Box Office Report: Bareilly Ki Barfi Does Sweet Business

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.

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19 thoughts on “Box Office Report: Bareilly Ki Barfi Does Sweet Business

    • More or less. I tossed in some Australia/New Zealand figures for Toilet because I found them interesting. But this week the US Box Office was representative so I didn’t bother with the others. If you are curious, BollywoodHungama gives all the numbers for everywhere available.

      On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 10:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I gotta check that out. Word on social is that NRNM is already past 35C worldwide. Which is claimed to be “good enough”. But is it good enough for Rana post BB? Or did he fall victim to the Rajamouli curse? I’ve heard mixed reviews for VIP 2 as well. Sadly there’s no buzz for Bareilly here. Maybe people are watching it and it isn’t moving them to write a review? But they’re watching it anyway?

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        • Bareilly got a really small release in the US, I assume it got similarly small and targeted in India. Which means it can still make a profit even without a buzz about it. It could also mean that maybe the second weekend it will get an expanded release. Less likely since A Gentleman and Qaidi Band are both coming out, but then on the other hand Toilet is probably it’s most direct competition (similarly northern focused, family romance) and that should be leaving theaters this week. So possibly it will get more screens and more notice in the second week now that it has proved itself in week one. That’s what happened with Neerja.

          On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 10:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It’s going to be a really interesting 12 months numbers wise! Also, the flooding is back all across the North! Chandigarh had sedans submerged upto half the windows and SUVs were floating after just an hour’s rain.

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          • Oh man, there is a great Toilet pun in there somewhere and I just can’t find it! Anyway, that’s the kind of random thing that could seriously effect Toilet and Bareilly with their strong northern focus. Luckily, this weekend A Gentleman and Qaidi Band seem a little more all India in their potential reach. But if the rains stay bad, Baadshaho could do even worse than I already expect it to do.

            Well, and also it is bad that people are struggling with extreme weather conditions and real world stuff obviously 🙂 I always feel bad when these stories come out and my first thought is “how will this affect the box office?”

            On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 10:55 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • To be honest, the people who could have benefitted the most from watching a film like toilet are the most affected by the floods. And this film will be long gone by the time its intended audience is back on its feet

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        • NRNM was made on a small budget and I read that the breakeven was something like 18cr. So I think the movie has gotten profits but it hasn’t performed up to the level that people expected from Rana post-Baahubali.

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          • And there’s also the question of what happens if the filmmakers make money but no one else does. Shahrukh is struggling with that with JHMS, he/Red Chillies got big big payouts from satellite rights and distributors, but the distributors and theater owners didn’t. I’d be curious of those northern distributors/theaters who took a risk on NRNM are going to be willing to try again with another southern film. Even if the producers did okay with their tiny budget, the individual theaters are still taking a slight loss on this.

            On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 10:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Well NRNM is still playing at least one show in the lucrative 4PM slot in my near-sleepy town at a very happening multiplex. And I’m not even sure if it’s playing with subtitles or not!

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          • I hate the 4pm slot! Evil evil theater owners! So close to something I could do after work, and yet no. It’s just sitting there, taunting me.

            On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 11:06 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Hah! No that’s the slot that college kids and school kids can get after their classes for the day. housewives and family crowds also prefer this slot because if they’re going for a later slot, they’re going to get caught in after-office traffic both getting to the theatre and after the movie ends. And then it’s dark outside. Indians have to get back to cooking elaborate meals and mother in laws too! 😁

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          • See, why can’t Indian movie theaters just arrange their schedules around young single working women who live alone? We must make up, what, a good 3% of the audience? Forget the other 97%, focus on us!

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          • Single working women don’t live alone in India. They go to movies with flatmates or boyfriends. Sometimes both. And isn’t a boring slot good for you? Less people to talk over the movie? I used to go to the 10am show specifically so I could avoid the chatty crowd and babies crying!

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          • Well, the movie theater is about 40 minutes from my house, and half an hour from work, so the whole “go home, turn around immediately, go to the movies, get back at midnight” of a 7pm show really kills me. I just want a nice 5:30 show! So I can go straight from work and be home at a reasonable hour.

            But yes, my ideal show is the weekend super early matinee for the reason you say, I get the theater to myself and can really focus.

            And once again, thank goodness I don’t live in India! I’ve lived alone since my last year of college, I can’t go back to life before.

            On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 11:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. Anando Brahma wasn’t a big release at all as far as I know and I think it’s doing decently. It’s Taapsee’s first Telugu film in years and she’s not really a star who can bring people in. The rest of the cast and crew aren’t that well known either. The movie got better reviews and word-of-mouth than expected so I think it’s doing decent.

    So how’s Fidaa doing now? It’s been a month since it came out.

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    • Pretty low per screen, but the fact that it is still holding 17 screens is really impressive. Means that theater owners have more faith in it than anything else being released. Could be kind of the same story as Bareilly really, people are sick of the big action/political type films, and are gravitating towards the small love stories.

      On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 10:50 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think Fidaa is the first movie since Baahubali 2 to have such long run here. There were 3 Telugu movies that came out on August 11 but all 3 got mixed reviews so I’m guessing that didn’t take much away from Fidaa. Arjun Reddy, starring Vijay Devarakonda of Pellichoopulu fame, is a movie that’s coming out this weekend and it’s got quite a bit of hype. I’m thinking that this will be the movie that will do well at the U.S. box office next. Here’s the trailer with subtitles:

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