The recent release of Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! inspired me to take a look at the US box office history for all of the Yash Raj Films releases from the past decade. I based my analysis on data provided by Box Office Mojo and Bollywood Hungama (which in turn uses information from Rentrak).
Looking at the total grosses of all films, it looks like there’s a slight trend upward in total box office, over time. (The orange line represents a simple linear regression of all data.)
You might notice that one film did disproportionately well in late 2013. That’s Dhoom 3, which raked in about $8M. Remove this outlier from the equation, and the other YRF releases are actually on a gentle decline in total box office take.
A flat box office and more theaters means that opening weekend averages per screen are also trending downward, even when including Dhoom 3 in the calculations. Blockbusters have been immune to the trend, but the underperformers are doing worse than ever. The last four Yash Raj movies released in 2014 (Bewakoofiyaan, Mardaani, Daawat-e-Ishq, and Kill Dil) each came in at under $2,000 per screen.
Taking into account that average ticket prices have also climbed almost $2 (from $6.41 in 2005 to $8.17 in 2014, according to Box Office Mojo), this lack of growth in box office also means that fewer tickets are being sold for each Yash Raj Films release, on average.
The good news for YRF is that Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! bucked recent trends, averaging about $4,000 per screen in US theaters in its opening weekend. That puts it on par with films from the studio’s most reliable period, 2007-08.
For the remainder of 2015, Yash Raj Films has only one film officially planned for release: Fan, starring Shahrukh Khan. Yet Fan‘s release date has been changed multiple times, and it’s not currently listed on Bollywood Hungama’s release calendar. The surprise success of the romantic comedy Dum Laga Ke Haisha in India prompted Yash Raj Films to create an international trailer for the movie, renaming it My Big Fat Bride. There’s a chance that it could open in US while Fan is completed — though its star, Ayushmann Khurrana, isn’t a guaranteed money maker like Shahrukh Khan.
Even if Yash Raj Films doesn’t release another movie in 2015, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! has nudged the studio’s fortunes in the US back in the right direction.
Author’s note: My thanks to Box Office Mojo, Bollywood Hungama, and Rentrak for the raw information. Note: there’s no reliable box office data for a pair of 2010 releases — Badmaash Company and Pyaar Impossible — so I couldn’t take them into account in this analysis.
Finally, here’s a table of estimated box office data for all YRF releases since 2005:
|Title||Total Gross||Max Screens||Opening AVG||Release Date|
|Bunty Aur Babli||942756||51||8544||Fri May 27 2005|
|Salaam Namaste||1413283||63||8014||Fri Sep 09 2005|
|Neal ‘n’ Nikki||111551||44||1705||Fri Dec 09 2005|
|Fanaa||2105352||72||10459||Fri May 26 2006|
|Dhoom 2||2643586||63||15540||Fri Nov 24 2006|
|Kabul Express||302458||50||2852||Fri Dec 15 2006|
|Ta Ra Rum Pum||872643||85||5001||Fri Apr 27 2007|
|Jhoom Barabar Jhoom||695157||83||5485||Fri Jun 15 2007|
|Chak De India||1120404||62||5676||Fri Aug 10 2007|
|Laaga Chunari Mein Daag||675102||60||5350||Fri Oct 12 2007|
|Aaja Nachle||484108||66||3902||Fri Nov 30 2007|
|Tashan||457380||75||4016||Fri Apr 25 2008|
|Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic||365401||68||2671||Fri Jun 27 2008|
|Bachna Ae Haseeno||702166||71||4541||Fri Aug 15 2008|
|Roadside Romeo||55202||29||1440||Fri Oct 24 2008|
|Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi||2078956||83||11096||Fri Dec 12 2008|
|New York||997437||60||7795||Fri Jun 26 2009|
|Dil Bole Hadippa!||644046||54||6508||Fri Sep 18 2009|
|Rocket Singh||164649||70||2352||Fri Dec 11 2009|
|Band Baaja Baaraat||71374||32||1369||Fri Dec 10 2010|
|Mere Brother Ki Dulhan||496172||74||5448||Fri Sep 09 2011|
|Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl||222019||80||2775||Fri Dec 09 2011|
|Ek Tha Tiger||2347774||120||9495||Wed Aug 15 2012|
|Jab Tak Hai Jaan||3047539||164||7973||Tue Nov 13 2012|
|Aurangzeb||149000||62||1468||Fri May 17 2013|
|Shuddh Desi Romance||641000||116||2980||Fri Sep 06 2013|
|Dhoom 3||8090250||239||14320||Fri Dec 20 2013|
|Gunday||887675||150||3656||Fri Feb 14 2014|
|Bewakoofiyaan||106800||66||1026||Fri Mar 14 2014|
|Mardaani||393619||86||1965||Fri Aug 22 2014|
|Daawat-e-Ishq||385415||113||1814||Fri Sep 19 2014|
|Kill Dil||246107||87||1977||Fri Nov 14 2014|