Breaking into the 100-crore club in just two days, SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus Baahubali is shattering all box-office records in the industry. Such has been the phenomenal success of the film, that it has ruthlessly crushed away any opposition which dared to come its way. Movie-goers in the city have few options to choose from this week as Baahubali dominates not just in single-screen theatres but in multiplexes as well.
In Prasads multiplex, there are 23 shows of Baahubali, while Jurassic Park, the only other movie screening at the venue, has two shows. It’s a similar situation in several other multiplexes, with Baahubali screening more than 20 shows and other films Inside Out, Terminator Genysis and Insidious Chapter have one show per theatre.
Several filmmakers have postponed their projects to avoid a clash with Baahubali. Most notably, superstar Mahesh Babu’s Srimanthudu, which was initially scheduled to hit screens on July 17, was instead postponed to August 7, to avoid a clash with the two-part epic.
Vishnu Manchu-starrer Dynamite, which was supposed to release on July 3, has also been postponed. While initially, the makers were planning to release it on July 17, a week after Baahubali’s release, after the storm created by the latter at the box-office, sources reveal that the makers of Dynamite are keen to further push back the release of the film to July 24.
Meanwhile, the unprecedented success and unwavering demand of Baahubali has led to the disappointment of a few Hollywood fans. The latest animation flick Minions did not release in Hyderabad, even though it hit screens in the rest of the country.
“I understand that Baahubali is a big release and hundreds are interested in watching it. But people have to be sensitive to the minority’s demands as well. Each has their own taste and preference. I, for one, was eagerly looking forward to watching Minions but it did not release because of Baahubali, which is really unfair,” fumed R Kajal, an avid cine buff.
Agreeing, Akash Sarkar, an animation lover fumed, “This is a classic case of big players monopolising the market. Even if you have 20 shows for Baahubali, what’s the harm in allotting two shows a day for Minions? Each movie has its own audience, so it’s ridiculous to discriminate like this.”
However, officials from Prasads Imax have defended their decision to screen so many shows of SS Rajamouli’s epic film, and said it was only natural that Baahubali gets the lion’s share of the available shows.
“Normally, the rule is that new releases get preference and have more shows allotted to them. If you notice, Baahubali was the only big film that released on Friday so naturally, it had more shows. However, from Monday, there would be space for other films as well,” explained K Kishan, a representative of Prasads Imax.
When asked why Minions did not release, he said it was as decision taken by the distributors and that the multiplex had no say in the matter.
That said, given the success of Baahubali, touted as India’s most expensive film, multiplexes across the country are looking to increase the number of shows per day.
Two multiplexes in Bihar confirmed that the number of shows for Baahubali are being increased from Day 3 and that Bollywood flick I Love New Year would be replaced with Baahubali.
The Prabhas-starrer also has seven to 10 shows in several multiplexes in Mumbai and NCR region, while it’s being screened in an excess of 20 shows at our southern neighbour Bengaluru.
In Chennai, Baahubali (Tamil and Telugu combined) has more shows than the Kamal Hassan-starrer Papanasam, which also released on Friday. In fact, the Telugu version of Baahubali has sold out more tickets than Papanasam in select multiplexes in Chennai.
The jaw-dropping collections of Baahubali across the country has now put a severe question over Bollywood Superstar Salman Khan’s upcoming film Bajrangi Bhaijaan. With exhibitors predicting that Baahubali’s collections are expected to grow even further, Bajrangi Bhaijaan is likely to take a hit, even at centres where it is expected to do well. Interestingly, Bajrangi Bhaijaan is written by Rajamouli’s father K Vijayendra Prasad. So it’s going to be a father-son battle of supremacy at the box-office next week.