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With over 1000 screens, Baahubali 2 set to rewrite history in Overseas

With less than two weeks for its grand release, Baahubali 2 is making the right noises all over the globe. As reported earlier, the magnum opus is set for a record breaking release in North America. Overseas distributor Great India Films has announced that the film will have a mammoth release in US on par with Hollywood movies.

According to the latest update, Baahubali 2 is likely to release in over 1000 Screens in US and Canada, making it the biggest ever release for an Indian film there. With such huge scale release, trade analysts opine that the film will surely rewrite the box office records in the first weekend itself. It is expected that the Thursday premier collections will be huge as they are planning an early screening and maximum number of shows in all areas.

Also, the IMAX version of the film will be screened in major locations of all areas. Trade is expecting that many box office records will topple from the first day. Amir Khan’s Dangal is highest grossing Indian film in overseas and Baahubali 2 has a good chance of surpassing it.

Keep watching Telugu360 for hourly trade updates.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

When the world raised a toast to Bahubali — Part 1

“Bahubali” wave is sweeping the Indian film industry records and re-writing the rules of the game in a way that is turning heads even in Bollywood. After creating an unprecedented blitzkrieg of publicity and hype before the release, the makers and the producers are tasting victory at the box office across the markets.[pullquote position=”right”]After a long break of solitude and much-delayed release, “Bahubali” is smashing the box-office records world-wide. What are the lessons for South-based film-makers from this audacious team led by SS Rajamouli?[/pullquote]In the US, it has crossed $3.6 million on Saturday (beats “PK”‘s $3.1 million). In Bollywood, the Hindi dubbed version already crossed Rs.5.15 crores, beating the collections of previous films ofRajinikanth and Kamal Hassan (both “Robot” and “Vishwaroopam” collected Rs.4.1 crores together) – making it the biggest grosser among South-released Hindi versions in Bollywood. Overall, the film is expected to touch around Rs.100 crores (gross) in the first two days of release – way above the records created by films like “Doom 3”, “Happy New Year”, “Krish” and “Chennai Express”.

This is an eye-popping statistic for Tollywood which makes one of the highest number of films per annum but failed to get the world attention so far, except a few nationally-acclaimed films like “Sankarabharanam” and “Maya Bazaar”. The success of the film is surely drawing the attention of trade experts and students of Film Studies across the world but savor this moment of glory for now: “Bahubali” is rated 9.4/10 in the IMDB website – the highest rating earned by an Indian film. It is released in four official versions – Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi and so far all versions except Hindi are doing relatively well. Marketed as the most expensive Indian film ever (Rs.250 crores), its trailer crossed over 3 million views and earned plaudits from the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Shekhar Kaptur and Karan Johar (who is distributing the Hindi version of the film) and the film got released on July 10 in over 4200 screens world-wide. The Telugu version collected over Rs.15 crores from the première screenings on Thursday and Friday which is another new record for Tollywood films – because fans of Rajamouli and Prabhas were waiting for 1000 days since the film was launched.

The spectacular success of “Bahubali” needs to be celebrated for many reasons.

One, it proves that with the right mix of content, high-caliber technicians and marketing Tollywood can grab the world eyeballs. The stars in “Bahubali” were not the monarchs of Bollywood – there was no Khan or Kapoor in it and no glamour diva like Deepika or Priyanka to pull the punches, no Rajinikanth or Kamal Hassan to rock the net with tens of thousands of fan clubs all over the world. [pullquote position=”left”] Bahubali proves that right mix of content and technicians can make a world class film without Khan’s or Kapoors. [/pullquote]There was just a starcast of Prabhas-Rana-Tamannaah-Anushka who blocked their dates for the duration of the making of the film- none of them and a technical team that was ready to collapse their trade-skills into a watchable biopic – Sabo Cyril designed the sets with impeccable detailing and diligence, Senthil Kumar drove the cinematography with a director’s eye for grand visuals and mesmerizing landscapes, Peter Hein created the most stylish and incredulous stunts in a period setting with resounding wolf-whistles, MM Keeravani re-imagined a music score that conveyed a panorama of emotions that struck a chord. So, it didn’t matter that the starpower was not well-known outside Tollywood – nobody knew the hero Prabhas and those who recognized Rana and Tamannah didn’t give them a half-chance. (But they turned out to be the proverbial dark horse in winning accolades for their performances).

(Contd…)

 

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

“Bahubali” – Greed and Fear?

Is it justified for the makers of “Bahubali” to sell the movie rights based on the collection figures of “Atharintiki Daaredi”?

As we go into the week which will see the release of much-awaited blockbuster “Bahubali”, it is relevant to note that valuations for this movie have touched a new high.  Last heard that producer Dil Raju bought the entire distribution rights for the film for Nizam territory for a whopping Rs.25 crores. This is very high because the last record for Nizam touched Rs.24 crores for “Atharintiki Daaredi”. While the expectations were sky-high for “Bahubali”, what is arguable is whether “AD” valuation should be a benchmark for “BB”.

 

 [pullquote position=”right”]A good film that goes on to become a blockbuster ultimately leaves a lot of money on the table for everybody – producers, exhibitors and the distributors. Can Bahubali with inflated valuations bring in profits for all the involved parties? [/pullquote]
Why is “Atharintiki Daaredi” different and why should its collections not be seen as a benchmark?
 
Many reasons. One, “AD” got released amidst turmoil on the bifurcation of the undivided Andhra Pradesh into two states. Most films before and after “AD” flopped but “AD” stood like a solid rock amidst uncertainty on how the film industry will weather the crisis of state bifurcation. The content and the emotional appeal of the film made everybody flock to the theatres and make the film a blockbuster.

 

Two, the film saw unprecedented repeat audience – a factor that never gets talked about in all inflated valuations. Out of Rs.24 crores collections, at least Rs.8-9 crores would have come from repeat audiences, not first-time audiences. The original price of Nizam territory got bid for around Rs.14 crores for “AD” and so the final collection made a super profit of Rs.10 crores for the distributors of the film. But if you  leave no juice for the distributors for “Bahubali”, you are either betting that all the people will see it once or the movie has enough in its stable to attract new audiences and even repeat audiences. But the fact to note is that a film will only become a superhit not just because of the fan base or the movie’s content and popularity but also repeat audiences and new audiences.

 

From the blitzkrieg of publicity since the teasers of  “Bahubali”, definitely expectations are high that this is a different film where many native and non-native movie-lovers will be driven to the theatres to watch the film. But the lesson to note here is that, if you hitch-hike your expectations on the basis of the last valuation of another blockbuster, it may not always be in the best interest of the Trade and Business of Tollywood. Recent misses of some of the hyped-up films from Superstar Rajinikanth, director Shankar and Kamal Hassan have only shown that. A good film that goes on to become a blockbuster ultimately leaves a lot of money on the table for everybody – producers, exhibitors and the distributors. Lets hope “Bahubali” belongs to the exception, even if the valuations got stretched.

 

S.Sridhar

 

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Bahubali My Best Till Date — Tamanna’s Excl to Telugu360

Warrior, we wouldn’t know, but she definitely looks like a princess. Tamanna Bhatia plays a warrior princess in Bahubali and says she is busy with a couple of projects in Telugu and more than anything else it is good films that matter. Not one to be affected by her flops in Mumbai, the beautiful and talented actress exudes positivity and says she is proud to be a part of the pan Indian project Bahubali and hopes that Karan Johar’s joining the board to distribute the film in Mumbai will surely add value to her work.

What would you be missing if you weren’t a part of Bahubali?

This character is very special and has come up at a very important time in my career. See, when an actor does a lot of commercial work, a certain kind of monotony sets in and people  start to think she can suit only these kind of characters. When I get a character of this level to play, which is not close to run of the mill, it becomes a huge plus for an actor. It is very fresh to be a part of the filmmaking. It is a period film and we all have larger than life characters. I am a warrior princess; there are different shades. The poster they used has just one shade of the character but there is lot more to it. When you watch the film you will discover it.

Your work experience with the director

The princess is not what you expect; the seven characters remain the same and expand to the second part but mine is shorter. I have more time and more work in the first part. Rajamouli is extremely well planned, he spent one and a half year on pre production. There were mock trials and mock shoots. We normally go to locations and figure out but here two days before we enact the scene and we know what we will do two days later. His temper never changed throughout. The film is so large there is tendency for things to go wrong; he maintained his cool and poise and that was very crucial. That kind of energy, technicians imbibed from him. To me, I have seen him giving precise instructions and I would get complete clarity. He makes his actors comfortable and puts a lot of faith in us. The result is we want to give him 200 percent output.

 

 Any particular moment that you cherish?

He gave me a compliment. It is so special when the director compliments you with so much honesty (when the song was picturised). I felt really good. Bahubali will be my best till date. If I were to go down memory lane, Paiyya and 100 percent Love are films I cherish because that is what people perceive me today as an actor. My third film of the career with Ileana where I did a negative role was something I liked. Such challenges are interesting to play. I have seen my parts in Bahubali. I am waiting to see it with VFX and that is where the magic lies with Sabu sir’s work.

Any hangover after the completion of the shoot?

In a creative job, there is always a scope of improvement and everyday you keep evolving. I am totally missing the shoot. We would work 18 hours a day and Prabhas, Rana would work 24 hours but we all went back with a lot of mental satisfaction despite physical exhaustion. You need passion when you work on a set like Bahubali. It takes a bit to get out of the body language. Now that the film is done, there have been wonderful experiences. Bulgarian shoot had me performing action episodes. We were in a lot of snow, shooting in minus ten degrees. Action episodes were tricky with weather conditions pushing you and there were deadlines. Rajamouli would first attempt what an actor is supposed to do before he would instruct us.

On the producer and VFX department

When I had taken narration for the film, I had certain instructions. Rajamouli has precise instructions and if you merely follow him, you are on the right track. Towards the end of the film, it was an action episode where Prem Rakshit and an action director were present and Rajamouli sir was not on the set. I would be waiting for him because his one instruction would clear ten confusions in my mind. My rapport with Shobu was good; he was so approachable and the coordination became so easy and so there was transparency. This is a pan Indian film and it reflects his faith in the project and his conviction. It is the state of the art VFX which has not been attempted on Indian screen, taking modern technology and blending with period sensibilities. It is a very interesting way of projecting cinema in new light.

(Sunita Yalavarthi)

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Rajamouli Dragged Me to do Villain: Nasser, An Exclusive Interview

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ithout a villain, there is no hero, says critically acclaimed actor Nasser, who played protagonist in the much awaited multi-lingual Baahubali. As the movie heads to release amidst high expectations, we present you the exclusive interview of Nasser. Read on to know more about Baahubali secrets!

Why is Rajamouli unique?

I love working in mythology as I am from theater. I wait for such opportunities like fantasy, mythology. I have done various films but this is beyond Indian standards. Indian cinema has evolved to a great standard of an epic. What I like in Rajamouli is he hasn’t set a time and genre for himself. Simhadri, Sye and a spectacular Magadheera and suddenly he zeroes into a  fly and makes a blockbuster and now does such a gigantic Bahubali. He has surpassed himself in this process.

[pullquote position=”left”]Rajamouli dragged me to do villain, I like doing such roles. Without a villain there is no hero. I got really excited when he narrated the story, even then I never thought it would be in such a big canvas.[/pullquote]

 Any special effort?

I will put the same effort be it a big or a small film. It is not only my effort but the things happening around bring energy to you. Coffee tastes good but if you have the same coffee in various places. You get various feelings, you are spurred to imagine, to be creative and get energised. The energy and space Bahubali gave me is different. When you see thousands of people sweat it mentally and physically out for a thirty second shot, your response becomes intense.

Any comparisons to Bahubali?

Rajamouli dragged me to do villain. I like doing such roles. Without a villain there is no hero. I got really excited when he narrated the story; even then I never thought it would be in such a big canvas. It doesn’t mean there was extra effort but I tried to give shape for the character. The entire atmosphere gave me energy and multiplied. I am going to finish 500 films now. When I was learning theatre, acting, Mahabharat and Shakespear were major lessons in training. If an actor understands both the subjects, he can understand and handle anything. Bahubali was almost closer to a piece in Mahabharata. When you think of a big budget film, you have lot of characters and actors but here I am confined to six to seven pillars, so you know your importance in the film and naturally tend to give your best.

Tell us something about your role ?

I thought I must work 100 percent whether it is seen in the film or not. I know that I am mentally strong in the film, because of my physical inability, my intelligence is not recognised; that is where the jealous thought. When I  work, I see how and what amount of importance my role gets; later on it may get dissolved in hits and flops but my work ends by giving my best to the character. My soul is very happy after doing Bahubali. I am obviously in the second part too. This film had a requirement of more days and I thank the producers who compensated me well because of which I could sacrifice some films.

Your best moment?

Bahubali has already worked, wherever I go – Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kochi people enquire when Bahubali is releasing. It is already been sold and it is beyond a hero and a director’s film. The entire nation is waiting for the film and my best moment is the particular scene where I argue with the queen that my son deserves the throne. I really appreciate Rana and Prabhas who dedicated 3 years for this film; we hardly did anything in comparison.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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