Tag Archives: Yash Raj Films

Box Office Analysis: Yash Raj Films

The recent release of Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! inspired me to take a look at the US box office history for all of the Yash Raj Films releases from the past decade. I based my analysis on data provided by Box Office Mojo and Bollywood Hungama (which in turn uses information from Rentrak).

Looking at the total grosses of all films, it looks like there’s a slight trend upward in total box office, over time. (The orange line represents a simple linear regression of all data.)


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You might notice that one film did disproportionately well in late 2013. That’s Dhoom 3, which raked in about $8M. Remove this outlier from the equation, and the other YRF releases are actually on a gentle decline in total box office take.


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Despite the stagnancy of total box office dollars, YRF’s widest releases are being shown in more US theaters than ever.


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A flat box office and more theaters means that opening weekend averages per screen are also trending downward, even when including Dhoom 3 in the calculations. Blockbusters have been immune to the trend, but the underperformers are doing worse than ever. The last four Yash Raj movies released in 2014 (Bewakoofiyaan, Mardaani, Daawat-e-Ishq, and Kill Dil) each came in at under $2,000 per screen.


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Taking into account that average ticket prices have also climbed almost $2 (from $6.41 in 2005 to $8.17 in 2014, according to Box Office Mojo), this lack of growth in box office also means that fewer tickets are being sold for each Yash Raj Films release, on average.

The good news for YRF is that Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! bucked recent trends, averaging about $4,000 per screen in US theaters in its opening weekend. That puts it on par with films from the studio’s most reliable period, 2007-08.

For the remainder of 2015, Yash Raj Films has only one film officially planned for release: Fan, starring Shahrukh Khan. Yet Fan‘s release date has been changed multiple times, and it’s not currently listed on Bollywood Hungama’s release calendar. The surprise success of the romantic comedy Dum Laga Ke Haisha in India prompted Yash Raj Films to create an international trailer for the movie, renaming it My Big Fat Bride. There’s a chance that it could open in US while Fan is completed — though its star, Ayushmann Khurrana, isn’t a guaranteed money maker like Shahrukh Khan.

Even if Yash Raj Films doesn’t release another movie in 2015, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! has nudged the studio’s fortunes in the US back in the right direction.

Author’s note: My thanks to Box Office Mojo, Bollywood Hungama, and Rentrak for the raw information. Note: there’s no reliable box office data for a pair of 2010 releases — Badmaash Company and Pyaar Impossible — so I couldn’t take them into account in this analysis.

The charts were generated by my husband, Greg Gibson, using the d3.js JavaScript library. Visit his GitHub site to view more YRF charts or to peruse the project’s source code.

Finally, here’s a table of estimated box office data for all YRF releases since 2005:

Title Total Gross Max Screens Opening AVG Release Date
Bunty Aur Babli 942756 51 8544 Fri May 27 2005
Salaam Namaste 1413283 63 8014 Fri Sep 09 2005
Neal ‘n’ Nikki 111551 44 1705 Fri Dec 09 2005
Fanaa 2105352 72 10459 Fri May 26 2006
Dhoom 2 2643586 63 15540 Fri Nov 24 2006
Kabul Express 302458 50 2852 Fri Dec 15 2006
Ta Ra Rum Pum 872643 85 5001 Fri Apr 27 2007
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom 695157 83 5485 Fri Jun 15 2007
Chak De India 1120404 62 5676 Fri Aug 10 2007
Laaga Chunari Mein Daag 675102 60 5350 Fri Oct 12 2007
Aaja Nachle 484108 66 3902 Fri Nov 30 2007
Tashan 457380 75 4016 Fri Apr 25 2008
Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic 365401 68 2671 Fri Jun 27 2008
Bachna Ae Haseeno 702166 71 4541 Fri Aug 15 2008
Roadside Romeo 55202 29 1440 Fri Oct 24 2008
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi 2078956 83 11096 Fri Dec 12 2008
New York 997437 60 7795 Fri Jun 26 2009
Dil Bole Hadippa! 644046 54 6508 Fri Sep 18 2009
Rocket Singh 164649 70 2352 Fri Dec 11 2009
Band Baaja Baaraat 71374 32 1369 Fri Dec 10 2010
Mere Brother Ki Dulhan 496172 74 5448 Fri Sep 09 2011
Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl 222019 80 2775 Fri Dec 09 2011
Ek Tha Tiger 2347774 120 9495 Wed Aug 15 2012
Jab Tak Hai Jaan 3047539 164 7973 Tue Nov 13 2012
Aurangzeb 149000 62 1468 Fri May 17 2013
Shuddh Desi Romance 641000 116 2980 Fri Sep 06 2013
Dhoom 3 8090250 239 14320 Fri Dec 20 2013
Gunday 887675 150 3656 Fri Feb 14 2014
Bewakoofiyaan 106800 66 1026 Fri Mar 14 2014
Mardaani 393619 86 1965 Fri Aug 22 2014
Daawat-e-Ishq 385415 113 1814 Fri Sep 19 2014
Kill Dil 246107 87 1977 Fri Nov 14 2014
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Streaming Video News: January 14, 2015

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix to reflect one change. After just five days, Daawat-e-Ishq has disappeared from the streaming service. The same thing happened to Mardaani and Bewakoofiyaan, two other movies produced by Yash Raj Films. It took a few months for Bewakoofiyaan to return for its official run on the Netflix, so I expect it will be a while before we see Mardaani or Daawat-e-Ishq on the service again.

This serves as a warning that, whenever YRF’s most recent theatrical release, Kill Dil, hits Netflix, you’d better watch it right away.

If you just can’t wait to watch Kill Dil, Daawat-e-Ishq, or Mardaani, all three are currently available for rent on YouTube for $2.99 apiece.

Update: Mike of The Arts blog may have solved the mystery: no English subtitles. At least that was his experience watching Daawat-e-Ishq on Netflix the other day. It’s unknown (at least to me) if the YouTube videos have English subtitles, so rent with caution if you don’t speak Hindi.

Update 2: Thanks again to Mike for noticing that Daawat-e-Ishq is back on Netflix again, now with subtitles. Still not sure what happened to Mardaani, though.

Bollywood Box Office: November 14-16

This has been a lousy year for Yash Raj Films. Hopes were undoubtedly high after the titanic success of Dhoom 3 at the end of 2013, but none of the five films released by the company in 2014 has made much of a blip on the radar in North America.

Kill Dil‘s performance from November 14-16, 2014, cements that trend. During its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, Kill Dil earned $172,001 from 87 theaters, a per-screen average of $1,977.

To put this performance in context, the median number of opening weekend theaters for Hindi films in North America this year is 70, and the median per-screen average earnings are $2,022. All but one of the films released by Yash Raj Films this year opened in more theaters than the median (Bewakoofiyaan didn’t), but only one earned more than the median per-screen average (Gunday). Here’s how each Yash Raj film performed in its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada this year:

  • Gunday: $548,350 from 150 theaters; $3,656 average
  • Bewakoofiyaan: $67,738 from 66 theaters; $1,026 average
  • Mardaani: $168,997 from 86 theaters; $1,965 average
  • Daawat-e-Ishq: $204,950 from 113 theaters; $1,814 average
  • Kill Dil: $172,001 from 87 theaters; $1,977 average

While none of these performances — except for Bewakoofiyaan — is disastrous, the studio and theaters surely expected more. Even Gunday was likely expected to earn $1 million (it fell short with $887,675 total). The name Yash Raj carries enough clout to command a significant number of screens, but the return on those screens should be higher given the studio’s profile and the emerging young stars and veteran talent the company casts.

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Happy New Year: Week 4; $64,792 from 45 theaters; $1,440 average; $3,702,530 total
  • Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain: Week 2; $5,794 from two theaters; $2,897 average; $12,110 total
  • The Shaukeens: Week 2; $735 from six theaters; $123 average; $75,546 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: September 19-21

In the battle of the romantic comedies, Khoobsurat emerged the clear victor over Daawat-e-Ishq. During the weekend of September 19-21, 2014, Disney/UTV’s Khoobsurat earned $332,486 from 69 theaters in North America. It averaged an impressive $4,819 per screen.

By contrast, Yash Raj Films’ Daawat-e-Ishq earned $204,950 from 113 theaters for a per-screen average of $1,814.

2014 has been a dud of a year for Yash Raj Films in North America. Following the release of 2013’s massively successful Dhoom 3 — which earned $8,090,250 in North America — all of the Hindi films YRF has released since have looked comparatively anemic:

  • Gunday: $887,675 total gross; widest release: 150 theaters
  • Bewakoofiyaan: $106,800 total gross; widest release: 66 theaters
  • Mardaani: $393,619 total gross; widest release: 86 theaters

Given that Daawat-e-Ishq opened in 113 theaters in the United States and Canada, YRF clearly expected it to perform far better than it did. YRF still has Kill Dil to release in November, but it looks too wacky to attract a wide audience. YRF’s other 2014 release —Titli — will likely be relegated to the festival circuit in North America (including three showings at the Chicago International Film Festival in October).

Other Hindi movies still in U.S. and Canadian theaters:

  • Finding Fanny: Week 2; $124,165 from 114 theaters; $1,089 average; $739,370 total
  • Mary Kom: Week 3; $12,210 from 17 theaters; $718 average; $629,322 total
  • The Lunchbox: Week 30; $772 from two theaters; $336 average; $4,046,834 total
  • Mardaani: Week 5; $59 from one theater; $393,619 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

New Trailers: September 18, 2014

First, Yash Raj Films releases a series of ugly posters to promote Kill Dil. Now the trailer is out, and it’s just as unappealing. Kill Dil hits theaters on November 14, 2014.

Also just released is the trailer for the U.K.-India co-production Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain. The movie has been in production for a long time, and it’s finally releasing in the U.S. on November 7 and India on December 5. Bhopal stars Bollywood vets Rajpal Yadav, Tannishtha Chatterjee, and Satish Kaushik alongside Hollywood vets Martin Sheen, Kal Penn, and…Mischa Barton?

Box Office: February 14-16

Gunday turned in a fine performance in North America in its first weekend of release. The Yash Raj Films production got a relatively wide roll-out in 150 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, and it earned $548,350 (according to Bollywood Hungama) for a per screen average of $3656.

Though stars like Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan feature in supporting roles, Gunday‘s success rests on the shoulders of the two lead actors: Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. Kapoor’s two previous films — Ishaqzaade and Aurangzeb — didn’t make a splash in U.S. theaters, so it’s best to compare Gunday‘s opening week in the U.S. and Canada to the opening weekends of Singh’s earlier films.

Like Gunday, Singh’s first two movies were released by Yash Raj Films (as were Kapoor’s). 2010’s Band Baaja Baaraat earned $43,820 from 32 theaters ($1369 average), while 2011′s Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, collected $222,019 from 80 theaters ($2775 average) in its opening weekend .

2013 was a better year for Singh, when he ventured out from under the Yash Raj banner. Lootera took in $314,958 from 100 theaters ($3150 average) its opening weekend, going on to earn a total of $581,813.

Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela was an even bigger hit, earning $1,449,174 from 204 theaters ($7,104 average), with a total haul of $2,738,863.

Ignoring the incredible U.S. performance of Ram-Leela, Gunday‘s opening week returns look right in line with the upward trajectory of Singh’s career.

The other Hindi movie still in theaters is Hasee Toh Phasee. In its second week, the romantic comedy took in $152,284 from 76 theaters ($2003 average) for a total of $554,534 so far. That average is still more than 50% of its opening weekend average of $3,829, which is good for a Bollywood film in the U.S.

Opening May 17: Aurangzeb

The crime thriller Aurangzeb — the latest offering from Yash Raj Films — opens in Chicago area theaters on May 17, 2013.

Aurangzeb opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.

The zombie comedy Go Goa Gone — which earned $170,044 in its first weekend in U.S. theaters — carries over for a second week at all of the above theaters. Having earned $338,433 in the U.S. so far, Shootout at Wadala gets a third weekend at the South Barrington 30.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Bharya Athra Pora (Malayalam), Soodhu Kavvum (Tamil), and Tadakha (Telugu).

Friday also marks the release of The Reluctant Fundamentalist in India. I recommend it.