It took S.S. Rajamouli's magnum opus "Baahubali - The Beginning" just five days to enter the Rs.200 crore club worldwide, making it the fastest Indian film to achieve the rare feat. It has set several new records, has proved that a film need not always require a superstar to become a blockbuster and has successfully blurred the line between southern cinema and Bollywood.
One of the biggest achievements of the Rs.250 crore film is that it's being celebrated unanimously across the country. No other south Indian film before has received the kind of reception "Baahubali" has been getting.
"Nobody is asked whether they watched the Tamil, Telugu or Hindi version of the film. Irrespective of the language, 'Baahubali' is being watched and that in itself is an accomplishment for the makers," Karthik Kumar, a Bangalore-based techie, told.
"I've already watched the film in Tamil and Telugu. I'm planning to watch it in Hindi as well. It didn't feel like it's a dubbed film, thanks to the effort the team has put into to make it look authentic," Karthik said.
"Baahubali", about two brothers at war for an ancient kingdom, and which stars Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty and Tamannah Bhatia in the lead roles, is one of those highly successful rare dubbed films. It came out on July 10 in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi parallelly.
The Hindi dubbed version of the film has netted a whopping Rs.46.77 crore, trade analyst Taran Adarsh shared on Friday.
"It's not just the Hindi version. The film has done extremely well in Tamil as well as Malayalam too. In Tamil Nadu, where the film has released in Tamil and Telugu, it netted nearly Rs.15 crore from first five days, while in Kerala, it has netted over Rs.3 crore," said trade analyst Trinath.
According to Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure, different versions of the film have done well in different locations.
"In the whole of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Bangalore for example, the Telugu version has witnessed tremendous footfalls, whereas in Chennai, the Tamil version is doing extremely well. The Hindi version is attracting huge audience in other parts of the country," Tandon told.
In INOX properties, "Baahubali" is one of the highest grossing non-Hindi language films, according to Tandon.
It is every essential for any big film to sustain the first Monday after release and continue its strong run during the weekdays. "Baahubali" passed that test with flying colours.
Filmmaker Karan Johar, who distributed the Hindi version of the film, posted on his Twitter page on July 13: "When the Monday exceeds the Friday you know the film has won the hearts of all!!!!! #BaahubaliA(sic)."
Monday numbers are very crucial for any big film's success, said Trinath, and added: "When the Monday numbers didn't even show slight dip, 'Baahubali' was on its way to become a blockbuster."
In Bangalore, Urvashi Cinemas, one of the biggest theatres in the city, has decided to continue playing "Baahubali", snubbing superstar Salman Khan's "Bajrangi Bhaijaan".
"Even on weekdays, we're witnessing occupancy of nearly 90 percent. We're playing the Telugu version, and the response has been exceptional. We've decided to continue playing 'Baahubali' for this week instead of 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'," a theatre representative told.
"Baahubali" has also turned out to be one of the biggest grossing non-Hindi films overseas, especially in US, a market that belonged to the stars.
As on Wednesday, the Telugu version of the film minted over Rs.30 crore from US market.
The film registered the highest opening and opening weekend for an Indian film at the US box office, with a per screen average collections of $17,000, second only to "Minions" with $27,000 over the weekend.
The film has achieved appreciation from all quarters. From industrialist Anand Mahindra to Indian cricketer Ashwin Ravichandran, everybody has heaped praise on the movie.
Andhra chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu wrote: "I congratulate @ssrajamouli & team for creating a masterpiece like #Baahubali. He has showcased might & pride of Telugu Cinema to the world (sic)"
As the title goes, this is just 'The Beginning' for "Baahubali".