Baahubali 2 emerges no 3 on US box office with $10 million earning, trumps Tom Hanks and Emma Watson film


Baahubali 2 is not only making records in India, it is making international blockbusters sweat it out too. On Sunday, SS Rajamouli’s labour of love emerged as number 3 on the US box office behind Vin Diesel’s Fast and Furious 8 and a Hispanic-focused comedy. International media termed it a “culturally diverse box office weekend”. Where Baahubali: the Conclusion really scored is how it bested Hollywood’s biggest stars in Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. Their terribly reviewed thriller The Circle opened with $9.3 million while Baahubali 2 earned $10.1 million despite playing on just 420 screens. To put it into perspective, The Fate of the Furious, with its approximate $19 million earning played on more than 4,000).

Speaking to AP, Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, said such global weekends at the box office will become more common. “In what is a slow and would otherwise be unremarkable weekend, this is a really interesting lineup of films. This is the final weekend before the summer season kicks off and the blockbusters hit theaters. But this weekend is marked by an incredible amount of multicultural content. It reflects the world that we’re living in.”

A sequel of Baahubali: The Beginning, the 2015 blockbuster, the Telugu language film is rewriting box office rules in India. While the 2015 film earned $9.3 million in the US and over $100 million worldwide. It is expected to earn over Rs 400 crore in the first weekend in India, a record nobody has even come close to it in Indian cinema.

“We were expecting exactly the numbers we’re seeing right now. We’re happy our expectations were right,” said Soma Kancherla of the film’s North American distributor, Great India Films, told AP. “I know for a few people they’re like, ‘Wow,’ but to break even, we needed to make that kind of money.”

Meanwhile, The Fate of the Furious continued its sway on box office in the US for the third straight week. Earning $19.4 million, according to studio estimates, the total earnings of the Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson film has throttled past $1 billion globally, and passed its predecessor, Furious 7, to become the highest-grossing imported film in China with $361 million.

Directed by F Gary Gray, Furious franchise is held up as a model of the diverse blockbuster. Coming on its heels at the box office with $12 million earning and drawing an overwhelmingly Hispanic crowd was Eugenio Derbez’s comedy, How to Be a Latin Lover. The film is easily the biggest success yet for Pantelion, the Latino-oriented joint venture of Lionsgate and Grupo Televisa.

How to Be a Latin Lover co-stars Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe and Kristen Bell. But its top draw is Derbez, whose Instructions Not Included was the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in North America in 2013. The audience for How to be a Latin Lover was 89 percent Hispanic.

The summer movie season begins next week with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. With the Marvel behemoth on deck, few new films were released in an otherwise quiet weekend.

Guardians will likely be the third $1 billion movie in 2017, following Beauty and the Beast and The Fate of the Furious. Disney said “Vol. 2” is running 57 percent ahead of the pace of the original, which made $773.3 million in 2014.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “The Fate of the Furious,” $19.4 million ($68.4 million international).

2. “How to Be a Latin Lover,” $12 million.

3. “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion,” $10.1 million ($3.7 million international).

4. “The Circle,” $9.3 million.

5. “The Boss Baby,” $9.1 million ($15.5 million international).

6. “Beauty and the Beast,” $6.4 million ($17.2 million international).

7. “Going in Style,” $3.6 million ($3 million international).

8. “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” $3.3 million ($11.7 million international).

9. “Gifted,” $3.3 million.

10. “Unforgettable,” $2.3 million.

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