While Bollywood film Chennai Express was steamrolling its way to success, another movie was on the fast train too, but not many people noticed.

Duniyadari (Worldliness), a Marathi-language film based on a novel by Suhas Shirwalkar and released in July, has gone on to become the highest grossing Marathi movie of all time.

The film, a light-hearted and somewhat clunky take on a group of friends in 1970′s Pune, opened to full houses, and sustained its winning run even in the face of a near monopoly of cinemas by Chennai Express and later by other Bollywood films Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara! and Satyagraha in cinemas. A local right-wing party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, threatened the makers of Chennai Express if they forced Duniyadari out of cinemas.

It turns out this kind of support wasn’t necessary. “Duniyadari beat Chennai Express in every centre where (the) two films competed,” trade analyst Amod Mehra said. “It is an unqualified hit.”

The film has so far made 230 million rupees ($3.5 million) in ticket sales in just six weeks, and is still running in cinemas – a rare milestone even for Bollywood films.