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India’s most expensive film ever, Bahubali, is close to quickly recouping its massive $40-million (Dh146-million) budget after a record-breaking week at the box office, an industry analyst said on Friday.

The epic battle movie enjoyed the biggest opening day in the history of Indian cinema, grossing Rs500 million (Dh28 million), on July 10.

It went on to make more than $22 million across India in its first weekend, according to Komal Nahta, the editor of Indian magazine Film Information, smashing the previous record of $17 million set by Happy New Year.

“It would have crossed 200 crore rupees [Rs2 billion] in its first week,” Nahta said. “No film in the history of Indian cinema has made this kind of money in the opening week.”

Bahubali, released in the Telugu and Tamil languages, cost Rs2.5 billion to make, said director SS Rajamouli. The first part of the drama, Baahubali — The Beginning, also enjoyed one of the most successful opening weekends for an Indian film in the US, collecting $4.4 million, according to Variety magazine.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response from across India and abroad,” the film’s producer Shobhu Yarlagadda said.

Bahubali, which means The One With Strong Arms in English, tells the fictional story of two brothers battling for control of an ancient Indian kingdom.

It was released in some 4,000 screens worldwide and its early success has led to producers announcing that a shortened international edition is now in the pipeline.

“We have Hollywood editor Vincent Taballion (The Incredible Hulk, Transporter 2) on board for the international cut and are looking at releasing dubbed and subtitled versions for Europe, China, Japan, Korea, etc.,” said Yarlagadda.

The concluding part of the film is due for release next year.