A glut of new releases led to some strange North American box office results for the weekend of March 7-9, 2014.
This past weekend saw the release of four new Hindi films — Queen, Gulaab Gang, Total Siyapaa, and Ya Rab (in its U.S. debut) — to compete against a big budget romcom (Shaadi Ki Side Effects), a hyped indie film (The Lunchbox), and a lingering critical hit (Highway). All four of the new films released in relatively few theaters, limiting the potential audience.
According to Bollywood Hungama, the weekend’s winner in terms of total gross was Shaadi Ki Side Effects in its second release week. Much of that success stems from showing in ninety theaters, whereas its closest competitor — Total Siyapaa — commanded only fifty screens. SKSE earned $165,079 ($1,834 average), bringing its total North American collections to $855,836.
In terms of per screen average, The Lunchbox won the weekend. Expanding into thirteen theaters nationally, The Lunchbox earned $114,779 for an average of $8,829 per screen. Its two-week U.S. total stands at $174,711.
Queen fared the best of the weekend’s new releases. It earned $161,998 from thirty-nine theaters. Its per screen average of $4,154 is the fourth highest for a Hindi film this year, and it bested the average of all but the three highest earners in the overall U.S. top ten (according to Box Office Mojo).
The second place finisher among the new releases earned less than half of Queen‘s total, despite debuting on more screens. Total Siyapaa earned $77,469 from fifty screens for an average of $1,549.
Despite having arguably the most local hype of any of the new flicks, Gulaab Gang earned just $60,718 from 46 screens, a per screen average of $1,320.
The big loser of the weekend was Ya Rab, which dropped into fifteen U.S. theaters with no fanfare weeks after its Indian theatrical release. It managed to underperform even Karle Pyaar Karle, taking in $1,404 total for an average of just $94. Jeepers.
In its third week in theaters, Highway earned $10,904 from seven screens. Its per screen average of $1,558 was better than those of Total Siyapaa, Gulaab Gang, and Ya Rab in their debut weekends. Highway‘s total North American earnings stand at $525,033.