The battle between Rustom and Mohenjo Daro has been decided in North America, with Rustom emerging the victor by a greater margin than it first appears. From August 12-14, 2016, Rustom earned $757,004 from 132 theaters ($5,735 average). During the same weekend, Mohenjo Daro earned almost as much — $728,236 — but in over a hundred more theaters (237, to be exact). That gave Mohenjo Daro a much lower per-theater average of $3,073.
To put these performances in context for the year, Mohenjo Daro released into the third highest number of theaters in North America, but its opening weekend gross was only sixth best and its opening weekend average a disappointing eleventh. On the other hand, Rustom released into the eighth highest number of theaters for 2016, but its opening weekend gross and average were both fifth best.
Both movies will wind up earning $1 million here, so at least Mohenjo Daro star Hrithik Roshan can hang his hat on that. It’s now a question of how widely the two film’s fortunes will diverge going forward, and anecdotal evidence from the Chicago area hints at a brighter future for Rustom. Last weekend saw Mohenjo Daro open in nine Chicago area theaters, compared to Rustom‘s six. Rustom is carrying over for a second weekend in all six of its original theaters, while Mohenjo Daro is down to seven. More importantly, three of those seven theaters are only showing Mohenjo Daro twice per day over the weekend, and another is only showing it once daily. So, despite the higher theater count, Mohenjo Daro gets only twenty showings across the Chicago area on Friday, while Rustom gets 22.
If Mohenjo Daro‘s showings are already being cut back dramatically, the movie could be down to just one or two theaters in Chicago by next weekend. If that plays out the same way in other metropolitan areas across the United States and Canada, Mohenjo Daro could have a lot of trouble going forward. Worst case scenario is a quick burnout like Fitoor earlier this year, which made 2/3s of its total earnings in its first weekend. A 1.5 multiplier would see Mohenjo Daro post total earnings just shy of $1.1 million, which would put it in tenth place for the year. That would be bad.
Other Bollywood movies still in North American theaters:
- Dishoom: Week 3; $5,863 from nine theaters; $651 average; $803,195 total
- Sultan: Week 6; $1,738 from two theaters; $869 average; $6,189,464 total
Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama