June saw three Bollywood movies earn more than $1 million in their opening weekends in North America, with Sanju saving the best for last. From June 29-July 1, 2018, Sanju earned an astonishing $2,723,349 from 356 theaters ($7,650 average) — good enough for eighth place in the overall weekend box office, according to Box Office Mojo. That theater count sets a new record high for a Hindi film in North America.
Race 3 slowed to a crawl, taking in $41,566 from 56 theaters, reports Bollywood Hungama (although that theater count may be too low, since Hungama appears to have under-counted Canadian theaters for the last few weeks). That per-theater average of just $742 is shockingly small total for a Salman Khan film in its third weekend of release. Its total stands at $2,278,352, temporarily slotting it in fourth place for the year so far.
The film ahead of Race 3 on the total earnings list — Veere Di Wedding — made $18,698 from 12 theaters ($1,582 average), bringing its total to $2,712,314. The movie ahead of Veere Di Wedding on list — Raazi — earned $6,267 from seven theaters ($895 average) to bring its total to $3,013,530.
One US theater earned $902 from Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran in its sixth weekend of release. Its total earnings stand at $448,256 — 15th best for the year, if you’re curious.
Rajinikanth’s multilingual release Kaala dominated the North American box office in its opening weekend. (Well, just the US box office, really, since it only opened in one theater in Canada.) From June 8-10, 2018, it earned $802,041 from 286 theaters ($2,804 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. That’s in addition to the $1,031,649 it earned on Wednesday and Thursday. 143 Cinema’s daily breakdown shows the film’s earnings heavily weighted toward opening day, due to a combination of peak interested and inflated ticket prices. We don’t know exactly how much of Kaala’s earnings are attributable to each version, but the bulk is from fans watching in Tamil. Not only is that version showing in the most theaters — assuming that the Chicago region reflects the rest of the nation — but it commands higher ticket prices than either the Telugu or Hindi version (which didn’t even release until Thursday).
Veere Di Wedding continued its strong showing for a second weekend, taking in another $507,919 from 120 theaters ($4,233 average). Its first-to-second weekend holdover wasn’t as good as some of the year’s other blockbusters — just 44%, versus 62% for Raazi and 52% for Padmaavat. We’ll see how it holds up this coming weekend against Race 3 and Incredibles 2. Veere Di Wedding‘s impressive total stands at $2,183,412.
Raazi is inching its way toward $3 million, though the above mentioned new releases will make that goal more challenging as the spy thriller heads toward its sixth weekend in theaters. In its fifth weekend of release, Raazi earned $77,931 from 44 theaters ($1,771 average). It has total earnings so far of $2,898,173.
Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:
Parmanu — The Story of Pokhran: Week 3; $37,908 from 20 theaters; $1,895 average; $411,740 total
Rajinikanth storms into Chicago area theaters on June 6, 2018, with Kaala.
Kaala is releasing in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi — all with English subtitles — on a staggered schedule, with the Tamil and Telugu versions releasing on Wednesday and the Hindi version on Thursday. The multiple releases are throwing Fandango for a loop, as they have separate title listings for each version, plus a fourth title option that aggregates all versions showing at some theaters. It’s whack. Here’s where to find Kaala in the Chicago area, and in which format:
The South Barrington 24 also carries over Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran and Raazi, which holds on at the Woodridge 18 as well.
Stratford Square has the Punjabi film (with English subtitles) Carry on Jatta 2.
Starting Friday, the AMC Loews Streets of Woodfield 20 in Schaumburg is showing the independent English-language drama The Valley, from writer-director Saila Kariat and starring Dil Chahta Hai‘s Suchitra Pillai and Northern Exposure‘s Barry Corbin (in a casting mashup I’d never have expected to happen). It’s rated R and has a runtime of 1 hr. 35 min.
What an astounding debut for Veere Di Wedding in North America! From June 1-3, 2018, Veere Di Wedding earned $1,161,504 from 114 theaters ($10,189 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. Gitesh Pandya reports earnings of more than $1.2 million from 118 theaters for the buddy comedy.
So far in 2018, the highest opening weekend per-theater averages belong to Padmaavat, Veere Di Wedding, Raazi, and Pad Man. North American Bollywood fans want to see women-driven content, and theaters are reaping the benefits.
The weekend’s other new release fared poorly against such monstrous competition. Bhavesh Joshi Superhero made just $39,635 from 44 theaters ($901 average). Veere Di Wedding‘s success isn’t entirely responsible for Bhavesh Joshi Superhero‘s shortcomings, but the matchup didn’t help. It’s too bad, since Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is a really good movie. It’s also too bad for star Harsh Kapoor because his sophomore film’s total earnings are even lower than the disappointing returns of his debut movie, Mirzya, back in 2016. It might be time for a career reassessment since this solo hero thing isn’t working out for Harsh.
Raazi is still going strong, adding another $163,460 from 70 theaters ($2,335 average) to bring its total to an impressive $2,752,321.
Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran had a good second weekend, earning $68,378 from 31 theaters ($2,206 average). It has total earnings of $342,346.
102 Not Out stuck around in 15 theaters, earning $9,726 ($648 average) and bringing its total to $1,330,555.
The Kapoor siblings face off in Chicago area theaters on June 1, 2018. Big sister Sonam’s movie gets the wider release of the two with her buddy comedy Veere Di Wedding, co-starring Kareen Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhaskar, and Shikha Talsania.
Little brother Harshvardhan’s sophomore film Bhavesh Joshi Superhero also opens locally on Friday at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 34 min.
Last weekend’s new release Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran carries over at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17. All three theaters also hold over Raazi for a fourth week, as do the River East 21 and Woodridge 18. 102 Not Out gets a fifth week at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24.
Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend:
Raazi‘s dream run continued through a third weekend in North America. From May 25-27, 2018, the spy thriller earned $310,279 from 99 theaters ($3,134 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. There are no estimates for the full 4-day holiday weekend, but Monday, May 28’s returns should be quite good as well. After passing the $2 million mark last Wednesday (according to 143 Cinema), Raazi‘s total earnings to date stand at $2,337,174.
The weekend’s new release — Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran — got off to a good start, even with a comparatively modest theatrical footprint. John Abraham’s historical drama earned $162,870 from 50 theaters ($3,257 average), per Bollywood Hungama. 143 Cinema’s total is slightly higher: $179,152 from 54 theaters ($3,318 average).
102 Not Out earned $41,799 from 41 theaters ($1,019 average) in its fourth weekend of release, bringing its total to $1,294,925 so far.
One US theater kept October around for a seventh weekend, earning $99. Its total stands at $518,060.