Tag Archives: Ya Rab

Bollywood Box Office: May 23-25

It’s incredibly difficult to launch a new Hindi film hero’s career in North America, where superstars have even greater box office value than they do in India. It’s no surprise, then, that first weekend returns for Tiger Shroff’s big screen debut, Heropanti, seem underwhelming. From May 23-25, 2014, Heropanti took in $31,556 from 20 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, a per-screen average of $1,578.

The truth is that Heropanti‘s numbers are actually good for a movie starring a newcomer. The first factor to consider is that Heropanti faced unusually tough and unexpected competition. Rajinikanth’s Kochadaiiyaan shifted its opening date to May 23 at the last minute. Kochadaiiyaan pulled in $491,643 from 122 theaters ($4,030 average), a figure that probably should’ve been higher given the Superstar’s clout and higher 3D ticket prices.

And both Heropanti and Kochadaiiyaan were blown out of the water by the Telugu film Manam. It earned $844,271 from 108 U.S. theaters for an average of $7,817 per screen.

Despite taking a hit from a pair of high-profile South Indian films, Heropanti‘s earnings hold up very well when compared to North American opening weekend performances by film’s starring other new or marginal heroes. Here are some examples from 2013 and 2014 (ordered by release date):

  • Rajeev Khandelwal in Table No. 21: $31,658 from 23 theaters; $1,376 average
  • Jackky Bhagnani in Rangrezz: $4,318 from 11 theaters; $393 average
  • Girish Kumar in Ramaiya Vastavaiya: $52,200 from 67 theaters; $779 average
  • Manish Paul in Mickey Virus: $24,100 from 48 theaters; $502 average
  • Shiv Darshan in Karle Pyaar Karle: $3,110 from 22 theaters; $141 average
  • Ajaz Khan in Ya Rab: $1,404 from 15 theaters; $94 average
  • Harman Baweja in Dishkiyaoon: $7,341 from 11 theaters; $667 average

Even with Priyanka Chopra as a costar, Ram Charan only grossed $81,117 from 79 theaters ($1,027 average) in the opening weekend of 2013’s Zanjeer. Only Dhanush had any success of note with his Hindi-film debut Raanjhanaa ($414,211 from 102 theaters; $4,061 average), and he had the advantage of having Sonam Kapoor for a costar.

The Lunchbox and 2 States were the only other Hindi films lingering in theaters over the Memorial Day weekend. With its theater count diminished to 57, The Lunchbox earned $86,749, bringing its total North American earnings to $3,706,362.

2 States earned $2,528 from five theaters to bring its total earnings to $2,190,307.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Box Office: March 7-9

A glut of new releases led to some strange North American box office results for the weekend of March 7-9, 2014.

This past weekend saw the release of four new Hindi films — Queen, Gulaab Gang, Total Siyapaa, and Ya Rab (in its U.S. debut) — to compete against a big budget romcom (Shaadi Ki Side Effects), a hyped indie film (The Lunchbox), and a lingering critical hit (Highway). All four of the new films released in relatively few theaters, limiting the potential audience.

According to Bollywood Hungama, the weekend’s winner in terms of total gross was Shaadi Ki Side Effects in its second release week. Much of that success stems from showing in ninety theaters, whereas its closest competitor — Total Siyapaa — commanded only fifty screens. SKSE earned $165,079 ($1,834 average), bringing its total North American collections to $855,836.

In terms of per screen average, The Lunchbox won the weekend. Expanding into thirteen theaters nationally, The Lunchbox earned $114,779 for an average of $8,829 per screen. Its two-week U.S. total stands at $174,711.

Queen fared the best of the weekend’s new releases. It earned $161,998 from thirty-nine theaters. Its per screen average of $4,154 is the fourth highest for a Hindi film this year, and it bested the average of all but the three highest earners in the overall U.S. top ten (according to Box Office Mojo).

The second place finisher among the new releases earned less than half of Queen‘s total, despite debuting on more screens. Total Siyapaa earned $77,469 from fifty screens for an average of $1,549.

Despite having arguably the most local hype of any of the new flicks, Gulaab Gang earned just $60,718 from 46 screens, a per screen average of $1,320.

The big loser of the weekend was Ya Rab, which dropped into fifteen U.S. theaters with no fanfare weeks after its Indian theatrical release. It managed to underperform even Karle Pyaar Karle, taking in $1,404 total for an average of just $94. Jeepers.

In its third week in theaters, Highway earned $10,904 from seven screens. Its per screen average of $1,558 was better than those of Total Siyapaa, Gulaab Gang, and Ya Rab in their debut weekends. Highway‘s total North American earnings stand at $525,033.

Opening March 7: The Lunchbox, Gulaab Gang, Queen, Total Siyapaa, and Ya Rab

I have never seen a weekend so packed with new Hindi films! Five new movies open in the Chicago area on March 7, 2014, though in a limited number of theaters.

At last, Chicago gets The Lunchbox! The only downside is that it’s opening in just two theaters, and neither of them is a theater that typically shows Bollywood movies. Clearly, distributor Sony Pictures Classics trusts that The Lunchbox will draw in the general public, in addition to the local Bollywood diehards. I’d love for this to start a trend.

The Lunchbox opens on Friday at the Century Centre Cinema in Chicago and the Century Evanston 12 in Evanston. It has a runtime of 1 hr. 44 min.

The rest of the new Hindi movies opening locally March 7 will run at many of the usual Bollywood-friendly theaters. First up is Gulaab Gang, starring Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Juhi Chawla. It opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 19 min.

Also new on Friday is Total Siyapaa (formerly known as Aman Ki Asha), a romantic comedy starring Ali Zafar and Yami Gautam. It opens at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30 and has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 49 min.

The Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30 will also carry Kangana Ranaut’s Queen this weekend. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 26 min.

Even though it released in India on February 7, the political drama Ya Rab debuts this Friday at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30. It has a listed runtime of 2 hours.

Note: My tentative plan (subject to change) is to review Queen on Monday and Gulaab Gang on Tuesday. I’m planning to give Ya Rab a pass, but things can always change. My reviews of The Lunchbox and Total Siyapaa are now online.

Despite all of the new fare in theaters, the Hindi movie most widely accessible to Chicago area Bollywood fans remains Shaadi Ke Side Effects. After a good opening weekend in North American theaters, it carries over for a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30, plus the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

In addition to all the new Hindi fare, the Golf Glen 5 will also carry Nimirndhu Nil (Tamil) and Thomson Villa (Malayalam) this weekend.