The weekend of July 10-12, 2015, belonged to Baahubali. In just three days (four if you count Thursday night preview showings separately), it became the highest grossing Indian film of 2015 in North America! It even cracked the US box office top ten!
According to Rentrak figures supplied to Bollywood Hungama, the combined total for both the Telugu and Tamil versions of Baahubali earned $4,526,526 from 241 theaters in the US and Canada, for a per-screen average of $18,782. $4,281,338 came from the 172 theaters showing the Telugu version, while $245,188 came from the Tamil version on 69 screens. Many theaters in the US cancelled showings of the Tamil version of the film because it failed to arrive, so that part of the theater count could be high.
(As an aside, part of the explanation for Baahubali‘s terrific earnings in the US is that it benefited from “special event” pricing that never applies to Hindi films released in major chain theaters. All three of the theaters showing Baahubali in Chicago charged $20 per adult ticket, even for showings on weekdays before noon, which are almost always priced at reduced rates. Compare the special price of $20 for a Baahubali ticket to each theater’s standard weekend night adult ticket price: $12 at MovieMax; $11.25 at Muvico; and $7.25 at Seven Bridges. Makes you wonder what Dhoom 3‘s totals would’ve looked like if it had opened with similarly inflated ticket prices. Update: Click here for a great summary of how tickets for South Indian movies are priced in the US compared to Hindi movies.)
It’s also worth noting that Rentrak’s total is significantly higher than the $3,575,000 estimate released by Box Office Mojo on Sunday. I’ll update this post when Mojo releases their final total. I suspect Baahubali‘s real earnings lie somewhere in between. Regardless, its performance is remarkable. [Update: Box Office Mojo doesn’t have a final total beyond the posted estimate. Many other sites are using the Rentrak total, so we’ll stick with that.]
No new Bollywood movies released in local theaters over the weekend, and the only significant development was that Dil Dhadakne Do finally overtook Tanu Weds Manu Returns to become the highest earning Hindi film of 2015 in North America. Here’s how the Bollywood movies still in theaters fared over the weekend:
- Dil Dhadakne Do: Week 6; $18,249 from 12 theaters; $1,521 average; $3,049,636 total
- Second Hand Husband: Week 2; $16,215 from 24 theaters; $676 average; $150,017 total
- ABCD 2: Week 4; $7,349 from eight theaters; $919 average; $878,514 total
- Tanu Weds Manu Returns: Week 8; $944 from two theaters; $472 average; $3,022,611 total