Tag Archives: Bajirao Mastani

Bollywood Box Office: February 19-21

Neerja debuted with superb numbers in North America. During the weekend of February 19-21, 2016, the biopic earned $619,185 from 88 theaters in the United States and Canada for a terrific per-screen average of $7,036. The first quarter of the year is prime time for female-led dramas, with Neerja following in the footsteps of past successes like: NH10, which opened in March, 2015, with $143,209 from 46 theaters ($3,113 average); Queen — March, 2014, opened with $161,998 from 39 theaters ($4,154 average); and Kahaani — March, 2012, opened with $263,011 from 45 theaters ($5,845 average). Credit to the team behind Neerja for recognizing that there is an appetite for these kinds of films, and that the money and effort spent on promoting them can yield big results from a growing number of theaters.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the weekend’s other new release, Loveshhuda, which is a textbook case for how not to release a movie internationally. Loveshhuda released with absolutely no fanfare in eight theaters in the US and Canada and earned $1,399. That’s an average of $175 per screen (thanks to generous rounding up on my part). There are several lessons to reiterate here. 1) Don’t release a movie starring a couple of nugus — I could stop there — on the same weekend as a buzz-heavy release with an established star. 2) Let people know in advance that you are planning to release the movie, don’t just drop into theaters with no warning. 3) If you don’t think the movie can carry at least 30 theaters in the US and Canada, don’t bother.

Fitoor‘s business fell 86% in its second weekend, taking in $45,157 from 60 theaters ($753 average). Its total stands at $503,316.

In its third weekend, Ghayal Once Again added another $3,761 from five theaters ($752 average) to bring its total to $292,340. The fascinating thing about that total is that nearly half of it — $136,795 — comes from Canada, despite the fact that it never played on more than 13 theaters there. It opened in 67 theaters in the US. Never let anyone question Canada’s devotion to Sunny Deol.

Other Hindi movies still in theaters:

  • Airlift: Week 5; $19,569 from 12 theaters; $1,631 average; $1,843,074 total
  • Bajirao Mastani: Week 10; $1,207 from two theaters; $604 average; $6,563,317 total
  • Sanam Teri Kasam: Week 3; $70 from one theater; $35,796 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

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Bollywood Box Office: February 12-14

Fitoor debuted to good-not-great numbers in the United States and Canada. During the weekend of February 12-14, 2016, the romance earned $339,319 from 163 theaters, a per-screen average of $2,082. Two factors make Fitoor‘s debut underwhelming. First, the movie opened in the most theaters of any Hindi film released in North America so far this year, but it earned substantially less in its opening weekend than either Airlift ($815,933 from 98 theaters) or Wazir ($575,908 from 127 theaters) did in their opening weekends.

Second, Monday’s Presidents’ Day holiday should have boosted Sunday returns significantly, since many people had the following day off of work. Even with the holiday’s help, Fitoor still finished fourth for the year in 3-day opening weekend per-screen average behind Airlift ($8,326), Wazir ($4,535), and Ghayal Once Again ($2,167), according to Bollywood Hungama. Box Office Mojo lists Fitoor‘s 4-day weekend total as $392,670 from 147 theaters ($2,671 average).

Other Hindi movies showing in North American theaters:

  • Airlift: Week 4; $71,668 from 35 theaters; $2,048 average; $1,804,937 total
  • Ghayal Once Again: Week 2; $38,856 from 34 theaters; $1,143 average; $270,418 total
  • Bajirao Mastani: Week 9; $1,987 from two theaters; $994 average; $6,561,698 total
  • Sanam Teri Kasam: Week 2; $1,697 from six theaters; $283 average; $35,078 total
  • Saala Khadoos: Week 3; $575 from two theaters; $288 average; $89,781 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: February 5-7

Ghayal Once Again opened to big numbers in North America, while Sanam Teri Kasam flopped hard. During the weekend of February 5-7, 2016, Ghayal Once Again earned $173,395 from 80 theaters ($2,167 average). This impressive debut for the Sunny Deol sequel was due primarily to his devoted Canadian fans. 43% of the movie’s total opening weekend gross came from 13 theaters in Canada, which accounted for just 16% of the total number of theaters in North America. The per-screen average for those Canadian theaters was $5,702, compared to $1,482 per screen in the United States.

Sanam Teri Kasam had the worst opening weekend of 2016 so far, which is saying something. It earned just $21,660 from 37 theaters, for a pathetic average of just $585. The recent anemic earnings of Sanam Teri Kasam, Mastizaade, and Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 make the case for same-day digital rental in North America, rather than theatrical releases for films that won’t bring people to the cinema. A few films tried same-day rental back in 2010 before the test was largely abandoned, but I’d love to see Eros Now revisit it.

Bollywood Hungama — which gets its information from Rentrak — didn’t post weekend earnings for Airlift, which still has a large presence in North American theaters.

Other Hindi movies still showing in North American theaters:

  • Bajirao Mastani: Week 8; $4,347 from four theaters; $1,087 average; $6,558,711 total
  • Saala Khadoos: Week 2; $3,831 from eight theaters; $479 average; $88,381 total
  • Mastizaade: Week 2; $2,233 from two theaters; $1,117 average; $43,403 total
  • Wazir: Week 5; $818 from three theaters; $273 average; $1,112,655 total
  • Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3: Week 3; $190 from one theater; $31,914 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: January 29-31

January 29-31, 2016, was an awful weekend for new Bollywood movies in North America. Let’s look first at the better of the two new releases. According to Rentrak data supplied to Bollywood Hungama, Saala Khadoos earned $62,920 from 58 theaters ($1,085 average). Those figures are slightly lower than those reported by Box Office Mojo — $76,931 from 70 theaters; $1,099 average. Things look rosier when factoring in collections from the Tamil version of the film, Irudhi Suttru: $83,994 from 35 theaters ($2,399 average).

The weekend’s other new release — Mastizaade — got trounced. It earned just $28,529 from 46 theaters for a per-screen average of $620. It performed so poorly that, as of Tuesday, my local theater had cut back from four showings per day to just one. Its average is even worse than Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3‘s first-weekend average of $716. For a look into Mastizaade‘s bleak future, note that KKHH3 took in just $913 from eight theaters in its second weekend ($114 average), bringing its total to $31,444.

The lesson to be learned here is: don’t open Hindi sex comedies in North America. There is no demographic here yearning for sex comedies with no sex, especially not when there are racier Hollywood alternatives in theaters and a world of raunchy stuff available to anyone with an internet connection.

There’s possibly another lesson to be learned from Saala Khadoos. Sports movies are among the most easily accessible across cultures thanks to their formulaic nature and the fact that people everywhere share a love for sport, so why not adapt the advertising in the hopes of nabbing people outside of the usual target audience?

SaalaKhadoosLook at the poster for Saala Khadoos. There’s nothing on the poster to indicate that it’s about boxing, and the title isn’t informative even if you know Hindi. Why not follow the route of festivals films and release it internationally with an evocative English title — Fighting Spirit or something like that — and then have R. Madhavan squaring off with Ritika Singh on the poster. As it stands, the poster only appeals to people who are already Madhavan fans.

In contrast, check out the poster for Neerja.Neerja It’s clearly a hijacking thriller set on a plane, and the woman with the gun pointed at her is dressed as a flight attendant. The text at the top reads “Fear gave her courage,” so we know that she must be the hero. The poster is geared toward people who haven’t already heard of the film, hoping to entice them to buy a theater ticket or add the movie to their Netflix queue. Sonam Kapoor fans are going to buy a ticket no matter what, so there’s no need to cater to them.

As for other Hindi movies still showing in North America, Airlift won the weekend, adding another $482,307 from 101 theaters ($4,775 average) to bring its two-week total to $1,534,443. Those figures may be on the low side since Rentrak didn’t report separate second-weekend earnings from Canada.

Wazir added another $7,513 from 11 theaters ($683 average) to bring its four-week total to $1,109,233. Bajirao Mastani closed out its seventh weekend with $6,966 from six theaters ($1,161 average). Its total stands at $6,551,448.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: January 22-24

A major snowstorm on the east coast of the United States didn’t deter Bollywood fans from heading to the theater during the weekend of January 22-24, 2016. Airlift posted massive opening weekend returns of $815,933 from 98 theaters. That makes for a per-screen average of $8,326, the best of any film that played in North America over the weekend.

The weekend’s other new release, Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3, didn’t fare as well. It earned just $22,204 from 31 theaters in the US and Canada, for a paltry $716 average per screen.

Also over the weekend, Wazir crossed the $1 million mark in North America. In its third weekend of release, it earned another $43,048 from 35 theaters ($1,230 average), bringing its total to $1,086,910. With Airlift due to cross the million dollar mark momentarily, and with the Telugu film Nannaku Prematho‘s two-week total standing at $1,920,343, the new year is off to a spectacular start for Indian movies in North America.

Other Hindi films still in theaters:

  • Bajirao Mastani: Week 6; $26,906 from 16 theaters; $1,682 average; $6,530,042 total
  • Dilwale: Week 6; $243 from one theater; $4,865,684 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening January 22: Airlift and Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3

Two new movies open in Chicago area theaters on January 22, 2016. The wider release of the two is the war thriller Airlift, starring Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur.

Airlift opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 4 min.

Also new in theaters is the sex comedy Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3, starring Tusshar Kapoor.

KKHH3 opens on Friday at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 8 min.

Wazir carries over for a third week at MovieMax, Cantera 17, and South Barrington 30, which also holds over Bajirao Mastani for a sixth week.

Other Indian Movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend include:

Bollywood Box Office: January 15-17

With no new Hindi films in North American theaters, all eyes were on the second-weekend returns of Wazir. From January 15-17, 2016, Wazir earned another $238,524 from 92 theaters ($2,593 average), bringing its total to $949,729.

Over the weekend, the Telugu movie Nannaku Prematho became the first Indian film of 2016 to cross the $1 million mark in the United States. Since its opening on January 12, Nannaku Prematho has earned $1,577,709 from 165 theaters.

Other Hindi films showing in the US and Canada:

  • Bajirao Mastani: Week 5; $98,520 from 36 theaters; $2,737 average; $6,545,299 total
  • Dilwale: Week 5; $14,705 from 11 theaters; $1,337 average; $4,859,719 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

In Theaters: January 15, 2016

No new Bollywood movies are opening in the Chicago area on Friday, January 15, 2016. Looks like I’ll have to wait for Chalk N Duster to come out on DVD.

Wazir carries over for a second week at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

Bajirao Mastani gets a fifth week at the South Barrington 30, Cantera 17, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

The South Barrington 30 also has the Pakistani film Ho Mann Jahaan.

Other Indian Movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend include:

Bollywood Box Office: January 8-10

Wazir had a very good opening weekend in the United States and Canada. From January 8-10, 2016, the thriller earned $575,908 from 127 theaters ($4,535 average) in North America. That would have qualified as the tenth best opening weekend of 2015. Stars Farhan Akhtar and Amitabh Bachchan have reason to be proud.

Bajirao Mastani continued its impressive run, adding another $244,694 from 302 theaters ($810 average) in its fourth weekend of release. That brings its total North American earnings to $6,281,558.

Dilwale nears the end of its run in the US and Canada after four weeks, adding another $46,175 from 39 theaters ($1,184 average) to bring its total to $4,829,934.

Looking back at last year’s box office data, I noticed something interesting: only 42 Hindi films released in North America in 2015. That’s ten fewer than in 2014, and it puts a stop to an upward trend that’s been happening since 2011, when 36 Bollywood films released here.

Distributors likely realized that not every film released into Indian theaters merits an international release. It’s worth noting that, in 2015, only two of the Hindi films released here departed theaters after just one week, as opposed to nine films in 2014 and ten in 2013.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening January 8: Wazir

The new year kicks off with a compelling new Bollywood drama. Farhan Akhtar and Amitabh Bachchan star in the thriller Wazir, which hits Chicago area theaters on January 8, 2016.

Wazir opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 42 min.

Bajirao Mastani carries over for a fourth week at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17, plus the Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Dilwale gets a fourth week at the Gardens 1-6, MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17.

MovieMax and the South Barrington 30 also have the Pakistani film Ho Mann Jahaan.

Other Indian films showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Nenu Sailaja (Telugu) at the Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge and MovieMax, which also carries the Telugu movies Killing Veerappan and Veelaithe Premiddam.