Astounding, stupendous, meteoric, unprecedented, stunning, smashing, amazing… you could run through the entire gamut of adjectives expressing awe and wonder and you would still be hard-pressed to truly describe the full extent of what Baahubali: The Conclusion has achieved at the box office in the short two weeks that it has been in the public domain.
If someone had predicted just a couple of years back that the highest-grossing Hindi film in the near future would not only be one starring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati and Anushka Shetty but also one that wasn’t even originally shot with Hindi dialogue, then in all probability the proclaimer of this bizarre prophecy would have been rounded up by a mental asylum.
But the truth is definitely stranger than fiction, and when it comes to the work of fiction that is the Baahubali series, it is a case of expanding the boundaries of the truth. The first part, Baahubali: The Beginning was the first South Indian dubbed film to make over Rs 100 crore at the Hindi box office, which by itself would have ensured the series’ place in the record books.
In our note commending this remarkable achievement (Lots In Translation, issue dated August 8, 2015), we had commented: ‘Much like walking on the moon or conquering Mount Everest or running a mile in less than 4 minutes or scoring an individual double century in One Day International cricket or, indeed, collecting Rs 100 crore at the domestic box office – what once seemed to be in the realm of fantasy has not only been achieved but also surpassed… only because someone or something expanded our imagination by showing us it was possible. And beyond the massive numbers that the film has clocked, that truly is Baahubali’s biggest achievement and enduring legacy – the fact that it opened everyone’s eyes to the true potential of the market for dubbed regional films.’
Well, as it turns out, we were wrong! Because Baahubali: The Conclusion has expanded not only the boundaries of dubbed regional films but Indian films, period.
It may be a film made for the Telugu-speaking audience and typically for such films, the Tamil dubbed version is a much more important market than the Hindi version. Yet, even though the Hindi market would theoretically be a third priority for Baahubali: The Conclusion, the Hindi dubbed version has outdone bona fide Hindi blockbusters… and how! Just take a look at the table below at how quickly, and emphatically, the Hindi dubbed version of the film zoomed past the crème da le crème of Hindi films – all of which have amassed over Rs 100 crore at the domestic box office – to emerge as the highest-grossing Indian film of all time:
Wow… that’s some ride, isn’t it?! And it is not just box-office records that Baahubali: The Conclusion has shattered. By clocking these grand numbers without having a major festival around its release and by hitting the screens bang in the midst of the IPL season, some widely held trade assumptions too have been demolished by the film’s bulldozing march.
Though it may have already taken the top spot in the list of Indian blockbusters, let us not forget that it has been just two weeks since the film released and there is plenty of steam left in it yet. By the time you read this magazine over the weekend, it is a given that the film would have stormed past the Rs 400-crore mark at the domestic box office, conquering one more unprecedented landmark.
It bears reemphasising that the above figures are for the Hindi version alone. The film’s performance in the Telugu, Tamil and overseas markets has been no less outstanding and a standing ovation is clearly in order for everyone associated with this landmark project, especially its visionary and audacious director,
SS Rajamouli. Mr Rajamouli’s body of work was already spectacular even before the Baahubali series but with this, he has ensured his place among the all-time greats of Indian cinema.
And speaking of the Hindi version of Baahubali: The Conclusion crossing over Rs 400 crore at the domestic box office, by a very happy coincidence, this issue also marks the 400th edition of Box Office India!
From launching at a time when only one film, Ghajini, had ever crossed the Rs 100-crore mark to now, when we are reporting on the imminent fall of the Rs 400-crore barrier, it has been an exciting and enriching ride for the team, and we hope it has been the same for you too. Thank you, dear reader, for your warm support and appreciation that has kept us going over these 400 weeks, and here’s looking forward to more of the same.