Bollywood Box Office: June 20-22

Despite being lambasted by critics, Humshakals performed reasonably well in its first weekend in North American theaters. From June 20-22, 2014, Humshakals earned $262,502 from 165 theaters, a per-screen average of $1,591.

That $262,502 gross isn’t exceptional, but it’s in keeping with the total earnings of several Hindi comedies released in 2013 in North America.

Humshakals is likely to stick around for another week, so its total earnings will probably be closer to those of Besharam than Yamla Pagla Deewana 2. In 2013, a film only needed to earn upwards of $230,000 to finish in the top half of highest earning Hindi movies in the U.S. and Canada, so Humshakals is well-positioned to finish in the top half for 2014.

However, Besharam was considered a box office flop relative to expectations, so matching its total is nothing to brag about. In one crucial regard, Humshakals already lags behind. Besharam opened in an overly ambitious 217 theaters in North America, and its first weekend per-screen average was $2,323. Humshakals — whose 165-theater opening was also too ambitious — only averaged $1,591.

That’s a lower opening weekend average than director Sajid Khan’s last critically panned film: 2013’s Himmatwala, which averaged $1,998 on 99 screens in its first weekend before posting a final tally of $270,880.

While Humshakals‘ earnings aren’t horrible, they’re not great. Its performance — like the performance of Besharam — highlights the importance of correctly judging demand for your product and booking the right number of theaters accordingly.

One other Hindi movie opened in limited release in the U.S. on June 20, and its numbers are so bad that I can hardly believe they’re correct. Miss Lovely opened in three U.S. theaters, from which it earned just $558. Total. Despite a strong festival pedigree, its release wasn’t promoted in any meaningful way (unlike The Lunchbox), so potential moviegoers may not have known about it. Maybe Miss Lovely will have more success when it opens in Chicago and Austin this Friday.

Other Hindi movies showing in the U.S. and Canada from June 20-22 included:

  • Holiday: Week 3; $48,468 from 34 theaters; $1,426 average; $806,123 total
  • The Lunchbox: Week 17; $20,354 from 22 theaters; $925 average; $3,963,922 total
  • Filmistaan: Week 3; $90 from one theater; $45,013 total
  • Heropanti: Week 5; $82 from one theater; $63,172 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama.

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3 thoughts on “Bollywood Box Office: June 20-22

    1. Kathy Post author

      I know, right. Yet, in defense of the North American movie-going public, Humshakals still earned less than seven of the movies in my Top Ten for the year so far. (It already beat Filmistaan and Bewakoofiyaan, and it’s going to surpass Dedh Ishqiya any day now.) The audience usually rewards quality when given the opportunity. Humshakals got 165 theaters, but Dedh Ishqiya only got 55. I blame the studios and distributors more than the audience.

      Reply
  1. Pingback: Opening June 27: Ek Villain and Miss Lovely | Access Bollywood

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