India's most expensive film ever smashes box office records
(AFP) India's most expensive film ever, "Baahubali", is close to quickly recouping its massive 40 million-dollar budget after a record-breaking week at the box office, an industry analyst said on Friday.
The epic battle movie, which has been likened to American blockbuster "300", enjoyed the biggest opening day in the history of Indian cinema, grossing 500 million rupees (7.9 million USD) on July 10.
It went on to make more than 22 million USD across India in its first weekend, according to Komal Nahta, the editor of Indian movie magazine "Film Information", smashing the previous record of 17 million USD set by "Happy New Year".
"It would have crossed 200 crore rupees (32 million USD) in its first week," Nahta said.
"No film in the history of Indian cinema has made this kind of money in the opening week."
"Baahubali", released in the Telugu and Tamil languages for the so-called Tollywood and Kollywood markets, cost 2.5 billion rupees to make, director SS Rajamouli told AFP in an interview last month.
It is being released in two parts and the first offering, "Baahubali - The Beginning" is believed to have made around two billion rupees in its opening seven days, according to industry insiders.
"Baahubali", literally meaning "The One With Strong Arms" in English, also enjoyed one of the most successful opening weekends for an Indian film in the United States, collecting 4.4 million USD, according to 'Variety'.
"We have been overwhelmed by the response from across India and abroad," the film's producer Shobhu Yarlagadda told AFP.
The movie is laden with special effects and tells the fictional story of two brothers battling for control of an ancient Indian kingdom.
It was released in some 4,000 screens worldwide and its early success has led to producers announcing that a shortened international edition is now in the pipeline.
"We have Hollywood editor Vincent Taballion ("The Incredible Hulk, Transporter 2") on board for the international cut and are looking at releasing dubbed and sub-titled versions for Europe, China, Japan, Korea etc," said Yarlagadda.
The concluding part of the film is due for release next year.