North America is an inhospitable territory for Hindi horror films. The latest casualty is Dobaara: See Your Evil, which had the advantages of being based on the 2013 Hollywood film Oculus and starring real-life siblings Huma Qureshi and Saqib Saleem. Still, in its opening weekend of June 2-4, 2017, it earned just $7,110 from 30 theaters ($237 average; adjusted average of $284 from 25 theaters). Even though the local audience for Bollywood horror flicks is small, these ultra-limited theatrical releases do the movies no favors. I would love to watch Dobaara, but not if it requires two hours of expensive tollway driving for me to do it. On the other hand, skip the theatrical release and charge $12 for a day-and-date North American streaming option, and I’m there.
One movie I skipped writing about last week because I didn’t even realize it was in Hindi is Jattu Engineer, the latest vanity project by Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan of MSG fame. After an unremarkable opening weekend ($2,691 from three theaters), its business made an inexplicable jump in its second weekend, earning $8,048 from four Canadian theaters ($2,012 average). It has earned a total of $12,082 so far, which is a lot better than the Saint’s March, 2017 release Hind Ka Napak Ko Jawab: MSG Lion Heart 2, which scraped together $6,243 over five weeks.
Hindi Medium is on a roll, posting consistently strong per-theater averages. In its third weekend, it earned another $72,210 from 34 theaters — an average of $2,124 per theater. Fewer than half of the 2017 films that lasted three weeks averaged more than $700 in their third weekend, with only four of those movies managing to average more than $1,500 per theater. Hindi Medium‘s total stands at $647,602, good enough for seventh place this year so far.
Other Hindi movies still showing in North America:
- Baahubali 2: Week 6; $81,323 from 55 theaters; $1,479 average; $20,690,866 total
- Sachin — A Billion Dreams: Week 2; $78,585 from 72 theaters; $1,091 average; $558,024 total
- Half Girlfriend: Week 3; $5,996 from nine theaters; $666 average; $436,984 total
- Sarkar 3: Week 4; $314 from two theaters; $157 average; $244,168 total
- Meri Pyaari Bindu: Week 4; $50 from one theater; $174,955 total
*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.
Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama