Exclusive: How GIF made BB2 an epic hit in USA

Friday, May 5, 2017 - 01:15

'Baahubali 2' is busy smashing all records. As the biggest ever blockbuster among Indian films, the epic fantasy has crossed the extant record of 'PK' in India and that of 'Dangal' in US.  The movie has collected a whopping $12.7 million dollars in just six days in North America. In this interview, we find out from Great India Films (GIF), which has distributed the magnum opus in the North American market, what went into strategizing for the movie. Great India Films is run by Sudhakar Reddy and Soma. 

In how many screens (regular theaters and large screens put together) has the film been played, right from the April 27 premieres?

425 unique theaters with over 1000 screens played the premiers. There were no premieres for the Hindi version.  

Give us a break-up of collections for each version!

The Telugu version alone has fetched 60 per cent of the earnings. The Hindi version has contributed another 25 per cent, while the rest is from the Tamil version, which is about 15 per cent. We are releasing the Malayalam version on May 12th. 

How many days did it take for you to achieve break-even?  

We haven't yet got to that point.

How has Baahubali 2 succeeded in beating Aamir Khan's huge hit Dangal?

'Baahubali 2' was promoted very widely and also got IMAX and XD screens.  Also, audience's curiosity has been high ever since first part's release.

Tell us the strategy that you guys used, so much so, even Hollywood is noticing your work.  

We have met a lot of Hollywood journalists, besides key media people. We have constantly fed them right information. 

For how many days did you work on ensuring a smooth release?

It took five weeks in all.  

When did you get prints, passwords, and KDM from producers?

The Telugu version's deliverables were there by Tuesday (Premieres were on Thursday). For the other two versions (that is, Hindi and Tamil), we got them by Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.  ATMOS was available on Thursday and Friday.

Why didn't you insist that producers ensure cast and crew members promoted the movie in USA by being present for shows?

Managing cast and crew members is a huge task, something which we couldn't do because we have been busy in planning for 2nd week's schedules. We are also making sure to add more locations/shows in the coming days and take 'Baahubali 2' to newer heights!  

Why do you think has 'Baahubali 2' become a hit of epic proportions when bigger Bollywood stars have failed in US?

As we have said, the curiosity factor that has continued since first part's release, besides our promotional strategies and, of course, the film's content. 

Despite their obvious greater reach, why are Bollywood movies unable to reap higher amounts in Overseas market?

We can speak for ourselves. We are very passionate. We have hardly slept for 60 hours in the last 30 days. We have been tirelessly engaged in planning the theatres, commissioning teams for making sure that drives are delivered on time so that no shows would have to be cancelled.  

Does your distribution company have any plans for big Bollywood movies?

Sure. If and when the right opportunity comes. 

Does a non-'Baahubali', non-Rajamouli Telugu movie has the potential to go beyond 5-6 million dollars? If yes, what should the filmmakers and stars do to actualize this potential?

Definitely. Right content, right promotion and proper execution hold the key. They can deliver the big numbers.