Tollywood has just trumped Bollywood, and how.
First, S S Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Beginning had a bigger opening than any Indian film so far. On Friday (July 10), it collected Rs50 crore in India, surpassing the previous opening day record held by Shah Rukh Khan’s 2014 film, Happy New Year, at Rs44.97 crore.
Then, the film collected a mammoth Rs144.78 crore ($22.8 million) in India in just three days—the highest weekend opening for any Indian film. The record previously was again held by Happy New Year, which made Rs107.95 crore ($17 million) in the opening weekend, including Friday.
Releasing across 250 screens, the film also saw the biggest opening for any Indian film in the US—by collecting Rs27.89 crore ($4.4 million) over the weekend. ”The film’s per screen average of $17,000 is second only to the mighty $27,000 achieved by Minions,” Variety reported.
In worldwide collections, it is the fastest entry for an Indian film into the Rs100 crore club. “It took Baahubali just two days to enter the Rs100 crore club worldwide. No other Indian film has achieved this rare feat before,” trade analyst Trinath told news agency IANS.
Among Indian films, it has received the fourth biggest international opening ever—the only non-Bollywood entry on the list of the country’s top 10 films.
But those aren’t the only records it has broken.
Even before the release, Baahubali was declared to be India’s most expensive film till date (though that includes the cost for its sequel), at Rs240 crore. Then, during promotions, the film claimed that it made an entry into the Guinness World Records with the world’s largest promotional poster, measuring 51,000 square feet.
The two-part epic saga is about a war between two brothers for an ancient kingdom and was shot in Telugu and Tamil simultaneously, and released in two other languages—Hindi and Malayalam. It has already been lauded for its huge scale and creative daredevilry in terms of visual effects by the likes of Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group, and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, besides several members of the Indian film fraternity.
Telugu superstar Prabhas plays the titular role, alongside an ensemble cast from south India, including Rana Daggubati, Tamannaah and Anushka Shetty.
And with the exception of Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions backing the Hindi-dubbed version of the film, there’s probably no obvious Bollywood connection.
Still, the film saw the highest first-day collection ever for any non-Bollywood film dubbed in Hindi.
So far this year, Bollywood has been marked by slow earnings with Tanu Weds Manu Returns being the first film to inaugurate the Rs100 crore benchmark but only in June. Only one other film, ABCD2, has been able to earn Rs100 crore or more within India till the seventh month of 2015.
But Baahubali in Hindi is going strong—with a total collection of Rs28.45 crore until Monday (July 13). The collections on Monday, which usually see a huge dip, were higher than on the opening day.