2015 is off to a slow start for Bollywood movies at the North American box office, and the opening weekend figures for Shamitabh reinforce that trend. According to Rentrak figures supplied to Bollywood Hungama, Shamitabh earned $215,512 from 137 theaters ($1,573 average) during the weekend of February 6-8, 2015. Box Office Mojo’s reported earnings for Shamitabh are only slightly better: $241,720 from 137 theaters ($1,764 average).
Though the sample size isn’t huge, the per-screen averages of Bollywood films that opened in North America in 2015 are down considerably from 2014. The four Hindi movies released in the United States and Canada during the same time period last year posted per-screen averages of $3,270; $141; $4,469; and $3,895. Compare those figures to the averages of the six Hindi movies released in 2015 to date: $1,007; $397; $4,393; $1,557; $251; and $1,573.
Whether it’s a case of too many films opening in too many theaters — 125 screens for Tevar? — or a lack of interest in the movies available, it’s harder to get people to come out to the cinema this year. It will be interesting to see how that affects the screen counts of films released later in the year. If theaters can earn more from a four-week-old Hollywood movie, what’s the incentive to program a new Hindi film that doesn’t have a Khan in a leading role? (No, that doesn’t include Saif Ali Khan.)
Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:
- Baby: Week 3; $12,660 from seven theaters; $1,809 average; $718,340 total
- PK: Week 8; $7,142 from four theaters; $1,786 average; $10,456,943 total
- Dolly Ki Doli: Week 3; $1,889 from four theaters; $472 average; $173,741 total
- Hawaizaada: Week 2; $215 from five theaters; $43 average; $21,902 total