In July 2016, as serpentine queues were spotted outside the advance booking windows of every theatre across Chennai city, it was thought that nothing would match the pre-release hysteria or records for superstar Rajinikanth's Kabali.
Less than a year later, the mania for Baahubali 2: The Conclusion has made Kabali's records seem like a distant memory.
While non-crucial centres like Mumbai and Delhi still have tickets for Baahubali 2 in the major multiplexes available for sale, the scene is vastly different in the south.
Trade expert Sreedhar Pillai had reported for Firstpost how the advance booking numbers for Baahubali 2 had broken all previous records.
In Chennai, advance booking began in the wee hours of 26 April — and within the space of hours, most shows were sold out till 2 May. Theatre owners said they were trying to squeeze in extra screenings to accommodate the unprecedented demand. However, the run time of Baahubali 2 (clocking in at a little over two hours and 48 minutes) would make this difficult.
Releasing in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam, the crunch for tickets is being observed despite the fact that Baahubali 2 has got a tally of 9000 screens worldwide — the highest ever screen count for a Indian film.
The rush for tickets has led to huge fluctuations in prices.
DNA reported that in Delhi, some theatres were charging between Rs 1800-2000 for Baahubali 2 tickets over the first weekend.
In other places, like Karnataka, the government had imposed a cap of Rs 200 for ticket prices — in what is bound to come as major relief for fans in one of the core territories.
On Thursday, 27 April, BookMyShow was offering special discounts on Baahubali 2 tickets: Rs 125 off on using the promo code BMS125 (on purchase of two tickets). Paytm users were offered a Rs 100 cashback on a minimum booking of two tickets, along with the promo code BAAHUBALI.
However, the discounts might possibly benefit only those fans in cities like Mumbai, where tickets for Baahubali 2 are still available.
In the heart of Baahubali territory — the city of Hyderabad — there are no tickets available for purchase.
Take a look at the scene over Thursday, 27 April (where a few preview shows are being held) to Friday, 28 April:
The scene on Saturday, 29 April, is no better — and the state of affairs continues right through the weekend, up to Monday, 1 May:
The Cinepolis website shot us this message when we tried to book tickets for Baahubali 2 at Mantra Mall.
And PVR in Hyderabad had no solace to offer:
For fans who haven't already got their hands on Baahubali 2 tickets, there's going to be a wait that lasts at least the whole of this first weekend, in store.
Published Date: Apr 27, 2017 01:11 pm | Updated Date: Apr 27, 2017 01:11 pm