Well, this is a boring week. Padmavat continues as you would expect based on last week. Bhaagamathie too, everything is kind of predictable. Except for Australia! And New Zealand. What is going on with those kooky Kiwis and Aussies? (figures courtesy of bollywoodhungama, as always)
Last week, Padmavat was doing $10,000 per screen in America, and $5,000 in the UK. And on the high end, around $22,000 per screen in Canada and $24,000 Australia. And $15,000 per screen in New Zealand.
After an opening week like that, dropping to about half the per screen rate in the second week would be expected. For one thing, again, there are those high opening weekend tickets. And the big drive to see it before anyone else is over. And of course piracy rules, you can watch it streaming online somewhere by now no doubt. So America dropping to $5,000ish per screen, the UK going to $3,500, and Canada to around $10,000, all of that is totally predictable.
What is odd is Australia and New Zealand. Which went from $24,000 per screen and $15,000 per screen down to $7,000 and $5,600 per screen. That is quite the drop!!!!
(Is it because they are all at beach weddings followed by massive swimsuit dance numbers?)
There’s one partial answer for this, and another contributing factor to the overall drop. There are screens added in the second week, which is very very unusual. In the US, it is only an additional 18 screens, that’s not a big deal. Probably just a handful of theaters that are adding on a second screen after it did well.
In Canada it was only 9 theaters, but that makes a big difference when you are going from 28 to 37. In the UK it was a drop of 28, 136 to 108 in the second week. A sign of the UK being the one with the most tepid box office. Still good, it isn’t being rushed out of theaters, but not good enough to justify an unusual addition of theaters in week 2, or even keeping the same number. In Australia it was an addition of 5 theaters, 70 to 75. Similar to the US, that’s just a few theater owners throwing it another screen. And New Zealand held steady at 27 screens.
The UK had the biggest drop in theaters and the smallest drop in per screen profits. The countries that went up in screens had a corresponding drop in per screen profits. Although there is still something unusual about Australia and New Zealand, and I’ve got nothing to explain it. Is the weather remarkably bad/good? Is there some sporting event happening? WHAT?????
(Is everyone at Club Indiana?)
I want to take a moment and look at the screen count though. The addition of screens, like I said, that’s small enough that it feels like just a few theaters taking a chance. In contrast, you can look at Neerja (my gold standard for a word of mouth hit) which went from 73 to 120 screens between week 1 and 2. That was something more, that was the distributors and everyone else taking a look at that film and seeing that it was something special.
In this case, it’s not the addition of screens that I find so interesting, it’s the holding steady, or rather the lack of drop. It’s common to lose a few screens in week 2 for even the biggest hit. Just recently Tiger went from 300 to 255 screens in the second week. And it wasn’t like there was something huge opening around it, that was just the natural attrition in the second week. Padmavat holding screens, even as box office experiences a normal (or abnormal in the case of Australia and New Zealand) drop is unusual.
I have two guesses for what is happening. First, the distributors pushed hard and got a commitment to a two week run. And wanted a two week run, which would be inline with the way this film all along has been promoted and released in a surprisingly selfish and short sighted fashion.
The second would be, after the drought at the box office for the past year, theaters were desperate for a hit. Any movie that seemed like it was doing at all well, they would throw everything at it.
This isn’t to take anything away from Padmavat‘s numbers, these are crazy good numbers, especially compared to 2017. I just don’t feel like adding more screens, or even keeping the same number, is going to help with the profit. It would be better to lose a few screens instead of throwing all your eggs in this basket. Oh well, we will see what happens on Friday when Padman comes out, if that takes a bite out of Padmavat‘s solo pie.
I’ll put it another way. Padmavat thinks it is Prabudeva winning the dance battle all alone. But, is it?
Or is it Tiger Shroff just THINKING it can go solo, but actually the set and lights and everything else are doing most of the work of making him look good?
(Don’t tell my friend Dina I badmouthed Tiger again, we JUST made up after the last time I did that)