Neither of the new Hindi films to open in North America made a mark at the box office during the weekend of September 22-24, 2017. The Sanjay Dutt-Aditi Rao Hydari thriller Bhoomi fared the better of the two, earning $48,122 from 43 theaters ($1,119 average) — a low-key performance typical of a movie released in so few theaters.
The weekend’s other new release — Haseena Parkar — is an absolute mystery to me. Why in the world would you open a Hindi film with a recognizable star like Shraddha Kapoor in just five North American theaters? It’s like someone wanted the film to flop, and flop it did. It earned $587 from two theaters in the United States and $714 from three Canadian theaters. That’s a grand total of $1,301 and an average of $260 per theater. Regardless of the actual quality of the movie, it’s going to be remembered as a disaster, ranking at the bottom of the year-end box office list below even MSG Lion Heart 2.
What sucks is that Haseena Parkar is Shraddha Kapoor’s first solo star vehicle, and its failure here will affect how her future projects are perceived by potential producers and investors. They can point to Haseena Parkar as evidence that she’s not bankable internationally, lowering her market value. I’m not even a huge Shraddha Kapoor fan, but actresses in India get so few chances to shine outside of the reflected glow of male stars, and this totally predictable tank job will only further limit her opportunities (and reinforce the stereotype that actresses aren’t moneymakers, thus potentially hurting the prospects of her female peers).
In other news, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan continues to perform well, from what I can tell. Distributor Eros stopped reporting numbers to Box Office Mojo, and Bollywood Hungama’s Rentrak data is still missing information from Canada. Bollywood Hungama reports earnings of $21,229 from 20 US theaters ($1,061 average). I’m not sure what the movie’s real total is, but at a minimum Shubh Mangal Saavdhan has earned around $650,656 ($21,229 plus last weekend‘s total of $629,427).
Fun fact: Poster Boys has earned more in Canada ($50,469) than the US ($44,232), despite having opened three weeks ago in 18 theaters in Canada versus 32 theater in the US. Over the weekend, it added another $245 from two theaters ($123 average), bringing its combined total to $94,701.
Other Hindi movies still showing in North American theaters:
- Simran: Week 2; $72,249 from 74 theaters; $976 average; $372,328 total
- Lucknow Central: Week 2; $19,503 from 28 theaters; $697 average; $141,604 total
- Bareilly Ki Barfi: Week 6; $7,607 from five theaters; $1,521 average; $556,982 total
- Lipstick Under My Burkha: Week 3; $3,130 from four theaters; $783 average; $44,431 total
- Toilet — Ek Prem Katha: Week 7; $1,027 from two theaters; $514 average; $1,869,724 total
- Daddy: Week 3; $84 from one theater; $31,784 total
Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama