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​5 things that ‘mainstream’ Bollywood can learn from Baahubali’s success

Baahubali has proved otherwise in a very short span of time. The film has shattered all previous records becoming the first film to get equal love and audience in the north, east, west and south
Akhilesh Shukla New Delhi May 02, 2017 10:51 IST
Akhilesh Shukla

What was initially seen merely as regional cinema’s ambition to go mass-scale, Baahubali has proved otherwise in a very short span of time. The film has shattered all previous records becoming the first film to get equal love and audience in the north, east, west and south.

As an old saying about India goes: “every two miles the water changes, every four miles the speech”, ‘Baahubali 2: The Conclusion’ has united a nation that boasts of its cultural diversity to world. The film has created a benchmark that will be cherished and followed. Only a daredevil will attempt to break it.

Bollywood, India’s so-called mainstream cinema, has a lot to learn from the success of SS Rajamuli’s magnum opus ‘Babuhali 2: The Conclusion’:

1) Every day is a good day

Mainstream Bollywood cinema is very particular about their release dates. Extended weekends or a national holiday are booked in a year advance by mega-stars. For example; Aamir loves to release his movies on Christmas eve, while Salman, the Bhaijaan of Bollywood, is known for his Eid releases. Similar is the case with other stars, Khiladi Kumar perhaps being the sole exception.

The mega success of ‘Baahubali 2: The Conclusion’ proves that content is king. Regardless of whether a film’s release coincides with a holiday or not, Baahubali’s latest franchise proves that if the film carries good content, viewers are bound to follow. No wonder then that people checked in to Facebook this last Friday announcing to the world that they would soon reveal why Kattappa killed Baahubali. Don’t believe us? Check the numbers – the opening day of Baahubali: The Conclusion raked in a record Rs 120 crore, neatly leaving behind the opening collections for Aamir starrer Dangal.  

2) It’s not always about the Khans, Roshans and Kapoors

Baahubali has broken a commonly-held notion that only big films starring the likes of SRK, Salman, Aamir, Ranbir, Hrithik, Akshay in lead roles draw masses. Never before in India, especially in the north and west, have the not-so-famous stars like Rana Daggubati and Prabhas made audiences beeline before cinema halls to watch a film. On a weekend, it was difficult to book tickets online, as most of the cinema halls were booked in advance and the leftover seats filled quickly. Baahubali -2 put a stamp of approval to the adage that “content is the king.”

3) ‘Coveted’ 100 cr club? Redefine the standards

The release of any Bollywood film usually triggers a buzz on whether it would enter into the Rs 100 crore club. Often considered a yardstick of success for an actor, filmmakers find the number of ‘100 cr’ movies a superstar has under his belt before they sign him up. Salman Khan leads the chart with 10 movies in the club. Aamir Khan, however, has lesser numbers but sets a new benchmark with every release. PK and Dangal have set new benchmarks for business in Bollywood.

BB2, however, has left everything behind. If is the first film in the history of Indian cinema that crossed the Rs 100 crore mark in first-day collections. It made a staggering Rs 121 crore ( Rs 42 crore in Hindi) on its opening day. The first overall weekend collection, including overseas, stood at a whooping Rs 540 crore. The figures make the ‘coveted 100 cr benchmark’ looks miniscule. Bollywood, perhaps, should think of setting new standards to gauge success.

4) A leak can do no damage to a movie

Piracy and online leaks have been lately been a nightmare for filmmakers. The case was no different with ‘Baahubali 2; The Conclusion’. The critical scene of movie revealing ‘Why Kattappa killed Baahubali’ was widely circulated on Whatsapp. Everyone knew the “secret” much before the first show of the movie was over. However, the collections proved that it did not affect the movie’s fortunes at all. People went to see the movie, considering the “secret’ as one small part of it. Even after the weekend, the film is going very strong.

5) There is nothing like a lead role or a side role

When ‘Mr. India’, arguably India’s first sci-fi film, released, Mogambo gained more popularity than the protagonist. It was, probably, the first movie when the name of a villain became a household name, leaving the key character far behind. Still, our choices of watching a film largely depend on who plays the “lead”. BB2, however, has changed the thumb-rule.

Babubali 2 would go down in history as a film where the ‘side character’, i.e., Kattappa, became more famous than the lead Baahubali. Jokes on Kattappa were widely circulated. Even PM Narendra Modi mentioned Kattappa in one of his pollical speeches.