‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’ sets US box office record

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SS Rajamouli’s historical fiction collects $19 million in America, $215 million worldwide.

SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster Baahubali: The Conclusion, released on April 28, has broken all previous records to become the highest grossing Indian film of all time.

According to various sources, the worldwide box office collection of Baahubali 2 stands at approximately $215 million.

The film was produced by Telugu film studio Arka Media Works, as a sequel of Baahubali: The Beginning, taking place before and after the events of that film. It was originally made in Telugu and Tamil, and dubbed into Hindi, Malayalam, German, French, Japanese and English.

The second film in the ace director’s epic historical fiction series has altered the landscape for Indian films abroad. Baahubali 2 has set a record in US as well with gross collections exceeding $19 million in this country, and expected to finish with around $25 million.

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In spite of several obstacles, including language, culture, limited theater count and competition, Baahubali: The Conclusion became the highest-grossing Indian film in the US this week, beating an Emma Watson and Tom Hanks film.

At US box office, Baahubali: The Conclusion now ranks at number three, after Fast and the Furious 8 and a Latin film starring Salma Hayek.

According to a new report in the Hollywood Reporter, one of the main reasons Baahubali reached epic success is because of a 60 percent increase in Indian American population in the past decade.

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“The social media power of the Indian diaspora is incredibly strong,” says Imax Entertainment CEO Greg Foster, whose chain played Baahubali on 40 screens in North America. “Did you see one traditional commercial for this movie? No. [But] everyone who needed to know about it did.”

Great Indian Films, The film’s distributor in the States, took a unique approach to promote the film by peppering ads on websites and at sports events, targeting a specific crowd and relying on word of mouth.

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In the meantime, Aamir Khan’s wresting drama Dangal became the highest-grossing Indian film in China, the world’s second-largest movie market.

It collected $2 million on day 1 of its release in China, which is an extraordinary amount for any Indian movie at an international platform.

Dangal went on to make a whopping $18 million at the Chinese box office in the first three days.

The film is a great success internationally and the audiences from foreign lands seem to like the concept of the movie in spite of the language barrier.