Baahubali: The Conclusion has lived up to its prerelease hype.
India does not report box-office figures, but according to local media accounts, Baahubali 2 collected 3.85 billion rupees ($59.8 million) at the country's box office, which is the biggest opening of all time. Globally, it launched to $77.7 million, including an estimated $10.1 million in North America, a record showing for an Indian film.
In addition to Telugu, Baahubali 2 received a multilingual rollout in Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. The film is a follow-up to the 2015 blockbuster Baahubali: The Beginning.
The Hindi version, distributed by leading Bollywood banner Dharma Productions, alone collected a record $19.9 million, besting the $16.6 million earned last year by wrestling drama Dangal.
Baahubali 2 is the third Indian film to get an Imax release following 2013's Dhoom 3 and 2014's Bang Bang! The sequel earned $2.34 million from 66 Imax screens globally, a record for an Indian feature. It also recorded the biggest Imax opening in India for any film with $330,000, beating The Fate of the Furious.
Directed by well-known filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli, the two Baahubali pics were simultaneously filmed at an estimated budget of $40 million, making it the most expensive Indian production ever. The films were produced by Shobu Yarlagadda's Arka Mediaworks. The sequel continues the story of warring royal cousins in an ancient mythical kingdom and again features top South Indian stars Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Tamannah and Anushka Shetty.
The first installment of Baahubali (which means "the one with strong arms") earned a muscular $100 million worldwide, including $77 million in India. The film's success put the spotlight on the South Indian film industry, which is often overshadowed by Hindi language Bollywood.
Expectations are high that Baahubali 2 could become the highest-grossing Indian film ever, with grosses north of $116 million.