Bahubali 2: The Giant Arrives Today

28 Apr,2017

By Shailesh Kapoor


Before the Hindi version of Bahubali: The Beginning released in 2015, not many Hindi film audiences knew about SS Rajamouli. Some may have seen Eega’s Hindi version (Makkhi) and enjoyed Hindi remakes of his Telugu films, Rowdy Rathore in particular being a big success. But the man behind these films was irrelevant.


What Bahubali 1 achieved was rare and exceptional. To begin with, it broke a North-South divide that had existed in our cinema for eons. No South film had got theatrical traction among Hindi audiences. Robot managed some footfalls, but its lifetime Hindi collections were lower than recent films like Phillauri or Begum Jaan. To cross Robot’s 20 crore mark was easy for Bahubali 1. But the film went on to become the first dubbed film to cross the 100 crore mark, a five times improvement!


Over these two years, Hindi film viewers have become familiar with Rajamouli and his work. His vision of Bahubali is something these newly-acquired fans have made their own. Of course, the first film left us with that one unanswered question, on ‘Why Katappa Killed Bahubali?’. But that’s just a catchphrase at best. Bahubali 2 is not about that answer alone. It’s a lot more than that.


The film is set to open in the 35 crore range in the Hindi version alone today, which is seven times the opening of the first part. 200 crore is a foregone conclusion, and 300+ is entirely in the realm of possibility, especially given that there’s no major event film till Tubelight in June. (The first film had to face BajrangiBhaijaan within a week)


That a dubbed film with no popular Hindi star can do this level of business puts our flawed star system in perspective. Escalating star prices make many film projects unviable at the onset, where a best-case scenario (great content and a open release window) would mean breakeven. Only a few stars today have the ability to open on their own strength, but since they cannot be doing all the films that are being made, the next lot benefits from their star power, creating economics which are fundamentally flawed and anti-growth.


In the last three years, when footfalls have fallen and the business has stagnated, a common reason given for the industry’s stagnation is that the audiences are moving to digital. Bahubali 2 is set to prove how flawed that argument is. Of course, more audiences will embrace digital with time. But when there’s good content that deserves a visit to the big screen, they will opt for it wholeheartedly, even at escalated ticket prices.


Bahubali 2 may not start a trend, because after all, there’s only SS Rajamouli, like there’s only one RajkumarHirani. But it definitely shows a mirror to Bollywood on how the power of original ideas can dwarf the power of stars and the packaging gloss. Bahubali 1 is already the highest grossing Indian film ever. After Bahubali 2, the Top 2 in the list will be both non-Hindi films.


It’s a separate matter that Bahubali has been adopted by Bollywood as one of its own, and its Hindi version collections will be counted in Bollywood stats. And it is this difference of 200-300 crore that could ensure that the industry has a stronger 2017 than 2016. Now that’s an irony!


Post a Comment 

One response to “Bahubali 2: The Giant Arrives Today”

  1. Asyah Bila Irish says:

    Não espere muito para poder assistir a filmes com melhor qualidade, esta é a solução

    Already American Gods Temporada 2 Episódio Completo

Today's Top Stories