Gunday turned in a fine performance in North America in its first weekend of release. The Yash Raj Films production got a relatively wide roll-out in 150 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, and it earned $548,350 (according to Bollywood Hungama) for a per screen average of $3656.
Though stars like Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan feature in supporting roles, Gunday‘s success rests on the shoulders of the two lead actors: Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. Kapoor’s two previous films — Ishaqzaade and Aurangzeb — didn’t make a splash in U.S. theaters, so it’s best to compare Gunday‘s opening week in the U.S. and Canada to the opening weekends of Singh’s earlier films.
Like Gunday, Singh’s first two movies were released by Yash Raj Films (as were Kapoor’s). 2010’s Band Baaja Baaraat earned $43,820 from 32 theaters ($1369 average), while 2011′s Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, collected $222,019 from 80 theaters ($2775 average) in its opening weekend .
2013 was a better year for Singh, when he ventured out from under the Yash Raj banner. Lootera took in $314,958 from 100 theaters ($3150 average) its opening weekend, going on to earn a total of $581,813.
Ignoring the incredible U.S. performance of Ram-Leela, Gunday‘s opening week returns look right in line with the upward trajectory of Singh’s career.
The other Hindi movie still in theaters is Hasee Toh Phasee. In its second week, the romantic comedy took in $152,284 from 76 theaters ($2003 average) for a total of $554,534 so far. That average is still more than 50% of its opening weekend average of $3,829, which is good for a Bollywood film in the U.S.