Huh? Huh? My punning skills have come back! Okay, and they are also a little dirty. But it’s not my fault, it’s the movie! (as always, numbers courtesy of Bollywoodhungama, full figures available here)
Remember how last week I said that the big story wasn’t Arjun Reddy being the top Indian film in America, it was that the Indian box office was TERRIBLE that week? Well, same goes this week! Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, a small slice of life romance with no big big stars, is the top Indian film in America. But it is 34th in the overall American box office. And it made less than $2,000 per screen. On only 58 screens. That’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.
Meanwhile, Baadshaho, which was supposed to be our big hit, made only $533 per screen. BWA-HA-HA-HA!!!! Take that Ajay and your stupid midlife crisis hair! Phew, that felt good to get out of my system.
(I just…what even IS this?)
Oh and Arjun Reddy? Yeah, the super mature type of realistic film isn’t going to save us either. Down to only $1,247 per screen.
So, what is doing good this week? Bareilly Ki Barfi! Week 4, still at a solid $1,214 per screen. Which is slightly better than Arjun Reddy just because it was a slower easier slide, with a lot less expectations.
Equally important, what is doing worst? I think I would have to give it to Poster Boys. Daddy is technically doing worst per screen, but then Daddy was never going to be a huge hit, expectations were a little lower. Poster Boys, it’s not like anyone thought it would be a great movie, but there was a small hope of at least breaking even at the box office, that someone would enjoy watching it. And, NOPE! $500 per screen. In OPENING WEEK.
This pattern, but the way, more or less holds worldwide. Baadshaho, Poster Boys, terrible. Bareilly Ki Barfi, steady. And Arjun Reddy, where it is playing, is dropping suddenly in week 3.
So, what does it MEAN? Well, people should stop making bad movies. This is the tipping point, right here, where word of mouth takes control over publicity. Baadshaho, crazily publicized, no box office there. Bareilly Ki Barfi, minimal publicity, doing well. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Daddy, Poster Boys, all about the same publicity, and finding their natural level.
(Ugh, a terrible publicity campaign! I have no interest in seeing the movie that goes with this poster)
And Arjun Reddy, bonkers strange publicity (poster campaign followed by news stories about poster campaign), wide release, made it mostly on word of mouth, but ran through the limited audience it could reach by week 3.
Looks like the bad times are going to keep on coming at least through the end of the month at this point. I’m not seeing anything terribly exciting on the horizon. But, if I am being optimistic, my hope is that I am not the only one seeing this pattern and more Bareilly Ki Barfis (great script, great director, small release, long run as word of mouth builds) will come out, along with a smattering of Arjun Reddys (risky subject matter that will be very popular in one audience segment), and NO BAADSHAHOS!!!!!