This is an interesting week! Two movies on way more screens than I expected, and one on way less. Although the per screen total is about what I expected for all of them. (as always, figures from rentrack by way of bollywoodhungama)
I’ll start with the US, as always. Padmavat is still on way way too many screens, 245. It’s making good money, $3,000 per screen which is about what you would expect from week 3 of a release that had such a good week 1. But the screen count still feels high to me.
Although, Padman has a high screen count too! 152 in America. Double what Akshay films usually release on. And even Aadhi has a high screen count! 38 screens, way way more than even Nivin’s last release got.
So, what’s happening here? Well, one thing is that February is the worst time for American movies, February and October. If you think you have a good film, you will release it in December to take advantage of the holidays and get it in contention for the Oscars (cut off is January 1). If you think you have a good film that isn’t ready for December, you hold off until March at least to start hitting school vacation time. February is when you dump your so-so films. Well, and Black Panther in a smart Black History Month move. The only “big” weekend in February for Hollywood is Valentine’s Day, and even that isn’t that big.
(Look! I came up with an excuse to work this awesome poster into one of my posts!)
Which means there are a lot of screens going empty right now. I noticed it myself, the theater I went to see Padman at is one of those mainstream theaters that only shows Indian films sometimes. I was excite to see they had Padman, and then noticed they were showing two Telugu films as well! So clearly, they are willing to take anything right now.
But it’s also these 3 particular films. Padmavat has was released sooooooooooooooo big, and was such a big hit, that theaters are holding it over and over and over, trying to milk it dry. Padman was ready for a big release, held off 2 weeks so it could get the big release, and then didn’t cut any corners in the screens it took. Aadhi is just ridiculous, there is NO WAY it deserves 38 screens in America, that’s the Mohanlal name putting pressure on distributors who put pressure on theaters. That’s created success right there. It’s only making about $1,000 per screen, but it’s probably gonna be one of the top overseas hits of the year for the Malayalam industry, just because this release is so ridiculously large.
Per screen, how are things doing? Padman is holding steady around $4,000 per screen in America, Canada, and Australia. It’s down to $3,000 in New Zealand (WHY???? I don’t understand these people and their unpredictable box office tastes!) and only $2,000 in the UK. That’s a little low for an Akshay film, but then if it had released on the usual number of Akshay screens (70-100 in the US), it would be making the usual Akshay box office, about $6,000 per screen opening week. He gained a few audience members just out of convenience of having it on more screens with more showtimes, but overall he is still hitting his solid fanbase. It’s low in the UK, but it was always going to be low, they don’t like these kind of social issue films over there.
What’s really interesting is that it is beating Padmavat easily, on only half as many screens, in Australia. And without setting records! Akshay always does well in Australia, he’s doing okay, but not spectacular. And yet still way better than Padmavat because Padmavat is doing just sooooooooooooo poorly.
(Is it because Aussies hate Dips for something she did back when she was filming Bachne Ae Haseeno there?)
The only thing I can think of is that Padmavat flooded the market. Australia has been a rapidly growing market in just the past few years, and I think make Padmavat hit the limit. The initial release was so large, there was a lot made about how it would be playing in both of the major chains there, and the box office was insanely high per screen which means probably a sold out show every show. So every single person saw it opening weekend. And now it is dragging out its time with no one coming back to watch it in subsequent weeks. The screen count was high everywhere opening weekend, but at least 300+ theaters in America isn’t actually unheard of, you aren’t reaching out to hidden untapped corners of the market and draining them dry.
So, yeah, it’s the screen count that’s the story this week. Padmavat still on way more screens than you would expect, and hitting the wall in profits in Australia because of that. Padman surprisingly also on a high number of screens, and per screen profits taking a hit. And Aadhi on a ridiculously high number of screens in a totally unjustified way.