Baahubali, the most expensive Indian movie made yet, is expected to be released in several new overseas markets soon, its director S.S. Rajamouli said.
This would mark a new milestone for India’s film industry, which is steadily discovering new global markets on the back of themes and production values that are considered world class and stories that have a wider appeal.
Baahubali (The One With Strong Arms), made in Telugu and Tamil and dubbed into Hindi, has an estimated budget of R 250 crore for two parts, and the first part, titled “The Beginning”, touched box-office records in the first week with an estimated R 255 crore worldwide . The second part is scheduled to be released next year.
The extravagant king-and-queen saga set in an uncertain time and age and rich in visual and special effects.
A special international cut of the movie will be done by Vincent Tabaillon, a Frenchman who has edited movies such as “The Incredible Hulk.”
“Our producer Shobu (Yarlagadda) asked us right from the start to look at this as an international film and never as a regional film at any point. He injected it into us at every stage,” the 41-year-old director told Hindustan Times in an interview by phone from Hyderabad.
“The prospects for an international release are looking good. We are getting calls from China, Korea and Japan markets and also some French and Europeans,” he added. “Hopefully, in the next two to three months we will see the international release.”
A spokesman for the movie, made by Arka Media Works, said the overseas releases will be subtitled in some markets and dubbed in local languages for others. It has already been released in North America thanks to ethnic Indian audiences.
Baahubali earned R 162 crore in the first weekend itself, behind only Dhoom 3, PK and Happy New year, which garnered R 198 crore, R 175 crore and R 174 crore, respectively. But, with its multilingual power, it is steering ahead in overall collections.
Visual effects of the movie were led by Srinivas Mohan, who worked on special-effects rich blockbusters such as Enthiran (Tamil, 2010) and I (Tamil, 2014). Enthiran cost an estimated R 135 crore, and Ra.One, made in 2011 in Hindi, cost an estimated R 170 crore, according to industry estimates. But Baahubali towers over them as a sum of two parts.
“To be frank, the numbers are still confusing at this point of time. It is a two-part movie. The realization will be for two parts. About 40 to 50 percent of the second part is yet to be shot. What I expect is a budget of R 250 crore for the two parts together,” Rajamouli said.
In US dollar terms, Baahubali, with both parts in, is estimated to cost $40 million, which is only a fraction of movies like Avatar ($254 million) and Titanic ($290 million), while having comparable visual effects, thanks to low-cost technicians based in India.
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