Box Office: Bareilly Ki Barfi is Still Doing Sweet, Arjun Reddy is Astounding

Well this is an exciting box office week!  Not in Hindi film, Toilet and Jab Harry Met Sejal are declining, A Gentleman is flopping (even though it is SO GOOD!  People are stupid), Bareilly Ki Barfi is holding steady in it’s small way.  No no, it’s the southern market that is FINALLY healthy again.  Well, Telugu.  Tamil is still on life support.

I’m just gonna knock the Hindi out right away.  Toilet is completely reliable and unexciting, as has been every Akshay film since I started tracking this stuff.  He has some kind of magic very dull system that guarantees consistent box office in films you kind of forget about two days later.  Well, not Airlift, that was a legitimately interesting film.  But Rustom, Toilet, blah blah blah.  Anyway, in week three, it is making slightly over $1,000 per screen in the US, slightly under $2,000 per screen in Australia, slightly under $1,000 in the UK, basically following the exact same pattern it has had every week since release and every other Akshay film follows.  Does well in Australia and other action/Punjabi strong places, does poorly in the UK, does okay everywhere else.

Jab Harry Met Sejal continues it’s steep decline, down to only 5 theaters in the US, making about $500 per screen.  It has the largest number of screens and worst per screen figures in Australia, 35 screens and $8 per screen. !!!!!  What the heck is happening in Australia?  Not the $8, but the 35 screens.  What idiot got those distribution rights?  Or, alternatively, what genius got those distribution rights and forced theaters to commit to a 4 week run and pay upfront?  Anyway, someone is losing a lot of money.

Image result for jab harry met sejal australia

(Is it the Cricket connection?  Is that why they got so many screens?)

And then there’s Bareilly, the little film that could.  In the US, $2,700 per screen in week 2, on 29 screens.  Only down 7 screens from week one, which means the distributors/theater owners have faith in it.  And went from $4,400 per screen to $2,700, which is very healthy.  That’s mid-level star figures, Akshay or Varun type stuff.  Only for a star-less little slice of life film.  Yes yes, on many many fewer screens that Akshay or Varun would get, but the markets it is playing in, clearly interest is high.  And it’s following that solid pattern everywhere, basically the same as Toilet (which makes sense, since it is also a northern focused film).  A little low in the UK, high in Australia, etc.  Doing terrible in New Zealand for some reason (why?), but otherwise a solid little hit.

And finally, A Gentleman.  Oh dear.  I so wanted you to do well!  Although, it is doing fabulously in New Zealand (WHY????  New Zealand, why are you so mysterious????).  But everywhere else, bleh.  Only slightly over $1,000 per screen in America (where it should have had the best release, considering how in-jokey it is about life in the US), well under $1,000 per screen in the UK, about $2,000 per screen in Australia (yay!  And also, WHY????).

To sum up, nothing exciting is happening in the Hindi box office.  Toilet and Bareilly are still doing solid business, Jab Harry Met Sejal is terrible but that is old news by now, A Gentleman was always a bit of a gamble and it didn’t pay off.  Now, the Big News, TELUGU!!!!

 

$8,662 per screen on 88 screens for Arjun Reddy.  Which isn’t the best I have ever seen, but my understanding is that this is kind of an off beat film without a really major star (and a release on only 88 screens supports that), which means $8,662 is MINDBLOWING.  That’s in the US, the Telugu heartland, but even over in Australia, it is still doing really well, $5,500 per screen.

Image result for arjun reddy poster

Yes yes, I know I should watch it.  And no, that probably isn’t going to happen.  Just because this week Baadshaho and that impotence comedy are both coming out in Hindi and I should really try to see both of them.  But, what I can glean from The Internet, is that this is not a big silly action film, not what has come to be thought of as “Telugu” film.  And yet it is finding a massive audience.  Just like Fidaa, also not a big silly action film, did earlier this year.  And meanwhile DJ and other big star films of the year did okay, but nowhere near these numbers or this long term sustainability.

So, either this means the Telugu market is shifting, finally, away from big star action films.  Or it means the NRI market is growing farther and farther away from the India market, flocking towards more thoughtful character dramas.  Or it means this has already happened and I just didn’t notice it because I don’t know anything about Telugu films.  You can tell me in the comments!

 

I am leaning towards this being a newer trend just because of the release pattern, especially in comparison with the Tamil release.  The new Tamil movie, Vivegam, I think is one of those big star action films again?  And it came out on 159 screens in the US, the distributors clearly had high hopes.  And then it just went foop at the box office.  Only a little over $1,000 per screen, and that’s with the Tamil opening day boost.

So the expectation was that the audience would flock to this big star action film, and be only moderately interested in the off-beat character drama.  But, NOPE.  Character drama all the way.  And Tamil film, once again, loses out.

 

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53 thoughts on “Box Office: Bareilly Ki Barfi is Still Doing Sweet, Arjun Reddy is Astounding

  1. Please please watch Arjun Reddy!!! Please!!! We’re probably not getting it in theatres in the north though I’m hoping someone understands that IT SHOULD!! I desperately need an honest review of this film!! The trailers look super amazing. The score is thrilling!! I love the subject and I’m so totally digging Vijay Devarakonda!! I wanted to watch his earlier hit Pelli Choopulu but no English subs on the YouTube version.

    Vijay really created a lot of controversy for himself and the film at the pre release event where he (rightly) called the TFI’s psuedo-humility BS and told the aging politician that tore movie posters (the one with the kiss) off a bus, “Chill, Grandpa!” Hah! What a breath of fresh air for our country! A young star that speaks his mind!

    Please watch this film!!!

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    • And it has a 5pm show. SEE??? This is why it frustrates me! I could so easily do an early weeknight show, still have time to go home and have dinner and blog afterwards, but nooooooooooo. I have to do the 8:30 instead, which means I get back to my apartment after midnight, with no time to actually write the review until the next evening (if I can keep my eyes open, because I will also be on 5 hours of sleep if I get back at midnight).

      Or, I could give myself a treat and skip Baadshaho and see this instead. But that would be wrong and breaking my vow to see every Hindi film opening night so I can spoil it for you all.

      On Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 12:48 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • The posters with kiss scene were on city buses and walls in many towns. The politician issue was in Hyderabad where some women activists also agitated for removal of those posters. Apart from these two issues, nobody in two Telugu states gives a damn and brushes the posters aside as just publicity stunt.

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      • Of course. Still a pretty good statement made by the cast and crew of the TFI. They have the really good stories and now maybe they’ll go a little bolder too. A Nawazuddin style actor from the south and we’d maybe get more realistic content all across India. Not just the style heavy Salman-type fares

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  2. I saw the trailer for Arjun Reddy and it left me completely cold. Actually it decided me against the film. I really didn’t see anything so “innovative” about it, as is being touted. It’ll be shown in my town (we only get one show for non-Hindi films), but I am skipping it.

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    • I had the same feelings after seeing this trailer. I watched it right after seeing Pelli Chopulu, and it was so different (from PC and from what I usually watch) that I decided not to watch it. I’m REALLY surprised it does so well because it has everything I thought doesn’t sell in indian cinema. I’m so curious now about this movie.

      Margaret I will join Asmita request: please watch Arjun Reddy instead of this Baadshaho we all know you don’t want watch 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I so don’t want to watch Baadshaho! Can one of you watch it and tell me how bad it is so I don’t have that lingering thought of “maybe it was brilliant and I didn’t give it a chance”? I watched Jagga Jasoos for you all! You owe me!

        (alternatively, I just got a fresh copy of Premam in the mail, very very tempted to just skip the theater entirely and watch that with my friend Dina on Friday, now that she is in love with Nivin Pauly)

        On Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 2:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I don’t think there’s anyone on the blog that is absolutely waiting for Baadshaho, so I don’t think anyone will mind if you skip it. Plus if it turns out to be good, you could still see it next week 🙂

          I would prefer that you not skip Shubh Mangal Saavdhan though. I’m rooting for Ayushmann and Bhumi!

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          • Stupid showtimes, my theater only has Baadshaho playing in the regular slot, Arjun Reddy is now at 10:35, and Shubh Mangal is too. So it’s Baadshaho tonight, or nothing. But, I have big plans for spending the day at the theater tomorrow.

            On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 9:55 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I saw Arjun Reddy tonight at the urging of the commenters to my Youtube videos. The trailer left me perplexed. The FILM IS AMAZING!! This Telugu film is like nothing I’ve seen before in Telugu cinema. It is not Masala AT ALL. It’s almost indie in its storytelling. Debut director. For Margaret, who hates sad films, there IS a happy ending. It’s very Devdas inspired — yet a totally different story. Reminded me of the first half of Kali, too, where a guy just has MAJOR anger management issues that mess up his life. Margaret you HAVE to see this film. I think it is going to be a game changer like Classmates was for Malayalam film.

    And the main actor, Vijay Deverakondas is one tall drink of water, let me tell you. Holy moley.
    He’s both charismatic on screen, and yet he’s like an actor’s actor in the same vein as Nawaz. At one point he has a drug overdose, and the camera shows him wetting his pants in his unconsciousness. What other Indian star would do that?

    I think it has an ‘A’ rating and has LOTS of passionate kissing, premarital sex and the works, on top of Devdas level drinking and such. Such a romance!! And an interesting take on the “type” of the tough college topper who falls for the young student.

    There was a guy at my showing (a reasonable 6:30!) who was already seeing it the second time. He just saw it last Thursday!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Well, to be fair, I hadn’t watched Dev D until about a year ago. At least not straight through, I kept dipping in to it and then stopping because the drug stuff was too real and triggered my migraines. But oh man, Abhay Deol! Least loveable and sexiest Dev EVER.

        On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 8:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I thought it was the truest rendition of devdas. Devdas was exactly this- a junkie, an alcoholic who didn’t have the balls to take a stand for Paro. He’s not a romantic figure. He’s an asshole. And my god! Does Abhay Deol do a good job of portraying that so irresistibly

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          • And thus my migraine! And also my finishing it. The migraine was because it was such an accurate depiction of addiction and drugs (that’s my measure, if it makes me feel sick, they are doing a good job). But then I kept watching it because OMG Abhay was magnetic in that. You could see why these women were so caught up in him, and also why most people found him totally unlikable and kind of gross.

            Meanwhile, Bhansali’s Devdas gave me no nausea at all because drinking was just pretty pretty good times.

            On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Hah! As a former junkie who had a relationship with anofher junkie, it felt therapeutic. Bhansali’s version was the one that made me cringe. Lol. And then the Dola Re song and dance spread like wildfire! 😁

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          • See, I’ve never even had alcohol (because migraines, and also it tastes gross), and even I knew Bhansali’s vision was ridiculous and almost offensive in how it minimized addiction.

            On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:55 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Hah! SRK got mocked more for Devdas than he did for k-k-k-kiran!! 😁 I think this was the movie that made me hate Aishwarya. Like HATE hate. Madhuri was the only decent thing about it. You see the empowered Paro in Dev D and the vulnerable yet strong Chandramukhi by Kalki and it enriches the story beyond the male protagonist!

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          • Devdas and the new Zanjeer are in the same category for me, blasphemous needless remakes, except for that one perfect casting (Sanju as Pran and Madhuri as Chandramukhi) that almost makes it worthwhile.

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          • Nope, I refuse, Zanjeer is perfect and impossible to replicate and any attempt is blasphemous at any point. Devdas, maybe, it is a story that can constantly be reinvented for new eras, but Zanjeer is sacrosanct.

            However, use a time machine to transfer 2000s Sanjay to the 1970s and swap him out for Pran in the original, that I can allow. Although then we would lose Pran. I’m conflicted!

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          • The reason why Devdas works is because the situation that causes the central conflict in the film – family vs. paro – has not changed for our society.

            The problem with films like Zanjeer was that our society lost all confidence in our police service post-liberalization. Films like Singham sort of brought back the craze and respect for khaki but it’s the stories of hero cops being spread through social media the past five years that really provides fertile ground for an awesome Zanjeer remake. They’d just have to really keep it super realistic and darker

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          • And somehow time machine a young Amitabh, a young Salim-Javed, and a young Jaya back to the present day.

            Nope, I still just can’t picture anything different than the original. Not unless it is so completely changed as to be a remake in spirit but not details. Hero whose parents were killed and he has blocked the memory, low class heroine he meets through his police work, best friend who is an enemy turned friend, and everything else is different.

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          • It cannot be an exact copy for sure. The low class dancer heroine could be like a dancer working for an event management group. Everything is doable and can be updated for today. It would need a kickass background score and top notch cinematography.

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          • Aha, she is not a dancer heroine! (I am surprisingly in love with Zanjeer and have watched it multiple times) One of the coolest things about our heroine is that she is not feminized at all when we first meet her. She is the knife sharpener for the neighborhood, aggressively rejects being considered female. The first 3rd of their interactions would be the same whether she was male or female, he yells at her for getting into a knife fight instead of calling the police, he is disgusted with her for changing her testimony in response to threats, it is only when they spend the night together that things start to change. And even there, she tries to be “good” and “wifely” and bring him chai in the morning, and he secretly throws it out because it tastes terrible and she doesn’t know how to cook. She goes through a whole transformation into being the perfect middle class housewife through the course of the film, and then at the end she is back to the knife and killing people for him.

            MAN I love Zanjeer! This may need to be this Friday’s post.

            On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 11:48 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • The real impossibility, always and forever, is trying to cast someone who can replace young Amitabh. Certainly Abhishek can’t do it.

            On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 12:30 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Can I say Prabhas? Close to his Chatrapati avatar? Because the “cut-out”?!

            If they’re going with a completely fresh cast, how about Aryan Khan? He has a naturally angry looking face!

            Fawad would be amazing in the angry parts but he’s too polished and short.

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          • Sanjay Sanjay! Although if not Sanjay, I will accept Nawazuddin. Very similar relationship to what he had with Shahrukh in Raees, only it would be with the cop/criminal roles reversed.

            I still have no idea who could be a young Amitabh. Ajay 10 years ago, maybe, not today. And Prabhas, I don’t know, he doesn’t seem angry enough. Although he does come closer than anyone else I can think of.

            On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 12:37 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Ok so Prabhas who’s been told to give up biryani and do a tonne of promotional interviews?! Fanbois tell me that gets him angry quick!

            I’m dying to see Prabhas and Nawaz in a film together.

            I don’t want to see Sanju Baba in it simply because I want to see him move past the Bambaiya roles.

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          • Have you watched Shabd? I haven’t, it doesn’t look very good (plus, of course, Aish), but I am really interested in the idea of Sanjay as a conflicted internal novelist.

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          • It’s the internally tortured junkie persona that makes Sanju Baba so appealing. It’s the Bholenath imagery. PS, I really can’t watch anything with Aishwarya in it. I think I watched like 10 minutes of this film once.

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          • Just curious, on a scale of 1-10, what are your hopes for Ranbir’s ability to pull off the Sanjay biopic? I go between “but Raju so perfectly captured him in the Munna Bhai films! Surely he understands what makes him tick” and “Ranbir Kapoor? Really?”

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          • It would be one thing for this film to be made had he retired or died. Right now, it’s just a desperate attempt from Ranbir to look relevant. That’s it. I have zero hopes of it working for him. He’s just desperate for a hit or critical acclaim. Easy to get critical acclaim doing a biopic of anybody in this country if you’re a big name. Look at how Priyanka butchered Mary Kom.

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          • Aish for you=Priyanka for me. Her acting style is like nails on a chalkboard for me. I am so happy she moved to the US, so there are minimal big releases of hers I have to suffer through. And I am so happy that Mary Kom was such a disaster that I don’t feel the need to watch it.

            With Ranbir, I couldn’t believe the stories I was seeing after Jagga saying “oh dear, KAT’s career is in trouble now”. KAT??? The one with Tiger Zinda Hai and Thugs of Hindostan and the Aanand movie lined up? Not Ranbir with his crazy biopic experiment?

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          • Kat doesn’t have a career. The End. Ranbir, if nothing works, can always direct or produce. What will Kat do? Ranbir has the surname. He won’t learn a lesson till he sees his dream roles being done by others. Or till the next big star kid makes a debut in the soft chocolate hero genre. He got lucky that Tiger decided to be an action star.

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          • I feel like more accurate would be “Kat has never had a career”. Anyway, for sure Jagga had a lot less effect on her life than it did on Ranbir’s, but once again he is more or less skating off blame free. Very frustrating.

            Wouldn’t it be fun if his own cousin Aadar Jain was the one who took him down? I highly doubt it because the kid doesn’t look that good, but it would have a kind of epic Greek tragedy feeling to it.

            On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 1:40 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Margaret, have you seen Chatrapati? Prabhas is plenty angry in that. Here, have a look:

            Sorry, no subtitles, but maybe that will help you appreciate the acting better.

            Asmita, Prabhas as hero and Nawaz as villain just won’t work, due to the disparity in their physical size. I don’t think even the cleverest of camera angles can overcome that problem.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’d love to see a film that uses Nawaz’s height. Make him the small man people overlook, and make that part of his danger.

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  4. I am definitely intrigued by Arjun Reddy and am glad that it is doing well, especially after all it had to go through to release.. Will definitely try to watch it somehow if subtitles are accessible. As someone here mentioned, is this the start of a new wave of Telugu films?
    Some interesting observations from my area were:
    A Malayalee friend of mine watching the film and loving it. And a Telugu friend commenting that the writing was like a Malayalam screenplay.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “So, either this means the Telugu market is shifting, finally, away from big star action films. Or it means the NRI market is growing farther and farther away from the India market, flocking towards more thoughtful character dramas. Or it means this has already happened and I just didn’t notice it because I don’t know anything about Telugu films. You can tell me in the comments!”

    I don’t think the market is necessarily shifting drastically but I think audience is not going spending money if the word-of-mouth/reviews for big star action films aren’t good. On the other hand, even if the word-of-mouth/reviews for a smaller different film like this is decent, the audience is willing to spend the money and watch the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So the big star films might be big reward, if the word of mouth is good. But the smaller films are a safer bet, they may not make the big profit, but they will make a decent profit.

      On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:54 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • That’s what it seems like.

        But my mom and her friends went to see Arjun Reddy and they absolutely hated it! But honestly, that generation can’t really handle these smaller films. Some of my mom’s friends didn’t like Fidaa since the heroine was speaking in the Telangana dialect. I feel like they’re better off going to the big star films or the films that are more typical.

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        • So it could also be an immigration pattern thing. If there are enough people in the US now slightly below your Mom and her friends generation to drive the box office for a different film.

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          • Exactly! I think even in India, Arjun Reddy is doing really well among the younger crowd when compared to other age groups.

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