Well this is an interesting week! And, hopefully, a sign of things to come. The big big films continued to underperform, but a small sweet film did much better than it should have. Seeing as we are entering a 3 month period of small sweet films and no big films, this is all good! (as always, numbers courtesy of BollywoodHungama and Rentrack. Full info available here)
Well, except for Bareilly Ki Barfi, everything is flat this week. Toilet dropped to 113 screens in the US, which is still very good for a second week, but is only making around $2,500 per screen. Which isn’t bad, but isn’t spectacular. It is a little interesting considering how many screens it has. Akshay usually drops a little lower than that in his second weeks.
Toilet dropped everywhere, it’s only still doing really really good in New Zealand and Australia. Even in Canada, it’s down to only $3,787 per screen. Again, this is all very good, but it’s not notable. This is just about what you would expect for second week of a large release. For comparison, Badrinath was doing about the same and on even more screens in its second week. That was a story, because it was a Varun Dhawan film, expectations weren’t as high. This isn’t really a story. It’s not doing worse than Akshay films usually do, or better. Other, less smart, box office people may tell you it is a story, but it is not a story. Just boring reliable Akshay.
Here’s something that is a story! Southern films are doing TERRIBLE!!!! And, just like the success of DJ was unrelated to the failure of Tubelight, these films aren’t related to the success of any particular Hindi film. Because, again, THERE IS NO SUCCESSFUL HINDI FILM!!! Toilet is doing okay, but not “I’m skipping the new Dhanush movie because I am so pumped about Toilet!” kind of okay. The two industries are unrelated to each other.
So, why the heck are the southern films doing so badly? VIP 2 is already down to only $305 per screen in the US! That’s CRAZY!!!! And Nene Raju Nene Mantri is down to around $800! So much for the Bahubali bump for Rana. They are both in their second week, but even in the first week they weren’t that great, around $2,000 per screen for each. Which is not great for a Hindi film in the first week, but really not great for a southern film with the inflated ticket prices and Thursday opening all that. Oh, and this week’s new release Anando Brahma is holding on to the pattern, only $3,000 per screen. Again, wouldn’t be bad for a Hindi release, not great for a Telugu.
(and the trailer looked so good too!)
Really, I have no answer for this. But it’s certainly something I will be tracking. There is supposed to be another big movie coming out this week, I’ll be curious to see if it breaks this trend. If not, I’m wondering if that “now that we’ve seen Bahubali, our standards are higher” pushback is having a bigger effect on the southern market than on the Hindi market.
So, that’s all the so-so to bad news. Toilet is doing no better than Akshay films always do. Southern releases/southern market is in trouble. Now, you ready for the good news? Bareilly Ki Barfi is doing GREAT! $4,434 per screen on 36 screens.
Okay, 36 screens is really tiny. But it is doing so well per screen! That’s very very healthy! A nice small release with a nice healthy profit. Profit for the producers, profit for the distributors, profit for the small theater owners who took a risk. Jab Harry Met Sejal is down to only 33 screens now, and is making a tiny amount per screen, but if it had been released on only this many screens to start with, and maybe in a few art type mainstream theaters, it could have made a nice healthy profit like Bareilly.
So, yes, it’s been a bad summer. The big releases have all failed. But let’s look at what’s coming up this fall. We have Qaidi Band and A Gentleman sharing screens this weekend. Which means neither of them can have a really big release, or are planning a really big release since they didn’t move to a place with more space. Week after that is Baadshaho all by itself, probably won’t do well. Week after that is Daddy and Poster Boys sharing space. Week after that is Simran and Lucknow Central. Week after that is Newton, Bhoomi, and Haseena Parker. And then Judwaa 2, all by its lonesome.
(Have we talked about how catchy this song is?)
What I’m saying is, Bareilly and this small release business plan is the wave of the future. “The future” meaning, starting right now and continuing for the next 5 weeks at least. Even the next “Khan” film, Secret Superstar, is opening opposite Golmaal Again. Which means neither of them are going to be dominating screens.
The (less smart than me) industry folks may be talking about how bad things are going, but that’s because they are looking at the wrong things.