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22 June 2024

'Baahubali 2' becomes India's highest-grossing movie

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An epic battle movie from one of India's lesser-known film industries has trumped Bollywood by becoming the country's highest-grossing film to date, an industry analyst said on Monday.

"Baahubali 2: The Conclusion", the final instalment of a two-part fantasy adventure, has made more than 10 billion rupees ($156 million) worldwide since hitting screens on April 28, according to experts.

The south Indian movie, which is laden with special effects, has surpassed 2014 Bollywood blockbuster "PK", which made around $120 million, as India's biggest-grossing movie yet.

"Baahubali 2 has crossed 1,000 crore (ten billion) rupees in worldwide gross collections, outdoing Aamir Khan's 'PK' which was previously the number one Indian film worldwide," Indian film trade analyst Ramesh Bala told AFP.

Bollywoodhungama.com, which tracks India's movie industry, also reported that "Baahubali 2" had become the highest grossing Indian film worldwide in history.

"Baahubali", meaning "The One With Strong Arms", tells the story of two warring brothers battling for control of a fictional Indian kingdom and its elaborate scenes has seen it compared to hit American movie "300".

The SS Rajamouli-directed film features elaborate fight sequences and computer graphics including rampaging elephants and a bull stampede.

It was shot in the Telugu and Tamil languages of southern India - whose film industries, known as "Tollywood" and "Kollywood" respectively - are often overshadowed by Hindi-speaking Bollywood.

The movie was dubbed into Hindi and other regional Indian languages and has sparked a wave of "Baahubali" mania across the country as fans flock to cinemas to find out how the series ends after the first film finished in a cliffhanger.

"Baahubali: The Beginning" made around $100m in worldwide ticket sales when it was released in 2015, according to industry estimates.

The combined cost of making the two movies was about $70 million, according to estimates, well below the budgets for major Hollywood films.