Tag Archives: YRF

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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In Theaters December 17, 2010

No new Hindi movies are set to open in the Chicago area the weekend beginning Friday, December 17, 2010, but both of last week’s new releases are sticking around. Goofball comedy No Problem, which earned $242,116 during its first week in U.S. theaters, continues at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 23 min.

The fun romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat (runtime 2 hrs. 35 min.) also gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30. It posted dismal first week earnings of $43,820 in the United States, but that was from just 32 screens nationally, compared to 84 screens for No Problem. These meager numbers are something of a shock given that Band Baaja Baaraat is produced by Yash Raj Films.

When I started reviewing Bollywood movies in 2007, Yash Raj Films — fresh off huge hits like Fanaa and Dhoom 2 — was the one Indian production company whose films could be guaranteed a wide release in the U.S. But the company’s recent offerings have struggled to get distribution in the States. Lafangey Parindey opened here  in August on just nine screens.

I’m not sure why things have changed, but I hope YRF can regain some of its international mojo. The company has long made a point of reaching out to Indians living abroad with their films, and the polished production style of YRF appeals to audiences used to Hollywood’s big budgets. Maybe Mere Brother Ki Dulhan can turn things around for YRF.

Other Indian movies playing near Chicago this weekend include Best of Luck (Malayalam), Nagavalli (Telugu) and Rakht Charitra 2 (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove is also carrying Nagavalli, as well as the Telugu movie Orange.