Bollywood Box Office: August 29-31

The heist film Raja Natwarlal didn’t set the North American box office on fire during its opening weekend, but its performance was typical for an Emraan Hashmi film in the United States and Canada. From August 29-31, 2014, Raja Natwarlal earned $83,669 from 73 theaters, an average of $1,146 per screen. Including its earnings from Monday’s Labor Day holiday in the U.S., Raja Natwarlal‘s total North American earnings stand at $102,314.

That total is decent for a Hashmi film. However, the per screen average is low thanks to it comparatively wide release. Take a look at the opening weekend earnings and screen counts for some recent Hashmi releases, along with the films’ total North American earnings:

  • Ghanchakkar: $143,616 from 89 screens ($1,614 avg); $203,044 total
  • Ek Thi Dayaan: $65,857 from 48 screens ($1,372 avg); $112,135 total
  • Raaz 3: $95,301 from 28 screens ($3,404 avg); $150,716 total
  • Shanghai: $107,565 from 37 screens ($2,907 avg); $183,748 total
  • Jannat 2: $45,000 from 19 screens ($2,368 avg); $54,148 total
  • The Dirty Picture: $267,722 from 52 screens ($5,149 avg); $462,000 total

Given that Hashmi’s films typically gross less than $200,000 in North America, I’m not sure there’s much need to open them in more than 50 theaters. Even his highest profile film — The Dirty Picture — opened in just 52 theaters here. Expanding the screen count for his films seems to dilute their per-theater returns without significantly increasing overall gross.

Mardaani held up well in its second weekend, earning $77,252 from 48 theaters ($1,609 average). The total gross for the Rani Mukerji thriller stands at $308,601.

Singham Returns likewise continued its strong run, adding $51,485 over the course of its third weekend. Its total earnings through Labor Day are $1,209,663.

Other Hindi movies still in theaters:

  • The Lunchbox: Week 27; $1,302 from two theaters ($651 average); $4,037,755 total
  • Kick: Week 6; $14 from one theater; $2,403,553 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

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