On the one hand, this is kind of depressing. On the other hand, makes it quick and easy to write these posts!
Judwaa 2, doing terribly! You should continue to not believe the hype, as I have been saying all along. Well under a $1,000 per screen in the US in week 3, a decent film should be making at least around $1,500 per screen in week 3. Slightly better in Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, but still not great. This is also a bad sign for Golmaal, opening this week. Looks like the US market is completely turned off on silly comedies, and the rest of the global market is beginning to follow suit.
(No one is coming to the 9pm show, or any other)
New Telugu film, Raju Gari Gadhi 2, also doing terribly! Shockingly bad in the US, only slightly over $2,000 per screen which is really bad for opening weekend. Slightly better in Australia and New Zealand, which is interesting since those are semi-new markets for Telugu films. But not really interesting, since it is still doing terribly.
And everything else is it’s own variety of bad. Generally speaking, first week $4,000 and up is good, second week $2,000 and up, 3rd week $1,500 and up, 4th week on anything around $1,000 is good. And every film out right now is missing those markers by a wide margin. Those two I just went over are the most interesting, otherwise it’s pretty consistent across markets, with the US market the absolute worst of all.
I focus a lot of the US partly because I know it a little better, I can relate it back to ticket prices and stuff in my own experience. But also because it is a huge huge market. Screen count alone, the US routinely has things play on 100-300 screens. The next highest screen count is usually the UK with something like 30 screens. And the US market is the one that is eroding fastest right now. It’s always been heavily Telugu and Tamil, those films have not opened anywhere near decent since DJ back in June, at least not the big films. Arjun Reddy was a surprise hit, Fidaa ran a really long time, but those big “this will cover my entire quarter in profits” films are just not hitting it. The US has also always been big on the Big Big Hindi films. Not the small sleeper hits, but the big ones, they always do better here. And right now, even those are failing.
The US box office in general has been in a slump all year, it’s possible that it is just the state our country is in, people are too depressed to want to go to the movies, or would rather spend their disposable income on things that matter more. Or it could be that India films are no longer able to relate to the American audience. At least, not in the same way that they relate to the audience in India.
For instance, Jab Harry Met Sejal was one of the few bright spots in the American box office this year. While it was a misery in India. And now Judwaa is being buzzed about as a big hit in India which, if I believe that, means the Indian audience now likes things that the overseas audience can’t stomach. And this was a film blatantly courting the overseas audience! London setting, English dialogue, nostalgia for youth, all of that.
(Opened at $4,000 per screen, and #15 at the overall US box office)
Right now, the hopes are pinned on December and Padmavati and Tiger Zinda Hai. These are two films that have a proven track record both at home and overseas. Golmaal this week, that looks likely to go the Judwaa way, decent at home and bad overseas. Secret Superstar, definitely will make a profit, but on how many screens? It just doesn’t feel like the kind of massive release that is needed. But if we can hold out until December, those could be the two films that fix things.
Part of the problem of course is that “hold out until December” mindset. If we are no longer going to have these massive “that’s my profits for the next quarter” kind of hits, then there needs to be more modest films released through out the year. If Padmavati or Tiger Zinda Hai came out some random weekend in November, that would be very helpful right now. Or if Secret Superstar had come out last week instead of this week. Because as it is, Judwaa is carrying the entire Hindi box office for almost a month. And even if it was a much much bigger hit than it was, that still wouldn’t be enough.
It looks like we are going to have to get used to switching back to more films, and smaller films, because the big films just aren’t cutting it anymore. At least, not overseas.