Tag Archives: PK

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

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Bollywood Box Office: December 30-January 1, 2017

In its second weekend in North American theaters, Dangal‘s business fell a mere 35% from its first weekend of release. From December 30, 2016-January 1, 2017, it earned another $2,014,225 from 331 theaters ($6,085 average) to bring its remarkable total to $9,126,258. PK‘s chart-topping $10.5 million total will soon be history.

Other Hindi films still in theaters:

  • Dear Zindagi: Week 6; $2,223 from three theaters; $741 average; $2,451,659 total
  • Befikre: Week 4; $174 from two theaters; $87 average; $811,916 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: July 15-17, 2016

With no new competitors entering the fray, Sultan dominated the Bollywood box office in North America for a second weekend in a row. From July 15-17, 2016, it added another $956,949 from 298 theaters ($3,211 average) to bring its total to $5,321,818. The movie continues to receive outsized support from Canada, where the weekend’s per-theater average was $7,349, versus an average of $2,849 in theaters in the United States.

Last week, I looked at the performances of past blockbusters to gauge how Sultan might fare going forward, so let’s continue that exercise this week. Sultan‘s second weekend earnings were about 41% of what it earned in its first weekend in theaters. That’s better than the 31% Dhoom 3 carried over, but worse than both PK (47%) and Bajrangi Bhaijaan (60%). Bajrangi Bhaijaan‘s business grew at a significantly slower pace than that of PK or Dhoom 3, which concentrated their earnings early in their theatrical runs. By the end of their second weekend in theaters, here’s what each of those three films had earned, as well as what percentage of the films’ total earnings those figures represent:

  • Bajrangi Bhaijaan: $5,558,910 after second weekend; 69% of total earnings
  • PK: $7,785,486 after second weekend; 74% of total earnings
  • Dhoom 3: $6,817,835 after second weekend; 84% of total earnings

Applying those percentages to Sultan‘s second weekend haul yields total earnings of $7.7 million, $7.1 million, and $6.3 million, respectively. Sultan‘s week-to-week retention rate hints at it performing more like PK or Dhoom 3 than slow-growing Bajrangi Bhaijaan, so a final total right around $7 million seems most likely.

Other Hindi films still in theaters:

  • Udta Punjab: Week 5; $5,694 from four theaters; $1,424 average; $1,234,838 total
  • Dhanak: Week 5; $170 from one stalwart theater; $12,624 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: July 8-10, 2016

Salman Khan’s Sultan made a ton of money in North America — so much so that it finished in tenth place overall on the domestic charts. During its opening weekend of July 8-10, 2016, it earned $2,327,779 from 309 theaters ($7,533 average). Add to that the $1,012,086 it earned from Wednesday and Thursday (Sultan released on July 6), and Sultan‘s five-day total stands at $3,339,865 in the United States and Canada. That puts its five-day average at $10,809 per theater.

Salman’s movies always do exceptionally well in Canada, and Sultan continued that trend. Even though Canadian theaters accounted for only 8% of the total number of theaters (26 of 309), they contributed 18% to the total gross ($617,134 over five days). That puts the five-day per-screen average for those Canadian theaters at $23,736, versus a $9,621 five-day average in US theaters.

So, does Sultan stand a chance of becoming the highest grossing Hindi film of all time in North America? Probably not. First of all, its five-day total was less than what PK and Dhoom 3 earned in their first three days ($3,508,980 and $3,422,590, respectively). Second, its IMDb rating (currently 7.4) falls well short of PK‘s (8.3) and Bajrangi Bhaijaan‘s (8.1) — though admittedly it could increase — hinting that perhaps Sultan isn’t as beloved as some other blockbusters. Both PK and Bajrangi Bhaijaan went on to triple their first-weekend earnings. I confess that I’m not exactly sure how multipliers work for Wednesday releases, but lets assume that Sultan follows suit. A tripling of its first weekend numbers would put its total at $6,983,337. Even adding in its Wednesday and Thursday earnings only puts its total at $7,995,423 — placing it behind PK ($10,550,569), Bajrangi Bhaijaan ($8,114,714), and Dhoom 3 ($8,090,250). Sultan‘s second weekend returns will give a clearer picture of its box office longevity. But c’mon. Almost $8 million would still be a freaking lot of money!

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Udta Punjab: Week 4; $12,005 from ten theaters; $1,201 average; $1,226,557 total
  • Housefull 3: Week 6; $83 from one theater; $1,322,753 total
  • Raman Raghav 2.0: Week 3; $28 from one theater; $75,681 total
  • Dhanak: Week 4; $24 from one theater; $12,374 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: July 24-26

Bajrangi Bhaijaan turned in another stupendous performance in its second weekend in North American theaters. From July 24-26, 2015, it earned $1,561,179 from 277 theaters ($5,636 average), bringing its total earnings to $5,558,910.

In its third weekend, Baahubali earned a combined total of $621,706 from its Telugu and Tamil versions plus the newly released Hindi-dubbed version (which contributed $192,622 from 60 theaters to the total). The movie’s total North American earnings stand at $7,454,170.

It’s worth emphasizing just how rare it is that both Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Baahubali earned more than $1 million in the US and Canada in their second weekends of release. In the last ten years, only three other Hindi films — which have a much greater market share than movies made in other Indian languages — have earned more than $1 million in their second weekend here: PK, Dhoom 3, and 3 Idiots. PK went on to earn more than $10 million in North America, Dhoom 3 more than $8 million, and 3 Idiots more than $6.5 million.

July 31’s only new release is Ajay Devgn’ Drishyam, a fact that should make the producers of Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Baahubali very confident about continued box office dominance. Given past performances by Ajay-led action flicks without a prominent male co-star, Drishyam could conceivably earn less than $200,000 in its opening weekend in the US and Canada.

Dil Dhadakne Do hung around for an eighth weekend in two theaters, earning $1,202 ($601 average). Its North American total stands at $3,063,095.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Halfway to the 88th Oscar Submission Deadline

Even though the 87th Academy Awards ceremony took place just last month, we’re almost halfway through the qualifying period for submissions to the 88th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Qualifying films must be released theatrically in their home country between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015. (Click here for the 87th Oscar’s eligibility rules.)  Accordingly, dozens of Hindi films already meet that qualification.

Since this blog focuses on Hindi-language films, I’m not going to discuss the merits of the dozens of movies in other Indian languages that would meet the qualifications. I’m also limited to movies that are, or have been, available in the United States. So, there are surely a few worthy Hindi films I’m going to miss.

Since October 1, 2014, I’ve given six films 3.5- or 4-star reviews. Let’s look at their chances:

As much as I enjoyed The Shaukeens and Kill Dil, they earned their stars primarily as great examples of their genres (comedy and revenge, respectively). I’m also ruling out Badlapur and NH10 because of similarities to other films — I Saw the Devil and Eden Lake, respectively — that could rub Oscar voters the wrong way.

That leaves us with Haider and PK. Haider — a gripping retelling of Hamlet set in a starkly beautiful, war-torn region — seems like an obvious choice to appeal to Oscar voters.

As charming and smart as PK is, it’s more mainstream than the average Foreign Language Oscar contender. Still, that fact could make it a bold choice for submission. It has high production values working in its favor, along with a funny and accessible performance by Aamir Khan, whom Oscar voters may remember from Lagaan.

Haider and PK would both make interesting challengers in the Foreign Language Oscar category. However, the Indian selection committee has in recent years chosen movies out of left field, regardless of their chance of actually winning the award (submitting The Good Road instead of The Lunchbox? Seriously?). I don’t know that either Haider or PK stands much of a chance of being selected by the committee, but I sure hope they are considered come September.

Bollywood Box Office: February 20-22

During the weekend of February 20-22, the thriller Badlapur posted one of the better opening weekends for a Bollywood movie in North America in 2015 so far. From 92 theaters, Badlapur earned $225,250, a per-screen average of $2,448. Its per-screen average is second highest for the year after the $4,393 average posted by Baby in its opening weekend.

Other Hindi movies in North American theaters:

  • Roy: Week 2; $19,009 from 33 theaters; $576 average; $230,599 total
  • Shamitabh: Week 3; $847 from four theaters; $212 average; $295,691 total
  • PK: Week 10; $121 from one theater; $10,550,569 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama