‘Baahubali 2’ clocks highest ever advance booking
New Delhi: Online ticketing platform BookMyShow sold over 1 million tickets for director S.S Rajamouli’s immensely anticipated epic fantasy Baahubali 2: The Conclusion within 24 hours of bookings for the movie opening in north India.
The sales are the highest ever on BookMyShow, beating the record held by Aamir Khan’s Dangal, which Rajamouli’s film had surpassed by 45% on Wednesday.
While single-screen cinemas had opened their booking windows as early as 22 April, multiplexes went live by 24 April and together they accounted for ticket sales of more than 1 million in all the four languages the war epic is releasing in — Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.
Bookings in south India opened by Wednesday but considering the number of unaccounted single screens and the relatively smaller presence of services like BookMyShow in the region, it would be difficult to gauge overall numbers, said independent trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai.
The film is releasing in around 6,000 screens across the country, surpassing by a wide margin big-ticket Bollywood offerings that take up a maximum of 4,500 cinemas.
“That’s more than the average Hindi film starring stars such as Salman or Aamir Khan,” said Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema. “Baahubali 2 has gone far beyond the expectations for any Telugu or south Indian film and is widely being looked at as the first pan-India movie.”
Mohan added that tickets for the Prabhas and Rana Daggubati-starrer were exorbitantly priced. PVR Director’s Cut in Delhi, for example, is selling tickets at Rs2,400 compared to the R1,200-1,400 for a regular film and Rs1,800-2,000 for a big release.
PVR-ICON in Mumbai, on the other hand, has gone for Rs1,500 as opposed to the Rs700-800 range viewers are used to. Single screens in the north, Pillai said, were likely to charge anything between Rs150 and Rs200.
The scene in south India is unlikely to be as outrageous. Most south Indian states place a ceiling on the maximum price multiplexes can charge for movie tickets although black marketing of tickets may start on Friday.
Big-ticket films like Baahubali or previously Rajinikanth’s Kabali haven’t remained immune from ticket scalping on their opening days. However, for all practical purposes, multiplexes in a city like Chennai, for example will charge Rs120 for a Baahubali ticket while single screens should ask for around Rs200.
“We expect the movie to perform extraordinarily well at the south Indian box office. The Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments have given permission to increases ticket prices to Rs160 for single screens and to Rs200 for multiplexes,” said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, cinemas at BookMyShow.
To be sure, the high rates are likely to bring in equally high returns. While Saksena expects the Hindi version of the film to contribute 30% of the opening weekend collections, Mohan reports that cities like Chennai and Hyderabad have shows booked for most of next week.
“The four languages combined should bring in about Rs100 crore on day one, about Rs300-350 crore by the end of the weekend and close to Rs500 crore within the first week,” Mohan said.
The first part of Rajamouli’s war epic had earned in excess of Rs500 crore worldwide when it released in 2015. The two parts star Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah Bhatia, Ramya Krishnan and Sathyaraj in lead roles.