Bollywood Box Office: September 27-29, 2019

It was another great weekend for Dream Girl and Chhichhore, and a rotten three days for all of the other Hindi films showing in North America from September 27-29, 2019. Dream Girl held the top spot in its third weekend of release, earning $304,764 from 105 theaters ($2,903 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. Its $2,023,249 total ranks in 10th place for the year so far — just $145,000 behind Total Dhamaal and $300,000 behind Super 30.

Chhichhore had a really nice fourth weekend, taking in $136,494 from 78 theaters ($1,750 average), according to Box Office Mojo. Its $1,924,497 total is right behind Dream Girl in 11th place.

On the other hand, all three of last weekend’s new releases continued their losing streaks. The Zoya Factor earned the most of the lot — $16,566 from 100 theaters ($166 average). A 10-day $121,835 total for a Sonam Kapoor Ahuja film is basically unthinkable at this stage in her career. I’m never going to understand it. Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas was next with $6,236 from 14 theaters ($445 average), bringing its total to $51,727. Prassthanam followed with $2,829 from eight theaters ($354 average). A $29,111 total for a Sanjay Dutt movie? Again, unthinkable.

Then again, this weekend is pretty representative of how 2019 has gone for Bollywood movies in North America. It’s been feast or famine, with no in between. Looking at box office data from the last five years, approximately 25% of Hindi movies released here in a given year earn more than $1 million, with about 35% earning between $200,000 and $1 million, and 40% earning less than $200,000. 2019 is right on pace in that last category, with 41% of releases earning less than $200,000. But an astonishing 44% have taken in more than $1 million here this year. That leaves only 15% (six titles out of 41) in that middle category. The days of a modest $600,000 success are on the way out, but the odds of distributors and studios hitting it big have gone way up.

Other Hindi movies still showing in North American theaters:

  • Section 375: Week 3; $2,947 from three theaters; $982 average; $90,547 total
  • Mission Mangal: Week 7; $1,520 from one theater; $3,657,808 total
  • Saaho: Week 5; $101 from one theater; $3,223,175 total

Sources: 143 Cinema, Bollywood Hungama, and Box Office Mojo

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