Box Office! Finally, an exciting one! I haven’t even bothered the last few weeks, because there’s just been NOTHING coming out, and nothing to talk about.
I’ll start with what we are all wondering about, Tiger! Did very well everywhere, in the way I would expect. Worse in America than anywhere else, only $4,600 per screen. Which is solidly in the “opening weekend for a Khan film” range, and was on 300 screens, the top level for a release. Sultan only opened on 283. Although Sultan also made more money per screen and overall. So the curse of the 2017 box office in America is still in place. But it is weakening! $4,600 is very respectable, is back to “normal” really. A Khan film “should” release on around 300 screens and make $4,000 to $6,000 per screen. And this is the first one to match that pattern in a while (JHMS made $4,000 per screen, but on only 253 screens).
Other places, Tiger did fan-freaking-tastic. Almost $10,000 per screen in Canada, almost $4,000 in the UK. Canada always goes high and the UK goes low, just because of ticket prices and market saturation. Even allowing for that, still slightly better in Canada, a sign of the Canadian audience lean towards action. Same with Australia, did very very VERY well there, $14,444.525 per screen, again a sign of the audience lean towards action there.
(Or else this is pay off for the Dabangg Tour coming to Australia. In which case, it is yet another reason Salman should have brought it to the US! Drive that box office up here too!)
Meanwhile, how are our other little movies doing? Velaikkaran, the Tamil movie with Fahad Faasil, is doing so-so. $2,912.58 per screen in the US. Which isn’t a disaster, but isn’t great. A tiny tiny little profit margin most likely. More interesting is in other places, the newer Tamil markets. Only $1,404.53 per screen in the UK, but on 26 screens, a sign that distributors are continuing to be serious about that market. And much better in Australia, 27 screens and $3,527.56 per screen. Although part of that could be related to how very very very well Tiger did in Australia. If it was $14,000 per screen, that tells me people were being turned away from sold out screenings, and possibly wandering in to the Tamil film next door instead.
Oh, and speaking of new markets, Tiger also opened in Germany on 18 screens. Did not do well, but nothing without Shahrukh will do well there, just the fact that it is playing on 18 screens is an accomplishment.
So, what does this say overall? Have you heard the phrase “A rising tide lifts all ships”? That’s why it is good when a movie, any movie, does well. Even if it is one I personally don’t much like or think is very good. Tiger is getting people into the theaters again, it is already benefiting Velaikkaran in Australia, and that won’t be the last of it. If it runs well, it will benefit the big Republic Day releases too, get people excited to go to the movies again, get people used to going to the movies again, remembering how fun it is and how special. Bahubali 2 couldn’t do it, because that was more than a movie, that was a whole experience. But Tiger, despite all the gritty violence and faux-politics of it, is very much a movie-movie, the kind of thing that will remind you of other things, that will make you want to watch Aiyaary or PadMan or Chanda Mama Door Ke in a few weeks.