Pink just did something really unusual. In its second weekend of release in the United States and Canada, it earned 98.9% of what it earned in its first weekend. From September 23-25, 2016, it earned $366,826 from 78 theaters ($4,703 average), bringing its total to $919,852. To put Pink‘s holdover rate in context, consider that the median holdover percentage from Weekend 1 to Weekend 2 this year is 23%. Of the hundreds of Hindi films released in North America in the last ten years, only 22 have managed to carry over even 60% of their opening weekend business (I’m excluding international co-productions The Lunchbox and Bhopal because of their limited or atypical release strategies). Just four have held on to more than 90%: 3 Idiots, Kahaani, Queen, and now Pink. This shows just how powerful positive reviews and good word-of-mouth can be.
As for the weekend’s new release, Banjo performed to expectations. It opened in just 29 theaters — third lowest for the year — and earned $18,173 ($627 average). My rule of thumb is: if you don’t think your film can carry at least thirty theaters in North America, don’t release it here. It won’t make any money and will look worse for failing to do so.
Baar Baar Dekho‘s business slowed way down in its third weekend. It earned $30,002 from 38 theaters ($790 average), bringing its total to $973,008. As of now, Baar Baar Dekho‘s total stands at approximately 1.6x its first-weekend total. Ideally, Bollywood movies want to double their first-weekend earnings over the course of their theatrical run, but a multiplier of 1.7 will still land a film in the top half of releases for this year. With business slowing as much as it has, Baar Baar Dekho will struggle to hit that 1.7x benchmark — further proof of the power of buzz, good and bad.
Other Hindi movies still showing in North America:
- Rustom: Week 7; $2,705 from four theaters; $676 average; $1,914,302 total
- Naam Hai Akira: Week 4; $301 from two theaters; $151 average; $220,608 total
Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama