Well, it’s not the best pun title, but it’s something. The point is, bad week at the box office this week! October did terribly, and took all the screens, so nothing else had any space. (as always, figures courtesy of renttrack courtesy of Bollywoodhungama)
Let’s talk star power! Or rather, perceived star power. On the one hand, Tiger Shroff currently is getting a lot of credit for the success of Baaghi 2, which I think is a mistake. Both that the success is being over-hyped and that it was more about the genre of the film than Tiger himself individually (although he did a good job, I just don’t think he was the only factor in its success), and that it isn’t good for Tiger’s career to get all this hype.
And on the other hand, we have October that shows the end result of all that hype. Varun Dhawan was given so much credit for the success of his last few films, undeserved credit. Judwaa 2 was a hit because of the nostalgia factor, and the promotions, and that comedies were doing good last year, and only after all of that, because of Varun. And most of his other recent films, you could say the same thing. Maybe not Badrinath, or Dishoom, but Dilwale was a Shahrukh movie more than Varun, Badlapur was as much about the pairing with Nawazuddin as him by himself, and so on and so on.
(People came in for this song, not for Varun doing this song. Or at least, mostly not for Varun doing this song)
But because Varun was (incorrectly) crowned King of the Box Office, unable to have a flop, and so on and so on, now October is flopping. The expectations were just way too high. It is a strange little artsy mood piece made on a shoestring, it should have had a shoestring release. But instead it is getting all this promotion and all these screens (131 in America alone!) that it will just never be able to handle. Which has turned it into a flop, Varun’s first flop.
For the numbers, $1,500 per screen in the US, $1,300 in Canada (and Canada has the expensive ticket prices!), $670 per screen in the UK (which should be the perfect audience for it, they like artsy and they like romance), $100 per screen in Australia (they like the action films so it was never going to do well there, but $100 per screen is ridiculous). I don’t trust the India figures at all, so I can’t speak to that, but I just can’t imagine that the numbers are this bad overseas and it’s actually doing well at home.
It is a little bit due to Varun that this is a problem, if he wants to be a real star, not just a popular actor, he needs to get more pro-active about making sure his films are released and promoted correctly. That’s one area where Tiger seems to be doing well, or someone on his team. There is a sense of the kind of movie he can do, and how it should be promoted, and how it should be released.
(This is a good poster for an art movie, a bad poster for a major release)
In other news, not much news! Blackmail is doing slightly better in the second week than the first, if we grade on a curve. That is, the first week was very bad for a first week, the second week is not so bad for a second week. Looks like a combination of good word of mouth, people coming back a second time, and people who aren’t “first day first show” kind of people getting around to watching it.
Everything else is dropping. This is the other problem with October, it took all the screens so nothing else big is coming out, and all the older movies are entering weeks 2-3-4 and naturally falling off. This weekend there is nothing in Hindi, but if Mahesh Babu’s new movie does well, that could fill theaters and keep things going a bit during this IPL lag time.