30 p.m., Cinepolis recorded all-India occupancy of 70 per cent, while in the East we registered 65 per cent occupancy,” he added.

Cinepolis expects the occupancy rate to go up to 80 per cent in the East and 90 per cent across the country.

In metros and other top cities, Bahubali-2 is being beamed on virtually all the screens available.

The producers have asked fans to alert them to any instances of piracy.

The response in Tamil Nadu has also been overwhelming. A spokesperson of SPI Cinemas, which runs the Satyam chain of theatres, said, “Day one collections of Bahubali-2 far exceeded those of the first part. We are running 83 shows,”

(With inputs from the Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai Bureaus)

Published on April 28, 2017
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