Bollywood Box Office: October 9-11

Jazbaa turned in a disappointing opening weekend in North America. During the weekend of October 9-11, 2015, Jazbaa earned $233,186 from 132 theaters ($1,767 average).

Jazbaa‘s performance helps define a kind of Bollywood dead zone at the North American box office, in which movies opening in the 120-140 theater range consistently under-perform. In addition to Jazbaa, three other films have opened in this same range, and all have posted disappointing opening weekend per-theater averages: Tevar (125 theaters/$1,007 average), Shamitabh (137 theaters/$1,573 average), and Katti Batti (127 theaters/$1,507 average). Perhaps the lesson for distributors is that, if you aren’t confident that a given movie could carry 150 theaters, better to limit its release to around 100 theaters. All the better for avoiding the appearance of a flop.

Singh Is Bliing finished the weekend in second place among the four Hindi films playing in North America. It added another $173,329 from 108 theaters ($1,605 average) to bring its two-week total to $808,310.

Talvar held up very well, losing only 37% percent of its opening weekend business (compared to Singh Is Bliing‘s 64% drop). Talvar earned $83,211 from 47 theaters ($1,770 average), bringing its two-week total to $269,253.

Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon closed out its third weekend, adding $6,828 from seven theaters ($975 average) to its total haul of $347,289.

This weekend provided yet more fuel for my obsession with the differences in the American and Canadian markets for Bollywood films (the figures above are for the entire North American territory, but Rentrak breaks the figures down by country). Here’s a comparison of each film’s US and Canadian per-theater averages:

  • Jazbaa: USA — $1,569; CAN — $2,941
  • Singh Is Bliing: USA — $1,055; CAN — $4,026
  • Talvar: USA — $1,848; CAN — $1,445
  • Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon: USA — $438; CAN — $2,320

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

4 thoughts on “Bollywood Box Office: October 9-11

  1. JustMeMike

    I think the numbers reflected accurate based upon percentage of Indian-Americans and where they live, and the number of Indian Canadians and where they live.

    In the USA, the greatest concentration is in the Silicon Vallet – San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, Trento NJ is second, and New York/Newark/Jersey City is third. But the percentages of Indian American living in those areas compared to the overall population range from a bit over 6% in the Silicon Valley to under three percent in New York.

    However in Toronto, the pct is 10.6, Greater Vancouver 9.6, and both Calgary and Edmonton at just under 6%.

    So the density of Indians seems very much more wode spread in the States, and more centralized in Canada. There also likely fewer movie going options in the larger Canadian cities than the American cities.

    But the least surprising of all is that the movie going public, at least in North America will continue to shrink due to the availability of DVds, and streaming. I am also sure that there a far greater number of televisions options available to American than to Canadians.

    Factoring in cost, cost of travel, parking etc – even the cost of a tub of popcorn – many are opting to simply watch at home.

    And I think this is a trend that is not likely to change –

  2. JustMeMike

    Well I can’t speak on ‘new theaters’, but I can speak about my own experience. In Tampa, a mere hour and 10 minutes drive from Sarasota, the AMC chain has one of its flagship theaters, the AMC Veterans with 24 screens. Now this theater almost always has at least one new release Indian film playing. And when I’ve traveled up there, the theaters have has decent size d crowds.

    But here in Sarasota, there is another AMC which houses 12 screens, and this AMC has shown only a couple of Indian feature films all this year. I think the Salman Khan film Bajrangi Bhaijaan played here in Sarasota at the Regal 20 theater, and I saw Lunch Box at the Sarasota art house – The Burns Court Theater.

    The only other theater in town – the Parkway Eight tried screening Indian films last summer (2014) – but his ticket pricing scheme was was out of line – so the films I saw there Holiday and Bobbie Jassoos both faired poorly, and he stopped booking Indian films.

    Personally I think that the Indian distributors are making headway into the market but as you know, there are too many Indian films that are critical failures. So the theater chains and/or theaters cannot sustain booking films that cannot support the business.

    The numbers tell the story don’t they? I’ wonder if you can check your figures and tell us how many US screens showed the top grossing Indian films last year and again for this year. I’m not talking tickets I am asking about bookings.

    Then again, you live in the Chicago market, which has a substantial Indian population – in fact the second largest in the USA. I wonder if the number of bookings has increased if not the number of tickets sold. And in your own experience – has the Chicago market shown an increase in the number of screens in the area that are now showing Indian films.

    1. Kathy

      At least in Chicago, the number of theaters carrying Bollywood films with some regularity has increased, and there are a number of other theaters that sign on for the blockbusters. Still, I’m not sure to what degree demand has increased, of if there are just more theaters wanting a piece of the same sized pie. I’ll investigate this in more depth at the end of the year when I’ve got a greater data set.


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