Weekend Box Office: Hilariously Bad

It’s been a bad fall.  Because, as my continuing series of posts indicates, the industry is STUPID.  Constantly giving too much money and screens to big dumb films, and not enough money and screens to small smart films.  But this weekend is so bad, it’s just funny!

The weekend before Diwale is always going to be bad.  Because nobody wants to release a movie one week before a major release comes to take all the screens and audience, and there is always going to be a major release on Diwale.  This year, there’s two major releases, so it’s really really bad.

In fact, it is so bad that I started to analyze the numbers and I just started to laugh!  You ready for some highlights?

First, and this isn’t a slam at Malayalam films, you know I love them, but the number one Indian film in America is a Malayalam movie!  That NEVER happens!  I’m guessing even the people who made the movie are laughing when they look at this.  Pulimurugan, on 15 screens, making about $6,000 per screen.  Which is quite quite good, but not actually that unusual for Malayalam films.  They release on so few screens, and people are so starved for them, that they always do well per screen.  But they don’t usually make it to the top of the list!  Because on so few screens, there’s no way they can crawl that high, unless people sit on each other’s laps and double up on each screening.  So to see it up there, well, I just have to laugh!

Dhoni and Pink are both doing well, in week 4 and 6 respectively.  They are still pulling in about $1,000 per screen, which is excellent for that late in their run.  That’s not funny, that’s just infuriating, because both those films could have gotten bigger releases and bigger campaigns, and didn’t because all the money was going to stupid bets like Mohenjo Daro and Mirzya and Fitoor and all the other flops.

(I still really like this song, but they should never have given it so much money!  Well, they should have given even more money to the song, but considerably less money to the action scenes and promotions and screen rentals)

Okay, to cheer me up, back to funny!  Aatishbaazi Ishq, a Punjabi movie in week 2 in Canada, so it should do pretty well, right?  No!  $28 on 1 screen!  Okay, not as funny as it it had been on multiple screens, but still pretty funny, right?  $28 over 3 days , figure at least 2 shows a day, so that’s like $4.50 a show, right?  Or do you think those 6 people all got together and came as a group to one show, and the film just ran to an empty theater for all the others?  Or maybe they did a double bill, all 6 went to see Aatishbaazi Ishq and then hopped over to see MSG the Warrior Lionheart, which also made only $28 in all of Canada for the whole weekend.

Speaking of Punjabi-esque films, 31st October isn’t doing that great either.  But that was kind of expected, it’s a touchy topic, it had a kind of lame cast, the promotions were non-existent and, most of all, it got dumped the weekend before Diwale.  It made about $300 per screen in every market, American and Canadian and the UK and so on and so on.  Not great.  But not a huge blow, we knew it would be bad.  And, okay, a little funny,

You know what’s super funny?  Nandini Nursing Home, Telugu film, weekend 1, made $458 on 20 screens in America.  So, $23 per screen.  HA!  Oh, and Shankara too!  Also Telugu, also weekend 1, also $23 per screen.  But on only 10 screens, so have as much.  Oo!  Another one!  Premam in the UK!  $855 on 7 screens in weekend 1!  Okay, that’s not as bad, but I still find it kind of funny just considering how well the same movie did in America.

And then you wanna know something really funny?  Malaysia is doing great!  Remo and Devi[l] in week 3 each, both making over a $1,000 per screen.  And Pink is there too, week 5, also doing well.  Maybe India should just give up on the entire rest of the overseas market and focus all their efforts on Malaysia.

9 thoughts on “Weekend Box Office: Hilariously Bad

  1. I didn’t even know that 31 October had released! Of course I only became aware of it about a week or so ago, and was awaiting its release. So, after reading your post, I went to check if it was playing locally — it is. Then I wanted to know if it was a Hindi or Punjabi film, so watched its trailer, and, well, now I know why it only made $28 on the weekend! It was pretty dire. Too cliched, on the nose, and I couldn’t figure out why they needed that white woman and kid there. But anyway, if you are not already aware of it, a better film on the subject is Amu, starring Konkona Sen Sharma. I recommend it highly.


    • Just looked up Amu. It kind of reminded me a little of The Official Story from Argentina. Not that it is that similar at all, but a similar theme of an adopted child bringing together various elements of a political tragedy.


    • Maybe. I don’t think there is a big Hindi release next weekend, so I might have time to drive out and see it. Definitely not this weekend, since I have to squeeze in Shivaay and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil!


  2. I don’t get why Nandini Nursing Home and Shankara were even released overseas. Shankara is a movie that was delayed for 3 years and people forgot about the movie. Nandini Nursing Home is a movie starring debutantes that no one knows so there wasn’t really an audience for that either. From what I know, the major market overseas market for Telugu films is only the U.S. so maybe what Premam got in week 3 in the U.K is actually a decent number. I don’t know though.


    • Yeah, I can’t remember what Telugu films usually do in the UK either. I know it’s not as good as in the US. But I found it really striking this time since it’s making flop numbers in the UK, and HUGE numbers in the US.


  3. pulimurugan is now the first 100 crore film in malayalam…still running steadily..it surpassed box office records in uae set by kabali,sultan nd bahubali…i expected a little more collection from usa…


  4. amd oppam became the 2nd biggest hit surpassing drishyam nd premam…janath garage did really well in telugu…so mohanlL just delivered 3 block busters released with in a month


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