Global Box Office: Kabali Makes the Mistake Sultan Avoided

Weekend figures are out!  Dishoom did mostly okay, Sultan is in a very controlled drop, and Kabali is in an uncontrolled drop.  Oh, and another Punjabi film opened well in Australia.

Dishoom did $3,622.88 per screen on 96 screens in the US.  Which is respectable, not terribly impressive (impressive is $7,000 per screen), but also not embarrassing for an opening weekend (embarressing is $2,000 per screen).  It did about the same in all other markets, best in the UK and New Zealand, worst in Australia and Canada where it lost out to Bambukat, the new Punjabi release.  But over all, respectable for a big budget named stars film.

It also gave Varun his second highest opening weekend, after ABCD2 at 46.3 crore but over Humpty at 33.74.  That really surprises me, that Humpty had such a low opening weekend, and ABCD2 so high.  I wonder if it was because of low screen counts for Humpty, and 3D ticket prices for ABCD2?  Because, although I love both films and contributed to that opening weekend, Humpty is clearly higher quality, and it had Dharma backing it.

Although Dharma could be why Humpty didn’t make quite as much.  Not that they made a mistake, but that they were very careful.  Release it on 20 more screens, and maybe you make a few more crore overall and it breaks Varun’s opening weekend record.  But you don’t end up making a profit on that because you had to pay for the extra prints.  Karan is always aware of the bottom line, which he probably learned from his cousin-brother and industrial mentor, Aditya Chopra.

Which brings me to Sultan!  Week 4 and it is dropping off quite a bit.  But, in most countries, it is still hitting a nice average per screen.  America, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia, it is still making over $1,500 per screen, which is very good for week 4.  Germany, it is going terrible, it made 40 Euros on one screen.  But, here’s the thing, Dishoom made $6,122 on 12 screens in Germany.  Which means only 500 Euros per screen, which means with the cost of shipping the prints over there, they are essentially losing money.  Sultan at least made up the cost of that sad little 40 Euros print from this weekend over all the other weekends.  It’s not a matter of making the most money possible overall, it’s a matter of getting the best value out of each print.

And that’s where Kabali is falling off.  It’s number 27 in the American box office, and made $188,536 this weekend.  Which sounds good, except that it is still on 132 screens, meaning it only made $1,428 per screen, in week 2.  Ouch!  Not good!  They needed to drop off about 30 screens, maybe send them up to Canada where it is still doing really well only 9 screens.  But besides Canada, everything else is not that great.  UK and Germany it is dropping off at the same rate as the US.  Oh, and Malaysia it is doing awesome, but is only 4 in the overall box office.  What the heck is beating it?!?!?


4 thoughts on “Global Box Office: Kabali Makes the Mistake Sultan Avoided

  1. I don’t think anyone is “shipping prints” any more, certainly not YRF. It’s all done online now.

    What do you think about the fact that YRF’s figures for Sultan are less than those of every trade analyst and BOI? Some dark mutterings on Twitters about this.


    • I hadn’t heard any mutterings about that. I usually try to stay off the twitter rumors and wait until they hit legitimate news sources so I can better figure out what is happening.

      There are always going to be discrepancies between box office figures, which is part of the reason I generally focus on the global figures, just because the global figures come from slightly more regulated and reliable third party tracking companies (I worked at a movie theater for 3 years, so I actually know how those figures are gathered).

      If YRF is lowballing, I could see it being either a) an effort to avoid taxes by underreporting their profits b) an effort to be cautious and professional and only report the confirmed box office, which is probably less than what the trade analysts are seeing if they use projections instead of raw figures or c) trying to manipulate expectations for their next few films, so the other projects look better in comparison to the Sultan figures.

      But I suspect b) is actually most likely, and in time things will shake out to match more closely as the projections get more accurate, and Yash Raj confirms more figures..


  2. Isn’t Humpty Sharma a Dharma film? Did Yash Raj distribute the movie or something or was that just a mistake? I just wanted to clarify since I saw you call a Dharma film a Yash Raj film in another post too 🙂


    • I could say that it is a Yash Raj production in that Aditya Chopra mentored Karan Johar and in a sense all Dharma films are Yash Raj films. But no, it was just a typo. Thanks for pointing it out! I will fix it now. And let me know if you see any other typos, I write these things so fast I have to essentially crowd-source my proofreeding.


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