Woot! Global box office is out! Which is completely unaffected by the demonetization of India. Which means the Rock On 2 producer’s arguments that it is only doing badly because people can’t buy tickets don’t hold up at all.
Karan’s recent interview broke down the whole global box office for us:
You know, I don’t know why my films do well there. If you go to the UK, you’ll find the Asian community is far more rooted in tradition and culture than some of us in urban India. Let me get mildly technical here. There is a certain mapping that can be done. The UAE and Dubai behave like Bombay. The UK behaves like Gurgaon, Delhi and Punjab. They go for colour, glamour, music, song, dance. The USA behaves like Mysore. So the films that perform exceedingly well there are the ones that are more intelligent, like Piku, Pink, Neerja, Kapoor & Sons. The template for “evolved” Hindi cinema will work very well in North America. So you lump everyone under “NRI,” but there are differences. Ae Dil… is doing exceedingly well in the UK because it’s also doing very well in Delhi/Gurgaon. It’s doing very well in the USA because it’s also doing very well in Mysore. It’s doing well in the Bombay/Maharashtra belt, but nothing path-breaking. So that’s what it’s like in the UAE. Action, on the other hand, will do very well in the UAE but nobody in the UK will go to watch it. So I cannot design a movie for all this. I can only make the movie I want, and hope that the audiences – cumulatively – give us love.
Okay, let’s see if Karan’s argument holds up! In the UK, the Punjabi film Chaar Sahibzaade – Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur did fabulously, $2,424 per screen on 53 screens. Which, considering the UK has super cheap ticket prices, is very very good. So, yep, behaving like the Punjab!
UAE and Dubai, boo! No reports listed for this week! But I am going to assume, following Karan’s template, that ADHM is doing well there, because that’s how it is doing in Bombay.
Karan didn’t have a specific theory for Canada, or Australia or New Zealand. But if we assume that as part of the greater British Commonwealth they should follow the same pattern as the UK, then yes! Everyone is still going for Chaar Sahibzaade – Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur. The only variation is that ADHM is second in Canada and New Zealand, but third in Australia, after the Tamil film Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada. I’m thinking there is a growing Tamil population in Australia?
Karan says the USA should go more intellectual, more like Mysore. Let’s see! ADHM is still on top, 163 screens (more screens than Airlift, for instance, got opening weekend) and a little over $1,000 per screen. Which is not the best for a week 3 box office, but also not the worse. A slight over-saturation of the market, but not a complete lack of interest. Achchan Yenbadhu Madamaiyada comes next, and only after that Chaar Sahibzaade – Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur. So Karan is right! The US is going for the intellectual relationship dramas over the action film.
You notice what is missing in all of these? Rock On 2, the semi-major Hindi release which came out this weekend. It did the best in Canada and Malaysia, making a hair over $1,000 per screen in both places (which still wasn’t enough to move it up into the top 3 Indian releases for the week. Everywhere else in the world, it did less than $1,000 per screen. Rule of thumb, $2,000 or more is barely respectable for an opening weekend. Around $3,500 to $4,000 per screen is respectable for a major release. Another over $4,000 is a major major hit. $1,500 per screen is maybe okay for some low budget barely advertised T-series release with a couple of newcomers. Under $1,000 per screen is death.
In India, the producers are making all these statements about how the demonetization effect ruined their box office, because nobody has the cash to purchase tickets. But there is nothing wrong with American money! Or UK or Australia or anywhere else. And yet, people still don’t seem to want to purchase tickets for this thing.