Box Office: Toilet Goes the Other Way in Australia

Huh?  Huh?  How great is that headline!  If you have previously run across the myth of the Coriolis effect that doesn’t actually work that way?  Because otherwise it doesn’t make any sense.  I may have overreached. (as always figures are from bollywoodhungama)

Oh boy, SO MANY interesting things this week!  I guess I will start with the least interesting, Jab Harry Met Sejal.  If you remember, last week (opening weekend), it only made $4,000 per screen on about 250 screens in America.  So, on the very low end of a success for a Khan film per screen, and on much fewer screens than Khan films usually open on.  Meaning it did not do very well (although not a total disaster), and expectations were probably kind of low too.

So, this weekend!  Where we at? Less than $1,000 per screen in the US on only 180 screens.  So, that’s a mistake.  Not the $1,000, the 180.  Should have dropped down to under a 100 on the second weekend, this way the per screen got to spread around plus you’ve got all those theater owners angry at you.

(And only like one of those $1,000 per screen is thanks to me seeing it 4 times in one week and bringing all my friends)

And once again, global consistency is the mark of a Shahrukh film!  And so in Canada, UK, Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand, it is all around $1,000-$2,000 per screen.  And probably still on slightly more screens than it can handle.

Although, just a reminder, this still isn’t a total disaster.  Tubelight was a total disaster.  Speaking of, word just trickled out that Salman is covering the distributors’ losses from Tubelight.  Just like Shahrukh did for Dilwale.  I haven’t heard any news like that about Raees or this film so far (although it is highly possible I just missed the news stories).  I wonder if that is part of the reason behind the low release.  If Red Chillies shoots and misses, they know they are the ones who will have to lose out.  So better to shoot lower.

 

Okay, boring predictable part over, let’s look at Toilet!  Akshay Kumar, NOT consistent globally.  In America, eh.  $3,080 per screen on 177 screens.  Not that great.  Not bad, $2,000 would be bad.  But $4,000 would be great.  $3,000 is just okay.  And 177 screens, that might be overshooting.  Akshay films usually come out on closer to 100.  Maybe they overshot because of the holiday, thinking there would be more interest than usual in the Akshay brand of patriotism.  But, there wasn’t.

Meanwhile, over in Australia, as usual Akshay was very very popular.  $7,552 per screen.  And in Canada, his home country, $5,958.  But in the UK, TERRIBLE!!!!  $1,519 per screen.  Oh and in German, $350 per screen.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha!  That’s like two Germans per showtimes assuming 6 shows.  Two confused Germans who got lost on the way to Jab Harry Met Sejal (not doing great in Germany, but doing way better than any non-SRK film ever does).

Image result for shahrukh germany

(Shahrukh in Germany.  My people!  I love it that my German heritage has given me huge Christmas celebrations, a fear of showing emotions, an urge to clean, and love for SRK.  Truly, a rich cultural heritage)

See, this is what makes the Khans special.  Akshay is a big star, but not everywhere.  He does well in north India, and he does well in places where north Indians live overseas.  But America, Germany, the UK, NOPE.

And then our grand finale!  The film I was actually most curious about.  VIP 2!!!  Will it live up to the usual south Indian box office, especially on Independence weekend with JHMS flopping?  Will Dhanush add on to his star power?  Will Kajol make a hit of her return to the south?

And the answer is…….NO!  NOT GOOD!!!!  Not good to the point where I am checking figures thinking “wait, no, that can’t be right, my calculator must be broken”.  America is usually Tamil-Telugu territory, so starting with that, $1,098 per screen on 83 screens.  WHAAAAA-AAAAAT?  How is this POSSIBLE?

No really, I’m asking for help.  I know close to nothing about the Tamil industry, is Dhanush not as big as I thought?  Or was there some kind of bad rumor about this film before it came out that told people to stay away?

(Why?  What’s wrong with this?)

And here’s what’s really confusing!  It did good in the UK and Australia!  Way far out of the usual Tamil territory!  Again, sincerely, what am I missing?  Does Dhanush have a northern fanbase of some kind?  Or is this just for Kajol (the UK I could believe, that’s SRKajol land, but how big is she in Australia?)?

Oh, and then it did amazing in Malaysia, no doy.

 

So, to sum up, JHMS is dropping on the second weekend and should have cut more screens.  Toilet opened on too many screens in most places, but did really well in Australia and Canada.  VIP2 did terribly in traditional southern areas, but really well in the UK and Australia, which kind of turns upside down my entire view of the world in a very disturbing way.

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15 thoughts on “Box Office: Toilet Goes the Other Way in Australia

  1. VIP 1 was terrible. I watched it after Maari and Kodi and it wasn’t as great. I was kinda looking forward to VIP 2. I’d still check it out whenever it’s released in hindi.

    Have you checked out Taran Adarsh’s latest rant about bollywood yet?

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    • I liked VIP! But then, I have no basis for comparison, I am super super weak on Tamil films. Maybe it is just average for what they can be. I saw VIP 2 last night, it was fun to watch in theaters and all, but felt very slight, not quite enough story to justify another film.

      I like Taran for his numbers, but I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says about those numbers. Although I am also charmed that he tweets updates on his family vacations along with industry analysis.

      On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 10:33 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I have no basis for comparing them either other than that I find really good Indian films work across the country. I don’t think we, in the country, are capable of seeing those industry specific subtleties that you might pick up on. So I guess what “works” is genuinely good acting and a genuinely good script. Like the intense Mani Ratnam films, the sexy Nagarjun films and now the action packed films which get dubbed and released on hindi movie channels with the weirdest names.

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        • Oh good, I’m not the only person with a completely inappropriate reaction to 60 year old Nagarjuna. No one else I know in “real life” sees it (they claim he is more of a dopey fatherly type appeal), so I was beginning to be concerned. Also, you know, 60.

          On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 10:48 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Haha.. It’s the classic Indian alpha male thing he’s got going on. Speaking of alpha, I watched Tapasee Pannu’s new film’s pre release launch yesterday. It was hyped a lot because Prabhas graced the event as chief guest. Considering her scarlet letter moment with the coconut comment she made and the subsequent apology, Prabhas lending support to her new film got hyped as him taking a stand for the girl.

            Curiously, he was more shy and fidgety than anyone else there. Including a little girl who’s in the film. Tapasee rocked. She was so calm and confident and in control. A rebelstar fanboy I sometimes talk to saw the event and saw prabhas’ support as an alpha move even if his bodylanguage was not it. I’d heard that Nagarjun also built his manly man reputation on standing by people in real life. I don’t really know if he was shy or confident when he was younger. Chiranjeevi was.

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          • I want Nagarjuna to be a feminist/supportive alpha. Because of course there is nothing sexier than that. Plus, this gets into the whole idea of mine that romantic male stars (unlike the action stars) are innately feminist because they are choosing to be in a genre that has complex heroines, and caters to the female audience.

            Also, I had to look up the Taapsee coconut thing, because I thought it was about the slur. Do you have that in India? “coconut” meaning brown on the outside and white on the inside? Or is that an American thing?

            On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 11:00 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • No we don’t have that here at all. Coconuts are down south and the white-ish people are up north. I really have begun to like Tapasee more after thus scandal. Somebody had to stand up and say just how absurd some of the southern films can get in their treatment of heroines on screen. I’m really heartened by her and Kangana. They’re making good films as the standalone protagonist and that’s what we need.

            I’m not sure if your theory about romantic heroes is supported by the content of a large majority of them. I mean relegating heroines to girls waiting on a man to have a life is kind of not the message you want to give to your younger generations.

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  2. I haven’t seen VIP 2 so I can’t speak to the content. I will say that in general, the reviews haven’t been that great. The ‘buzz’ seems to be bad.

    My take is based mostly on my experience -I think the US market for Tamil films is very sensitive to reviews. I will say that I typically won’t go to the theater until I’ve read reviews or gotten recommendations from friends. Its a long drive for me to the closest theater playing Tamil movies and ends up eating up most of the day. Also, movies that don’t do quite as well end up on Herotalkies or Tentkotta (legal Tamil movie streaming services) very soon. So if a movie releases with so so reviews, I’d rather wait and watch it at home rather than trek out to the theater. Also – and this may be true for other language films as well- Tamil movies end up on online very soon after release. Like hours after release. And in pretty good quality prints too. Piracy is big and I think there is probably a significant number of people who decide if the movie’s not great, I may as well stream it online. In Tamil Nadu, the opening of a film is pretty dependent on actors. Films with bigger actors are almost guaranteed to make a minimum amount of money. I think the US is less star driven and more content driven. Dhanush is quite popular but he’s not quite in the upper echelons as far as star power I’d say.

    Another random observation – in the US, Telugu films seem to have a larger market than Tamil. I’d assume this has to do with the regional breakdown of the Indian population in the US. VIP 2’s Telugu version isn’t releasing until later and I think the Tamil and Telugu versions releasing together probably would have helped.

    To your other point about North/South areas -he’s done a few Hindi films so maybe that’s part of it?

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    • that point about the reviews makes sense. i noticed that Vikram Vedha did slightly better in the second week than the first. Perhaps people were holding back and waiting for word of mouth (which was really good in that case, I assume). But mostly, THANK YOU! I just registered for a free trial on HeroTalkies.

      On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 8:26 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Vikram Vedha had excellent word of mouth. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told I need to watch it.

        And – yay! Perhaps more Tamil movie reviews are on the way…? 🙂

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        • Perhaps! access is the biggest barrier to me watching stuff. Well, access and time. Telugu leaped ahead primarily because they are smart enough to put a bunch of stuff legally on youtube.

          On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 9:50 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Dhanush is a star but not a HUGE star. He’s still growing in terms of fan base. Basically he’s like Nani except a little bigger since Dhanush has the support of Rajinikanth fans behind him as well.

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    • Okay, so that “no matter what we have to go opening night even if it is $40 to prove our loyalty” effect is not in play.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 1:16 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I couldn’t believe how young he was when I looked it up, I was thinking he was older and established in his career just because Raanjanaa and Kolavari De are usually the sort of thing that happens when you are bigger. But now, he’s only like 34! He’s still got years to establish himself.

          On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 1:53 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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