This is a good week! Recent release doing very well in the second week, older release surprisingly still holding steady, and an assortment of other not so good movies still feeling in some of the screens. (as always, figures courtesy of renttrack by way of bollywoodhungama)
Raazi, in week 2, $4,281 per screen in the US! On 101 screens, only losing nine screens since week 1 and still holding strong. This is a solid long running word of mouth and repeat viewers hit. Just like Neerja was. Which, from the pessimistic side of things, means that it might not lead to a rise of female oriented films, since everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten Neerja. Also, interesting comparison in terms of heroines. I thought both actresses did an equally good job, Alia in this and Sonam in Neerja. But Sonam was a less popular star going into the movie and focused more on producing than acting and the film was promoted based on the whole story instead of just her, meaning people said “wow, Sonam can do a really good job when she has the right role, but really it’s about the whole movie”. Versus this film, where the response is more “Alia, new star carrying a movie all herself!”
Mahanati, on the other hand, is NOT. Only $2,308 per screen in week 2, on 121 screens in America. Which isn’t bad, anything over $2,000 in the second week is respectable, but it looks more like a few diehard fans who want to see it again, and some people who were busy opening week shuffling in, not so much “I saw it opening night and now I am telling everyone I know, they HAVE to see this movie” then way $4,000 in week 2 looks.
Also, check the screen count. Clearly people had more faith in a big budget biopic with lots and lots of stars than they did in a small budget thriller with one female star and a bunch of unknowns. And those people were WRONG. Should have gone with Raazi as the hold over instead of Mahanati.
Oh, and then there’s 102 Not Out. This is cool, in week 3 it is on 102 screens, and made $102,000. Beyond the neat number puns, $1,000 per screen in week 3 is not bad. It’s not great, but for a small family film without a ton of promotion and no young stars, it’s very respectable. It feels in that gap of the small film that maybe doesn’t make a profit but will break even and you can put it on your smallest screen in your theater while Raazi and Mahanati are on the big screens. It’s healthy for the industry to have this kind of movie sticking around.
(Healthy! With very unhealthy looking stars)
Those are all American numbers, what about elsewhere? Well, Raazi is doing spectacular in Canada, almost $4,000 per screen there, and Canada is a hard nut to crack for a non-action female lead picture. Mahanati is still playing there, which is remarkable just because Telugu films are so new to the market. It’s making well under $1,000 per screen, so it’s not going to set any records, but at least it’s THERE.
Everything is sinking in the UK, including Raazi, maybe they all watched the royal wedding instead? Although, that got worse ratings in the UK than in America, so I don’t know.
Raazi is doing $5,000 per screen in Australia, Mahanati $2,000. So, about the same as the US. Mahanati is dragging in a few people but Raazi is still piling them in. Both movies are doing worse in New Zealand, Raazi only around $2,500 and Mahanati around $1,000. I have no idea why, New Zealand is weird.
So, to sum up, Mahanati looks more like the sort of flash in the pan hit that is a tribute to a strong PR campaign, drove people in opening weekend and kept a few of them around the next week, but will die quickly. Although Mahanati is still better than a lot of the Telugu films that followed a similar policy recently, some of those over movies didn’t just die in the second week, they died in the second DAY, the word of mouth was bad enough to kill them instantly once people saw the movie. Mahanati has enough content, and is what was promised enough, that the word of mouth isn’t bad, it just isn’t that good either.
(This is the kind of thing at least a few people will want to see more than once, and a few others will be curious enough to come in for once they hear about it)
Raazi, on the other hand, was positioned just right for people to at least give it a chance opening weekend and then let the film speak for itself. The real life story patriotic message got around the usual “Karan Johar fluff” or “movie for girls” problems that it could have for the audience just based on the names behind it. And once people gave it a chance, they discovered it doesn’t really fit into any easy box, and is worth seeing. I include myself in that, I was all set to really not like this movie because I thought it would be more brainless pandering patriotism. But it surprised me, and I turned around and told all of you “no, really, it’s not what you think it is, you should check it out.” And thus, $4,000 per screen second week. Yes, that’s right, I am taking FULL CREDIT for the success of this movie.