Global Box Office Watch: Kalki 2898 AD Set to Smash Records Beyond Bollywood

The stakes are high, the expectations higher, and if early trends are anything to go by, it seems “Achhe Din” could be back for the Indian movie industry. This optimism stems from the grand launch of the 3D spectacle Kalki 2898 AD, which, according to trade experts, is set to surpass Rs 200 crore globally on its opening day this Thursday. Notably, the Hindi-dubbed version of the film alone is outshining all Bollywood releases of the year with its monumental opening.

Produced by Vyjayanthi Movies, Kalki 2898 AD has made its debut in six languages: Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, and English. Once known as Project K, it stands as arguably the most expensive feature film in Indian cinema history, with an estimated budget of Rs 600 crore. The film is projected to breach the Rs 100 crore mark on the first day of its release, states trade analyst Girish Wankhede.

“This film will be a big life saver. Apart from Shaitaan, no big (Hindi) film has been a superhit in the last six months. Kalki will be like a breath of fresh air. It will earn Rs 100-110 crore in opening day collections across India and will cross the Rs 200 crore mark globally,” Wankhede detailed. With its quartet of attractions—stars, spectacle, stunts, and sci-fi—Kalki 2898 AD is on course for global box office domination, according to industry insiders.

Hyped as a seamless blend of the Hindu epic Mahabharata and science fiction, this ambitious multilingual film opened in theatres worldwide on Thursday, under the direction of Nag Ashwin, who is known for his work on Mahanati. While still in its early days, Kalki 2898 AD has all the trappings of a “blockbuster hit”. Particularly, the Hindi version is predicted to be “the biggest opener of this year so far,” said trade expert Taran Adarsh.

Adarsh believes that not even the highly anticipated India versus England T20 World Cup semifinal will dent the film’s reception. “Achhe din are back… For the Hindi version, it’s going to be the biggest opener of this year so far. The highest so far was Fighter with Rs 20.50 crore, and Kalki will easily surpass that,” Adarsh explained to PTI.

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In terms of opening day records, Fighter achieved an opening of Rs 20.50 crore net in January, while Shaitaan opened at Rs 15 crore in March. Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff’s Bade Miyan Chote Miyan also managed an opening just over Rs 15 crore in April. But experts predict that the Hindi version of Kalki 2898 AD will dwarf these numbers, forecasting an impressive opening day collection of Rs 24-26 crore. When considering all languages, Kalki 2898 AD is estimated to net Rs 95 crore in India and Rs 180 crore gross worldwide.

Another feather in Kalki 2898 AD’s cap is its performance in North America. The sci-fi-meets-mythology extravaganza, starring heavyweights such as Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, and Kamal Haasan, is speeding towards a USD 4 million premiere day in the US, Canada, and other regions, as reported by trade website Sacnilk. This places it ahead of SS Rajamouli’s RRR, which grossed USD 3.3 million on its North American premiere in 2022. Sacnilk confirmed that Kalki 2898 AD now holds the record for “the biggest premiere for an Indian movie in North America.”

The movie’s expansive aspirations and significant early successes serve to highlight an essential narrative: Indian cinema is swinging for the fences on a global scale. With its gargantuan budget, star-studded cast, and extensive use of groundbreaking visual effects, Kalki 2898 AD signals a bold new chapter for the country’s film industry. Trade experts are already comparing it to the major international blockbusters, asserting that its reception could reshape global perceptions of Indian cinema.

Yet the film’s grandeur goes beyond numbers and global records. Its narrative—a fusion of ancient mythology and modern-day science fiction—brings something uniquely profound to the table. Directed by Nag Ashwin, who has built a reputation for combining deep storytelling with visual magnificence, Kalki 2898 AD appears poised to not just entertain but also astound audiences across the globe.

With such an illustrious beginning, Kalki 2898 AD may indeed symbolize the revival many see as essential for Indian cinema. Whether this heralds the dawn of a new golden era remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the movie industry and filmgoers alike will be closely watching Kalki 2898 AD’s journey, eagerly anticipating the magic and success it promises.