Once again, the raw data can all be seen at bollywoodhungama. I’ve already talked about the local numbers for Airlift in particular, but now figures are available for international territories for the whole week.
Read on to see how it all shook out.
Airlift is doing very well overseas, compared with other Akshay movies (as I said when talking about it’s first weekend take, an Akshay movie is always going to be in a different class from a Khan movie). Total take of about 18 crore, about the majority split evenly between the US and the UAE. It tops the list in every other international market as well (except for Malaysia, where Dilwale still rules), as you would expect for the biggest release of the weekend.
Where things get unexpected is if you look a little farther down the list. In the US, it is 3 Telugu releases that immediately follow it, then Wazir as a trailing 4th. More interesting than the total collections, are the screen counts. The top Telugu release in the US got 84 screens to Airlift‘s 98. This is shocking to me! I thought the Hindi cinema always ruled the overseas market, even while the regional cinemas ate away at it back home. At least, the overseas theater market, I know there are DVDs and satellite channels and websites that serve the regional market overseas. But now, apparently, the southern distributors are catching on and grabbing up almost as many screens as Hindi industry distributors. At least on a weekend like this when there is no strong contender for their market. I would argue that Dilwale and perhaps Bajirao hit more the sensibilities and styles of the regional cinemas, but Airlift is decidedly Hindi (no fight scenes, no item song, less super-powered hero, less spectacle, etc.). And then poor Wazir is trailing with 35 screens, falling behind even second weekend Telugu films both with box office totals and screen counts. Bajirao is still holding on 11 screens and a small box office, while Dilwale dropped to the bottom of the list with just one screen still running (I think that might be the mall near me! I was actually stunned they were still playing it). At least Kya Kool Hain Hum 3 landed where it should, right below Wazir in screens and box office. A low budget sex farce like that is never going to get any higher. For one thing, no one would be willing to even risk the money needed to cut more prints.
In Canada, Bajirao is still in theaters while Dilwale is gone entirely. And Bajirao is beating Wazir to the second spot. This matches what I saw last weekend, Canada really loves Bajirao for some reason. Airlift is on top, of course.
In the UK and Ireland, Airlift is on top again, followed by Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3, the only place where this is the case. And that’s on fewer screens that Wazir and Bajirao are getting. The only explanation I can think of is that the UK has more rebellious young people who are ditching the rest of the family going to Airlift for Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3. The other really interesting thing there is that the Malayalam film Charlie still has 36 screens, in its 3rd week. That’s only 3 less than Airlift in its first. And it’s doing terribly in terms of box office. Must have been super smart distributor who managed to get a multi-week contract. Or else it’s opening in art as well as ethnic theaters?
In Australia, Airlift is on top, again followed by a regional film, with Wazir coming a distant third. And that’s with Wazir on the same number of screens as the regional. Bajirao is still running, and comes in 4th. Fewer screens, but a much better per screen average still than Wazir. Interesting that Bajirao is doing well in two British commonwealths, but not in England itself. Fewer rebellious children in Australia and Canada?
Although Bajirao isn’t running any more in New Zealand, at least. Wazir still is, and is doing terrrrrrribly. A quarter of the occupancy of Kya Kool Hain Hum 3.
Malaysia is still all Dilwale all the time, and also Bajrangi Bhaijaan! I didn’t notice this last week, but Bajrangi is still apparently running in Malaysia, in week 28. It’s interesting, that long a time in theaters is very old-school Indian, in terms of audience practices. Back in the day, you would see the same film every day for months at a time. And the films that are doing well there are also very old school. Dilwale, with its total Masala, a couple of regional films that are presumably also Masala, and then Airlift, very un-Masala, all the way down at the third on the list with only 3 screens to Dilwale‘s 46.
And finally, Germany, Pakistan, and the UAE, only showing one film each. Germany still has Dilwale, of course, because Shahrukh goes after that European market hard. Pakistan apparently let in Airlift, which is interesting. And it seems to be doing well there. It is a fairly even handed and un-jingoistic film, so I guess I can see the appeal. But it is also fairly patriotic, I wonder if they did a slightly different cut for the Pakistani market? And then Airlift is the only film playing in the UAE and is doing very well, which makes sense as it was filmed there and set nearby and should be more relatable for that audience than most other Hindi films which try to pretend the middle east diaspora doesn’t exist.