Tag Archives: Bollywood Box Office

Bollywood Box Office: April 14-16, 2017

The headline for Bollywood Hungama’s latest international box office report — “‘Begum Jaan’ fails to shine in the overseas” — is a bit misleading in regard to how the movie fared in North America during its opening weekend of April 14-16, 2017. From just 34 theaters*, Begum Jaan earned $65,812, for an average of $1,936. While that total may not look like much compared to those of Bollywood movies that open on 100+ screens here, it’s big relative to other films with a similar theatrical footprint.

Median opening weekend earnings for the six Hindi films that released in fewer than 60 North American theaters this year are about $12,000. The best performance prior to Begum Jaan was by Commando 2, which opened with earnings of $40,611 from 49 theaters (40 adjusted). Begum Jaan not only improved on Commando 2‘s total by about 60%, its per-theater average of $1,936 was also substantially greater than Commando 2‘s $829 average ($1,015 adjusted). For a movie that is the definition of a niche film — Vidya Balan plays a madam in a historical drama — Begum Jaan did pretty well in its first weekend. It will likely be the first Hindi film of 2017 to open in fewer than 60 theaters to ultimately earn more than $100,000 in North America.

The weekend’s big winner was the new Punjabi film Manje Bistre, which earned $241,971 from 39 American theaters ($6,204 average) and $385,147 from nineteen Canadian theaters ($20,271 average!).

Other Bollywood movies still showing in North America:

  • Naam Shabana: Week 3; $4,756 from eleven theaters; $432 average; $260,191 total
  • Badrinath Ki Dulhania: Week 6; $4,425 from four theaters; $1,106 average; $1,997,701 total
  • Phillauri: Week 4; $3,988 from three theaters; $1,329 average; $471,522 total

* Unlike my standard weekly caveat about Bollywood Hungama counting Canadian theaters twice, it looks like they got it right for Begum Jaan! Of course, that messes up all of my data which relies upon theater numbers being wrong in a consistent way, but whatever.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

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Bollywood Box Office: April 7-9, 2017

It was a slow weekend at the North American box office, and Bollywood films fared just as poorly as everything else. Here’s how the four Hindi titles left in theaters performed during the weekend of April 7-9, 2017:

  • Naam Shabana: Week 2; $40,385 from 51 theaters; $792 average; $241,919 total
  • Phillauri: Week 3; $18,814 from 16 theaters; $1,179 average; $459,213 total
  • Badrinath Ki Dulhania: Week 5; $13,283 from 13 theaters; $1,022 average; $1,989,132 total
  • MSG Lion Heart 2: Week 5; $1,536 from one theater; $6,243 total

One interesting note from the weekend is how differently the movies fared in the United States and Canada. Naam Shabana was the highest earner in the US, followed by Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Phillauri, in that order. Yet Phillauri earned the most in Canada, followed by Naam Shabana and Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Oh, and then that one random theater showing MSG Lion Heart 2.

Box Office Mojo described this as “a placeholder weekend” in North American, as moviegoers stayed home in anticipation of Friday’s release of The Fate of the Furious. Bollywood fans don’t have their own high-profile release to look forward to. There’s a chance that Friday’s new Hindi movie — Vidya Balan’s Begum Jaan — might not even open here. Even if it does, a historical drama about a brothel owner is a niche title with limited potential, regardless of how good it is. Plenty of businesses and the majority of schools across the US will be closed Friday ahead of Easter on Sunday, and not having a big commercial Hindi release in theaters is a missed opportunity.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: March 31-April 2, 2017

Naam Shabana got off to an unimpressive start at the North American box office. From March 31-April 2, 2017, the spin-off prequel earned $157,655 from 90 theaters ($1,752 average; adjusted average of $2,021 from 78 theaters*). While no one expected Naam Shabana to match the opening weekend collections of Baby ($434,951 from 99 theaters) — the 2015 Akshay Kumar action flick that spawned it — Naam Shabana‘s performance was sub-par compared to other movies that released this year with a similar theatrical footprint. It opened in three more theaters than Phillauri but earned over $100,000 less than Phillauri did in its opening weekend, despite its marketing advantage as part of a franchise. Naam Shabana‘s ultimate total will likely fall short of $300,000.

Phillauri held up reasonably well in its second weekend in theaters, retaining about 27% of its opening weekend business. It earned $71,277 from 78 theaters ($914 average; adjusted average of $1,097 from 65 theaters). Its total earning stand at $417,054.

After its fourth weekend in theaters, Badrinath Ki Dulhania is closing in on a North American total of $2 million. It added another $31,760 from 26 theaters ($1,222 average), bringing its current total to $1,966,459. (Bollywood Hungama had no US theater data for Badrinath Ki Dulhania, so I used Box Office Mojo’s figures.)

The Ghazi Attack closed out its seventh (and hopefully final) weekend, earning $10 from one theater. Its total across all languages is $770,425.

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice in when they report figures for a film’s first few weeks of release. When possible, I verify theater counts at Box Office Mojo, but I use Bollywood Hungama as my primary source because they provide a comprehensive and consistent — if flawed — data set.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: March 24-26, 2017

Phillauri got off to a solid start in North American theaters. During the weekend of March 24-26, 2017, it earned $259,250 from 87 theaters ($2,980 average; adjusted average of $3,503 from 74 theaters*). A third of that total came from just thirteen Canadian theaters, which accounted for fewer than 20% of the total number of theaters.

As the second production from actress Anushka Sharma’s production house Clean Slate Films, Phillauri‘s performance shows the company’s fortunes trending in the right direction. Phillauri opened with almost twice the earnings of the company’s first release, NH10, which earned $143,209 when it opened on 46 screens on March 13, 2015. Granted, NH10 was a violent revenge drama with a more limited potential audience than a family friendly romantic-comedy like Phillauri. Still, Sharma is clearly producing movies that people in North America want to see, so more power to her.

Badrinath Ki Dulhania continued its strong run through a third weekend, earning $139,618 from 105 theaters ($1,330 average; adjusted average of $1,501 from 93 theaters). Its total stands at $1,888,844, putting it in second place for the year so far in North America, behind Raees.

The Ghazi Attack finished its sixth and likely last weekend with $468 from two theaters ($234 average). Its total earnings across all languages are $770,163.

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice in when they report figures for a film’s first few weeks of release. When possible, I verify theater counts at Box Office Mojo, but I use Bollywood Hungama as my primary source because they provide a comprehensive and consistent — if flawed — data set.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: March 17-19, 2017

Badrinath Ki Dulhania held up really well in its second weekend in the face of monstrous competition from Beauty and the Beast, even adding four theaters in the United States. From March 17-19, 2017, Badrinath Ki Dulhania earned $413,488 from 174 theaters ($2,376 average; adjusted average of $2,651 from 156 theaters*). That’s a hold-over of 48% from its first weekend, the best of the year so far for a Bollywood film in North America, just ahead of Jolly LLB 2‘s 46% retention rate. If it follows Jolly LLB 2‘s trajectory and manages to earn 2.2 times its first weekend earnings over the course of its theatrical run, Badrinath Ki Dulhania could finish with a total of nearly $2 million. Its total earnings presently stand at $1,581,270.

One note regarding Beauty and the Beast: its estimated opening weekend per-theater average of $40,380 is crazy good — 7th best all-time for a movie opening in more than 4,000 theaters in North America, according to Box Office Mojo.

Other Hindi movies showing in North America over the weekend:

  • The Ghazi Attack (all languages): Week 5: $2,825 from seven theaters; $404 average; $767,634 total
  • MSG Lion Heart 2: Week 2; $762 from one theater; $3,430 total
  • Jolly LLB 2: Week 6; $745 from one theater; $1,641,082 total
  • Commando 2: Week 3; $244 from two theaters; $122 average; $76,133 total
  • Rangoon: Week 4; $171 from two theaters; $86 average; $503,610 total

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice in when they report figures for a film’s first two weeks of release. When possible, I verify theater counts at Box Office Mojo, but I use Bollywood Hungama as my primary source because they provide a comprehensive and consistent — if flawed — data set.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: March 10-12, 2017

Badrinath Ki Dulhania posted the second best opening weekend of the year for a Bollywood movie in North America. From March 10-12, 2017, the romantic-comedy earned $858,623 from 170 theaters for a per-theater average of $5,051 (also second best for the year). That total is just $23,720 less than what Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania — the first film in the Varun Dhawan-Alia Bhatt franchise — earned from its entire 2014 North American theatrical run ($882,343)!

Before I move on from Badrinath Ki Dulhania, I’ll address in more detail something regarding theater counts that I plan on adding as an addendum to weekly box office posts from here on. My main source for box office information is Rentrak, a company that independently collects information from theaters across the country. Access to Rentrak’s raw data is expensive, so I rely on the Rentrak data as reported by Bollywood Hungama. For some reason, during a film’s first weekend of release in North America, Bollywood Hungama routinely includes Canadian theaters in the US theater count. So, when data from the two countries is added together, Canada’s theaters get counted twice. While I normally can’t verify this without direct access to the Rentrak data, I can confirm it when a film appears on Box Office Mojo, as their theater totals are always accurate. However, I can’t use Box Office Mojo as my main source because they rely on individual distributors to report results to them, and as a result, only four of the thirteen Hindi films released here this year are listed at Box Office Mojo. So, even though I am reasonably sure that Bollywood Hungama misreports theater information in a film’s opening weekend, using their information gives me a complete and consistent data set, enabling me to compare movies fairly. This is my long way of saying that Badrinath Ki Dulhania‘s true theater count is 152, making for a per-theater average of $5,649.

Only one of last weekend’s two new releases stuck around for a second weekend (and it wasn’t Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai). Commando 2 earned $4,172 from 13 theaters ($321 average), bringing its total North American earnings to $75,355. Despite Commando 2‘s business dropping about 90% from its first weekend to its second, its total earnings are close to double the amount it earned is its opening weekend, meaning that the film fared really well from Monday, March 6 – Thursday, March 9. That’s not reason enough to keep it around for a third weekend, mind you, so see it while you can, if you’re interested. The same can be said for the other Hindi films showing in North America:

  • Rangoon: Week 3; $5,815 from 15 theaters; $388 average; $502,014 total
  • The Ghazi Attack (all languages): Week 4; $4,836 from 11 theaters; $440 average: $762,917 total
  • Hind Ka Napak Ko Jawab — MSG Lion Heart 2: Week 1; $1,862 from one theater; $1,862 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: March 3-5, 2017

The weekend of March 3-5, 2017, provided two more cautionary tales of the difficult path to North American box office success for Bollywood movies without A-list stars. The action sequel Commando 2 fared the better of the new releases, earning $40,611 from 49 theaters ($829 average). The romantic drama Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai had the worst opening weekend of the year so far for a Hindi film in North America, earning just $6,539 from 42 theaters ($156 average).

These lackluster performances come two weeks after both Irada and Running Shaadi failed to earn $15,000 in their opening weekend in the United States and Canada. Given that JIKNH had the least star-power of the four films, its position at the bottom of the heap makes sense. Still, it speaks to the star-driven nature of movie attendance here that Commando 2 wasn’t able to earn more than it did. As a sequel, it had a preexisting fanbase that — while not huge — was enthusiastic for its release. With forty theaters in the US and nine in Canada, access to the film wasn’t a problem. Yet those factors weren’t enough to earn the six figures that would’ve marked the film a success. Commando 2‘s returns help to define the earning potential for Bollywood movies without A-list stars here, and that potential isn’t very high.

In its second weekend in theaters, business for Rangoon dropped nearly 80% from its opening weekend. That’s not as catastrophic as it might sound, but it’s not good, either. Rangoon earned $64,047 from 68 theaters ($942 average), bringing its total to $471,186. A few more days will push that total past $500,000, making it director Vishal Bhardwaj’s most successful film in North America to feature a female lead.

Other Bollywood movies showing in North American theaters:

  • The Ghazi Attack (all languages): Week 3; $30,118 from seventeen theaters; $1,772 average; $749,957 total
  • Raees: Week 6; $273 from one theater; $3,631,911 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama