Tag Archives: Bollywood Box Office

Bollywood Box Office: February 17-19, 2017

Hindi films without A-list stars always face challenges at the North American box office, but February 17-19, 2017, seemed to be an especially difficult weekend for smaller titles. Here’s how the three new releases fared during the weekend in the United States and Canada:

  • The Ghazi Attack [combined earnings for Hindi, Telugu, & Tamil-dubbed versions]: $394,269 from 89 theaters* ($4,430 average); total including Thursday previews = $439,772
  • Irada: $13,134 from 31 theaters ($424 average)
  • Running Shaadi: $10,260 from 58 theaters ($177 average)

*Here’s my weekly caveat that my main source, Bollywood Hungama, often counts the Canadian theaters twice in their opening weekend totals. The correct theater counts as confirmed by Sumit Chadha (and the adjusted averages) are as follows: The Ghazi Attack — 90 theaters, $4,381 avg.; Irada — 27 theaters, $486 avg.; Running Shaadi — 51 theaters, $201 avg.

Though The Ghazi Attack fared well, the figures for Irada and Running Shaadi are unmistakably bad. However, it’s worth pointing out a couple of mitigating factors at work this weekend. First, there are presently seven Hindi films showing in the US. Here’s how the older releases fared at the box office over the weekend:

  • Jolly LLB 2: Week 2; $345,480 from 190 theaters; $1,818 average; (*166 theaters, $2,081 avg.); $1,408,472 total
  • Raees: Week 4; $38,169 from 18 theaters; $2,121 average; $3,595,707 total
  • Kaabil: Week 4; $10,185 from ten theaters; $1,019 average; $1,409,691 total
  • Dangal: Week 9; $4,840 from four theaters; $1,210 average; $12,340,930 total

Not only did the new releases face stiff competition from Jolly LLB 2 — which held on to almost half of its opening weekend earnings in its second weekend — the three oldest releases also had better per-theater average earnings than either Irada or Running Shaadi.

However, competition isn’t the whole story. According to Box Office Mojo, business at the overall North American box office was down over 20% from the previous weekend, and the share of business for Indian and Pakistani films in North America dropped by roughly the same percentage. Whether due to a hangover following high-profile Hollywood and Bollywood releases last weekend or unseasonably warm weather in big markets like New York and Chicago drawing people outdoors, this was a tough weekend for new releases across the board.

Sources: Sumit Chadha, Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

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Bollywood Box Office: February 10-12, 2017

There’s something fascinating going on with Akshay Kumar’s box office returns in North America, and I’m not sure how to make sense of it. His latest film — Jolly LLB 2 — earned $743,719 from 197 theaters ($3,775 average) in the United States and Canada during its opening weekend of February 10-12, 2017. (Box Office Mojo lists the film as opening in 173 total theaters, making for an average of $4,299 per theater.) This total is consistent with the opening weekend returns of Kumar’s three 2016 releases — Airlift, Housefull 3, and Rustom — which ranged from $674,890 for Housefull 3 on the low-end and $815,933 for Airlift on the high-end. The only difference is that Jolly LLB 2 opened in sixty more theaters than Housefull 3, Kumar’s biggest release of last year, so one would’ve expected larger returns with Jolly LLB 2‘s wider release.

Here’s where things get weird. Kumar released four films in 2015: Baby, Gabbar is Back, Brothers, and Singh Is Bliing. Those four films opened in an average of 140 theaters — ranging from 99 for Baby to 181 for Brothers — so their opening weekend theatrical footprint was slightly larger than the average opening weekend theater count of 122 for his three 2016 releases (though still smaller than Jolly LLB 2‘s 197 theaters). The average total earnings for Kumar’s four 2015 releases was $721,024. Yet, Kumar’s three 2016 releases plus Jolly LLB 2 earned an average of $747,887 in their opening weekends! In the span of a year, Kumar became popular enough in North America than his films now earn the same amount in one weekend as they earned over their entire theatrical lifespan in 2015! How the heck does that happen?!

Those earnings aren’t just front-loaded, either. Kumar’s films have seen their box office longevity increase as well. In 2015, the average Kumar movie finished its theatrical run with a total that was 1.91 times the amount it earned in its opening weekend. In 2016, that average multiplier jumped to 2.26.

The other impressive anomaly at the North American box office this weekend is Dangal‘s performance in its eighth weekend in theaters. It earned $11,441 from six theaters ($1,907 average), bringing its total to $12,329,706. This is notable because Bollywood movies don’t earn more than $10,000 in a weekend by this point in their life-cycles. Even though Kapoor & Sons hung around theaters for ten weeks last spring, it stopped earning five figures after its sixth weekend.

Other Hindi movies showing in US and Canadian theaters:

  • Raees: Week 3; $105,069 from 63 theaters; $1,668 average; $3,508,519 total
  • Kaabil: Week 3; $40,343 from 34 theaters; $1,187 average; $1,373,722 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: February 3-5, 2017

2017 is just over a month old, and two Hindi films have already earned more than $1 million in the United States and Canada! Here’s how Bollywood movies fared in North American theaters during the weekend of February 3-5, 2017:

  • Raees: Week 2; $510,661 from 226 theaters; $2,260 average; $3,269,479 total
  • Kaabil: Week 2; $221,814 from 142 theaters; $1,562 average; $1,256,860 total
  • Dangal: Week 7; $35,899 from 15 theaters; $2,393 average; $12,312,239 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: January 27-29, 2017

There was a decisive winner in the first Bollywood box office battle of 2017. Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees bested the collections of Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil in North America by a factor of 3:1. During the weekend of January 27-29, 2017, Raees earned $1,742,565 from 289 theaters* ($6,030 average). Including collections from Wednesday and Thursday — both films opened on January 25 — Raees‘s total stands at $2,313,656.

Kaabil‘s total earnings since Wednesday are $781,064, with $631,923 of that coming from 253 theaters ($2,498 average) over the weekend.

The problem for Roshan isn’t that Kaabil failed to match Raees‘s earnings. It’s that this is the second consecutive box office showdown he’s lost. Last year, Roshan’s Mohenjo Daro finished second to Akshay Kumar’s Rustom despite opening in over 100 more theaters than Kumar’s film. In fact, Kaabil‘s opening weekend per-theater average of $2,498 is worse than Mohenjo Daro‘s $3,073 average. Even including earnings from Wednesday and Thursday, Kaabil‘s 5-day per-theater average is just $3,087. Given that Mohenjo Daro was widely derided as a flop, what does that make Kaabil?

Kaabil is going to earn more than $1 million here in the United States and Canada, which is good, but each battle lost diminishes Roshan’s perceived star-power. He’s not on the same level as the Three Khans, and last year’s battle shows him to be less popular here than Kumar at the moment. Even though Kaabil fared better in India relative to Raees, it still finished second. The scheduled Christmas, 2018 box office rematch between Roshan and Khan seems like another battle Roshan is destined to lose.

Other Hindi films still in North American theaters:

  • Dangal: Week 6; $77,817 from 30 theaters; $2,594 average; $12,255,617 total
  • OK Jaanu: Week 3; $131 from one theater; $351,054 total

*In the event that Bollywood Hungama’s North American theater figure actually counts Canadian theaters twice (as has happened in the past), the revised averages are $6,576 at 265 theaters for Raees and $2,772 at 228 theaters for Kaabil.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: January 20-22, 2017

Dangal turned in another stellar performance at the North American box office over the weekend. From January 20-22, 2017, it earned $193,045 from 62 theaters ($3,114 average), bringing its total earnings to $12,126,860.

Dangal looks nothing like a typical Bollywood movie in its fifth weekend in theaters in North America. Heck, the median opening weekend gross for Bollywood movies released here last year was less than $165,000! In 2016, twenty of the fifty Hindi films released here stuck around theaters for at least five weeks. The median number of theaters for a movie in its fifth weekend was six, the median gross earnings were $4,963, and the median per-theater average was $796. Dangal isn’t just crushing those median numbers, it’s leaps and bounds ahead of the movie with the second best fifth-weekend performance of 2016: Kapoor & Sons, which earned $28,377 from 36 theaters.

On the flip side, OK Jaanu just can’t find an audience here. In its second weekend, it earned $32,773 from 49 theaters ($669 average), bringing its total to $345,725. Raees and Kaabil will knock OK Jaanu out of most of those theaters come Wednesday. Too bad, ’cause it’s an okay film.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: January 13-15, 2017

Let’s hope that the lackluster performance of Bollywood’s first 2017 release in North America isn’t an ill omen for the rest of the year. From January 13-15, OK Jaanu earned $211,660 from 136 theaters ($1,556 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. Box Office Mojo reports the number of theaters as 121, which only improves the per-theater average slightly to $1,749. Any opening weekend average of less than $2,000 is bad. Sure, OK Jaanu was up against several new South Indian releases, but Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday should’ve boosted overall theater attendance, especially on Sunday.

What compounds the heartache for OK Jaanu is that it earned less than Dangal, which is four weeks old! Over the weekend, Dangal added another $339,057 from 90 theaters ($3,767 average) to its astounding North American total of $11,736,636.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: January 6-8, 2017

Dangal passed PK to become the highest grossing Bollywood film in North America ever, taking just seventeen days to do so. During the weekend of January 6-8, 2017, Dangal earned another $770,084 from 226 theaters ($3,407 average), bringing its total earnings to $11,084,912.

Dangal‘s success in North America perfectly illustrates Canada’s theater dearth. The film opened in 26 theaters in Canada and 331 theaters in the United States for a total of 357 theaters, the film’s widest release. (The US figure may be in dispute, but I’m using it since it doesn’t significantly alter the point I’m trying to make). Based on those numbers, Canada accounts for 7.3% of the total theaters to ever carry Dangal in North America. Yet the film has earned $1,871,072 in Canada, accounting for 16.9% of the North American total. Dividing each country’s total earnings thus far by the highest number of theaters Dangal released in gives each of those 331 US theaters a lifetime average earnings of $27,836, versus a lifetime average of $71,964 for each of the 26 Canadian theaters!

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Dear Zindagi: Week 7; $720 from two theaters; $360 average; $2,453,270 total
  • Kahaani 2: Week 6; $348 from one theater; $489,873 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama