Tag Archives: Loveshhuda

Bollywood Box Office: February 26-28

The weekend of February 26-28, 2016, provides a good picture of the state of the Bollywood market in North America. Attendance is often all or nothing, with audiences flocking to certain movies while avoiding others like the plague.

Neerja is a perfect example of a high-demand film. In its second weekend of release, Neerja actually added 47 new theaters. It earned $450,086 from a total of 135 theaters in the United States and Canada, a per-screen average of $3,334. Its North American total stands at $1,248,463, which is already more than double what it earned in its opening weekend.

On the flip side is the weekend’s new release, Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive. It earned a mere $18,450 from 62 theaters, an average of just $298 per screen. Considering that my local theater ran the movie 12 times over the weekend with an average ticket price of $10, that per-screen average means that most showings had an audience of fewer than three people.

TBL 2‘s failure was so predictable that it makes the decision to release it into 62 theaters here mind-boggling. But this year has been replete with bad decision upon bad decision, and we’re only two months into 2016. It seems that the lessons of 2015 have already been forgotten.

Last year was noteworthy because 42 Hindi films released in North American theaters, a drop of about 20% from 2014’s peak of 52 theatrically released Hindi movies. Yet the total box office returns for all Bollywood fare in North America grew steadily, increasing by approximately 11% on movies released in 2014, which itself improved on 2013’s total by 12%. Total theater count also grew at a similar pace, up by about 8% from 2014, which itself grew by approximately 5% from 2013. It’s evident that overall industry growth depends more on increased access to theatrical releases, not an increased volume of titles available.

Another key point is that, in 2015, just five theatrical releases failed to earn at least $30,000 in their opening weekend. That was down from 13 titles in 2014 and ten in 2014. Yet, just two months into 2016, we’ve already had five titles earn under $30,000 in their opening weekends! How many more obvious duds have to bomb before studios and distributors realize not every Bollywood movie merits an international theatrical release?

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Airlift: Week 6; $7,771 from six theaters; $1,295 average; $1,854,787 total
  • Fitoor: Week 3; $2,171 from five theaters; $434 average; $513,879 total
  • Loveshhuda: Week 2; $200 from two theaters; $100 average; $1,787 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

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

Opening February 19: Neerja and Loveshhuda

Two new Bollywood movies get minor roll outs in Chicago area theaters on February 19, 2016. Neerja — a biographical terrorism drama starring Sonam Kapoor in the title role — gets the bigger release of the two, though it still only opens in three local theaters. There’s a recent history of female-led dramas — NH10, Queen, and Kahaani — getting limited North American releases early in the year and performing really well on a per-screen basis. Let’s see if Neerja follows suit.

Neerja opens on Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 2 min.

Also opening Friday at MovieMax is the romantic comedy Loveshhuda, starring Girish Kumar and Navneet Dhilon. Its release — even in just one theater — is a real surprise.

Fitoor gets a second week at all three of the above theaters. The South Barrington 30 also holds over Airlift for a fifth week.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend include Krishnashtami (Telugu) at the Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont and MovieMax, which also carries Sethupathi (Tamil), Ricky (Kannada), Api Kapyare Kootamani (Malayalam), Miruthan (Tamil), Puthiya Niyamam (Malayalam), Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha (Telugu), Jil Jung Juk (Tamil), Visaranai (Tamil), Action Hero Biju (Malayalam), and Irudhi Suttru (Tamil).