Poor, poor Hawaizaada. Family friendly Hindi movies don’t stand much of a chance at the North American box office as it is, but the historical fantasy performed especially poorly here. During its debut weekend — January 30-February 1, 2015 — Hawaizaada earned $16,546 from 66 theaters for a dismal per-screen average of $251.
Hawaizaada‘s failure strikes another blow against leading man Ayushmann Khurrana’s once promising career. His debut film, 2012’s Vicky Donor, was a surprise hit, taking in $169,209 from 50 North American theaters ($3,384 average) in its first weekend, with final earnings of $549,001. Its success owed more to its racy subject matter — sperm donation — than its leading man, however.
Khurrana’s subsequent films didn’t fare nearly as well here. 2013’s Nautanki Saala! opened with $92,851 from 61 theaters ($1,522 average), ultimately earning $127,844. 2014’s Bewakoofiyaan fared even worse, with first-weekend earnings of $67,738 from 66 theaters ($1,026 average), and total earnings of $106,800.
I’ve enjoyed all of Khurrana’s films, so his ability isn’t the problem. The Bollywood fan base in North America is motivated by name recognition, which Khurrana doesn’t yet have. His best bet for earning it would be to pair with another notable male star, maybe for a buddy comedy. Unfortunately, his next two projects — Dum Laga Ke Haisha and Agra Ka Daabra (which is a great title) — feature him as the solo male lead. I don’t see his international box office prospects turning around any time soon.
Other Hindi movies still in theaters include:
- Baby: Week 2; $165,732 from 77 theaters ($2,152 average); $694,509 total
- Dolly Ki Doli: Week 2; $22,155 from 14 theaters ($1,583 average); $164,186 total
- PK: Week 7; $16,627 from 13 theaters ($1,279 average); $10,535,369 total
- Tevar: Week 4; $16 from one theater; $166,342 total
Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama