Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania continued to captivate North American audiences over the weekend of July 18-20, 2014. In its second weekend of release, HSKD earned $201,601 from 89 theaters: a per-screen average of $2,265. Its total earnings in the U.S. and Canada stand at $727,229.
What makes this performance so impressive is that, in its second weekend, HSKD earned 53% of what it earned in its first weekend in theaters ($376,962). Hindi movies in North America virtually always lose more than 50% of their business from Week 1 to Week 2. HSKD‘s retention rate is third highest for the year, after The Lunchbox and Queen: two movies that actually increased their grosses and theater counts from Week 1 to Week 2. The fourth highest retention rate in 2014 is Hasee Toh Phasee, which held onto 45% of its first-weekend earnings in Week 2.
It will be interesting to see how HSKD fares in its third weekend when up against Salman Khan’s Kick. Based on this retention rate, I’m optimistic.
Now in its fourth week, Ek Villain earned $4,986 from nine theaters, bringing its total earnings to $766,632.
The Lunchbox added another $3,724 from five theaters to bring its total to $4,016,849.
Here’s a mystery worthy of Bobby herself. Bobby Jasoos earned $1,260 from five theaters to bring its total earnings to $212,615. Bollywood Hungama lists U.S. and Canadian earnings separately, and the share of the weekend’s profits that came from Canada was $8 from one theater.
That means that over the course of the whole weekend of July 18-20, 2014, just one Canadian went to see Bobby Jasoos in the theater. Who is this lone Canuck? I’m dying to know!
No new Hindi movies are opening in the Chicago area on July 18, 2014, thanks to the force field that surrounds every new Salman Khan movie by one week on either side of its release. None of the Hindi films opening in India this Friday are high-profile enough to warrant a significant international release, so we are left with older Bollywood fare for the moment.
Alia Bhatt appears to be box office gold in North America. Over the weekend of July 11-13, 2014, her new film — Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania — posted the seventh highest opening weekend returns of the year so far in the U.S. and Canada.
From 100 theaters, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania earned $376,962 ($3,770 average). In February, Bhatt’s Highway earned $325,522 from 93 theaters ($3,500 average) in its first weekend. Her next film — April’s 2 States — still has the best opening weekend for any Hindi film in North America this year: $1,026,353 from 131 theaters ($7,835 average).
Whether it’s Bhatt’s appeal specifically or her knack for choosing the right projects, filmmakers should pay attention to her. There aren’t many actors who can guarantee first-weekend earnings in excess of $300,000 in the U.S. and Canada, but Bhatt has done it three times this year.
Bobby Jasoos fared poorly in its second week in theaters, with business dropping off almost 85% from last weekend. The Vidya Balan detective flick earned $22,827 from 41 theaters ($557 average), bringing its total earnings to $202,746.
Ek Villain, on the other hand, held up well in its third week. From 29 theaters, it earned $22,730 ($784 average), bringing its total to $747,751.
The Lunchbox soldiered on into its twentieth week, adding $3,015 from seven theaters. Its total stands at $4,010,655.
After a pair of releases last weekend, Chicago area theaters get another new Bollywood movie on July 11, 2014. The last scene in the trailer for Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania — in which Humpty (Varun Dhawan) cries while watching Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge — charmed me.
Only one of last weekend’s new releases sticks around for a second week (and it ain’t Lekar Hum Deewana Dil). Bobby Jasoos carries over at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17. All three theaters are also holding over Ek Villain for a third week.
In case you missed The Lunchbox during one of its earlier local theatrical runs, Doc Films in Chicago is carrying it for one day only: Saturday, July 12.
July 4-6, 2014, wasn’t a great weekend for new Bollywood fare in North America. Lekar Hum Deewana Dil reaffirmed how hard it is to launch new talent overseas by earning just $10,529 from 33 theaters in the U.S., according to Bollywood Hungama. Its $319 average per theater is sixth worst for the year.
Bobby Jasoos wasn’t the hit I’d hoped it would be. Its earnings of $143,559 from 71 theaters in the U.S. and Canada ($2,022 average) is still in the top half for the year among opening weekends. Still, given how cute, accessible, and family friendly it is, I’d expected better.
One possible explanation is that — with the exception of superhero flicks like Krrish 3 and Ra.One — kid-friendly Hindi fare is a hard sell in North America. Compared to other family oriented films of recent years, Bobby Jasoos actually performed well (figures below are total North American earnings):
There’s a need for movies like this. However, those movies have to be high quality. I wouldn’t recommend any of the movies in the list above. Perhaps years of uninspired family fare has parents feeling burned, and they simply stayed home rather than take the risk on Bobby Jasoos.
Several other Hindi films remained in theaters. In its second weekend, Ek Villain earned $115,022 from 78 theaters ($1,475 average), bringing its total in North America to $678,258.
Now in its nineteenth week, The Lunchbox added another $7,302 from five theaters to bring its total earnings to $4,004,347.
Humshakals earned $304 from three theaters, bringing the total from its three-week theatrical run to $412,000.
Holiday closed out its fifth week by earning $274 from one theater. Its North American total stands at $840,628.
Vidya Balan shines again in Bobby Jasoos (“Bobby the Detective“). Her contrarian tomboy private investigator makes for a charming lead character whose independent spirit gets her into trouble.
30-year-old Bobby (Balan) wants nothing more than to work as a detective in Hyderabad. Rejected by a proper investigative firm, she scrapes by on minor jobs, such as steering prospective brides away from TV news anchor Tasawur (Ali Fazal), who wants to stay single but is too cowardly to tell his parents. She even extorts money from her cousin Afreen (Anupriya Goenka), whose secret affair with the goon Lala (Arjan Bajwa) would displease the family.
Bobby gets her big break when a rich man, Aneez Khan (Kiran Kumar), asks her to find a young woman, with no information other than the woman’s name and the location of a birthmark. When Bobby succeeds, she gets a big payday and the name of another girl Khan wants found. But why is Khan looking for these women?
Lacking formal training and an office staff, Bobby’s methods involve a lot of trial and error — and a lot of costumes. The disguise gags are cute, but ultimately Bobby solves her mysteries with her wit and not silly outfits.
She’s assisted by a trio of sidekicks: restaurateur Munna (Aakash Dahiya), internet cafe owner Shetty (Prasad Barve), and mobile phone seller Sohail (Tejas Mahajan). Their friendships with Bobby are sweet, establishing her as likeable as well as talented. They also stand in contrast to her difficult homelife.
Despite the support of a doting mother (Supriya Pathak) and a younger sister, Noor (Benaf Dadachandji) — who perfectly encapsulates their sibling rivalry with the hilarious line “Go die! Come back soon.” — Bobby can’t win over her traditional father (Rajendra Gupta). He’s past the point of tolerating her career ambitions, and he only wants her to get married like all the other women her age.
The conflict with her father helps flesh out Bobby’s character. She’d headstrong and confident, but she’s also desperate for her father’s approval. Nevertheless, she can’t be someone she’s not. Balan is the perfect choice to portray a character who is feisty yet vulnerable, and a fine role model for girls. The film is extremely family friendly.
Another selling point in Bobby Jasoos‘ favor is Ali Fazal. His subtly humorous reactions are pitch-perfect, as poor Tasawur tries to cope with Bobby’s impulsiveness while unwittingly falling for her. Fazal and Balan share a wonderful chemistry.
The mystery at the center of the movie is its weakest element. It’s not particularly challenging, and the payoff is melodramatic. However, if this movie is just a setup for future mysteries starring the character Bobby Jasoos, I can happily live with it.
July 4, 2014, sees two new Hindi movies opening in Chicago area theaters. First up is one of the two movies releasing in 2014 that I have been most excited about (the other was Highway): Bobby Jasoos! Vidya Balan plays a woman who aspires to be Hyderabad’s number one detective.
Three new trailers were just released, and it looks like we could be in for a strong run of Hindi films from late June through mid-July. First up is the creepy trailer for Ek Villain, which stars Shraddha Kapoor, Sidharth Malhotra, and Riteish Deshmukh, It opens on June 27, 2014.
Next up is Bobby Jasoos, a comedy in which Vidya Balan plays a private investigator with an array of disguises at her disposal. Bobby Jasoos opens on July 4.
All three movies feature strong casts, so I’m looking forward to all of the films. However, I cannot wait for Bobby Jasoos on July 4. The world needs as much Vidya as it can get, and she even romances a younger guy in the film! (Vidya Balan is 36, and her costar, Ali Fazal, is 27.) This could be a terrific summer at the movies.