Box Office: More of the Same

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.

18 thoughts on “Box Office: More of the Same

  1. Personally, my Indian movie habit has had to move online, since the last one my closest multiplex showed was Bahubali 2. I had to travel at least an hour each way to see Jab Harry Met Sejal (which I did, four times). But nothing else has tempted me to make that kind of effort. The specific culprit in my area (suburban DC) is Regal Cinemas, which has reduced the number of theaters they identify as showing “Bollywood”. So in the immortal words of the Tired, Old Engine, “I would, if I could, but I can’t”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Regal cinemas is a big loss, it’s a bit of a flagship mainstream theater for Indian film, I believe it is centered in the New York/NJ area, which is of course the most densely populated with desis. They only had one theater in my area that showed Indian films, and that one closed entirely and the other two near me haven’t started showing Indian films. I didn’t realize they were cutting down on Indian films in general, that it was more than just the one theater near me that happened to close. On the other hand, the AMCs near me are expanding their Indian offerings, in fits and starts, but slowly.

      On Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 9:34 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. Our local Cinemark Theaters do a lot with Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam movies, and I am both a fan of the movies and their popcorn.

    With that said, I rather like Raju Garu Gadhi 2. It was funny, scary, and both Samantha and her now father-in-law, Nagarjuna, were charming. I am surprised it’s not doing well; but who can understand the Tollywood audience, anymore?


    • I used to have a friend that worked for Cinemark corporate! Good to hear they are doing more Indian. The theater nearest me is Cinemark, and they are one of the ones that is dipping its toe into Indian film lately, but only very cautiously. They played stuff like Fan and Sultan, so the really really big releases. And then they rented out a theater to someone else who showed Spyder and Bahubali 2. There hasn’t been a noticeable uptick in their Indian offerings, but it also hasn’t taken a downturn, so that’s good.

      On Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:18 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Since late 2015, my local Cinemark theaters have been showing almost every Telugu and Hindi release. That’s where I see most of my Indian movies nowadays.


        • Maybe I need to move to the suburbs? There are some suburban theaters that show everything. But closer to the city where I live, there just aren’t as many options. There’s the one theater that is all Indian, but it’s such a drive, I really can’t squeeze in more than one movie a week.

          On Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:39 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. Could the reason why Raju Garu Gadhi 2 is performing badly be due to that it is a remake from a Malayalam movie, Pretham?
    One would expect the movie to do well due to the Chaysam Wedding. *sigh. Box-Office is so unpredictable.
    Golmaal does look to have a very tough weekend because of so many silly comedies releasing (as you said).
    I live in a suburb in LA, and i have to travel close to 2 hours to watch a movie :(, @ Cinemark,but, laemmelle is coming near us. Do you know if this theater plays Indian movies (North and South)?
    I am so super excited for Secret Superstar!!
    Meh for Padmavati; so tired of the trio and its periodical dramas.


    • I don’t know about Laemelle in particular, but it seems like any mainstream theater in America at this point MIGHT be showing an Indian film, if their neighborhood supports it and they are willing to take a risk.

      I am not super excited for Secret Superstar, but I am expecting a generally good theater experience. Not Best Ever, but also not a disappointment. It seems reliable that way.


    • They haven’t really publicized that Raju Gari Gadhi 2 is a remake of Pretham so not many people realize that it’s a remake. Plus Pretham wasn’t a huge crossover hit like a Premam or a Bangalore Days that would stop people from watching a remake.

      You would think that the wedding would help RGG2 but they haven’t really done many promotions for the movie. I think they just had a press meet the day before which both Nagarjuna and Samantha attended. I think they both did a couple tv interviews as well.


  4. I live in a rising Desi suburb of Chicago. Our Regal theater always has at least one Hindi film. The Cinemark five minutes from me has at least one Telugu or Tamil film playing at all times. If it’s a big Hindi release, like a Khan film, then the local AMC might carry it. I only have to drive to see the Malayalam films 45 minutes away.

    I didn’t catch Chef or Lucknow Central — (which is already streaming!). Raju Gari Gadhi 2, even wtih Nagarjuna, didn’t appeal to me. Just not a scary comedy horror movie kind of gal. I think there was another Telugu film last weekend Raja the Great, which also the trailer didn’t appeal to me very much.

    The big Tamil release today is Mersal with Vijay. Supposedly the presales for tonight are already $200,000 — not Rajinikanth level but good. I’ve already got my ticket for the late show tonight. Hoping it’s good as the trailer was amazing.

    I’m really looking forward to Secret Superstar!


    • Oh, Mersal must be why my Secret Superstar showtimes are messed up! I know it will be playing somewhere, but the times haven’t posted yet. And it is probably because they are waiting to confirm if Mersal will be coming and what day they are getting it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The new Golmaal is showing at 2 Hoyts complexes here in Adelaide from tomorrow. I watched Golmaal Fun Unlimited a couple of nights ago – it was so silly, not in a bad way, just silly and I don’t think I want to pay $20 for more silliness. Discovered that Secret Superstar will be screening at another movie chain (Event Cinemas), with afternoon sessions! – will still mean a train & bus ride to get there but have asked hubby to come and get me in the evening because public transport to our neck of the woods becomes woeful after 6pm.


    • I’m still waiting for the final Secret Superstar showtimes to pop up around me. I’m hoping for a Thursday show, at a theater where it wouldn’t be mobbed. But I can probably wait until Friday without breaking my heart if I have to.


  6. Pingback: #BoxOffice: More of the Same — dontcallitbollywood @thr @thewritealice – thewritealice MLS – Let Us Write You The World In Our Eyes.

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