Box office day! The most exciting day of the week! Well, for me. I love seeing my little numbers and talking about them. (as always, courtesy of Bollywoodhungama)
Sanju is still on a ridiculously high number of screens, pretty much everywhere. With Race 3, the screen count dropped off in week 3 like crazy, in a way that made me wonder if there was a two week commitment built in to the original screens. And now I am wondering the same thing about Sanju. Not that there is really anything that theaters could replace it with if they had the screens, which is a whole other thing, forcing the two week run by scaring off an competitors in week 1 or 2. On the other hand, it makes this report easy to write! Because there’s only one movie I have to talk about, the only thing playing.
Sanju is on 359 screens in America, it gained 3 screens between week 1 and 2. And it has dropped to only $2,500 per screen. This is what happens when you do a major wide release, everyone who was interested saw it the first week and now the second has a big drop. Still someone impressive, considering the ridiculous number of screens $2,500 per means a fair amount of people still want to watch it, but not that impressive. Especially considering the flip side of that large number of screens, if you want to watch any Indian movie at all this week, you are stuck with Sanju.
$9,185 per screen on 32 screens in Canada. That’s a lot better than the US. Even allowing for the different ticket prices, it’s still better. Of course, it’s also dealing with a very different screen situation. For some reason only 4 screens were playing it last week in Canada, and now the screens are exploding this week. So it’s more like a week one than a week two.
In the UK, it only dropped to $1,818 per screen on 114 screens, only losing 2 screens since last week. Considering that the UK market generally doesn’t like anything, and the freakishly high number of screens, that is very very good.
Australia, still on 59 screens, at $8,000 per screen, about half of what it was doing opening week, but still good. New Zealand, drop from 33 to 22 screens, $7,000 to $5,500 per screen. Germany, drop from 30 to 16 screens, from around $3,000 to $900 per screen.
New Zealand is the healthiest market, if you look at the per screen difference between the first week and the second. It’s not complicated, you need to lose about a third of the screens between week 1 and week 2 to stay solvent. Unless its a movie that was undersold on screens in the first week (which Sanju definitely isn’t).
Sanju is acting the way a big budget big promotions big name film should act in week 2, but the distributors (except for New Zealand) aren’t treating it that way, they are still giving it an insane number of screens and pushing the box office figures at the expense of healthy theaters. Since the exact same thing happened with Race 3, and Padman, I am going to assume this is a pattern, distributors have discovered that if there is no major film coming out the next week, they can push to keep the same number of screens in week 2 as they had in week 1, despite the lowered level of interest from the audience.
The best way to fight this is if there is another film coming out that will take the screens away. In this case, there was nothing the week after Sanju. This week is Soorma, which is a solid movie but doesn’t have the big big names or big big promotion Sanju enjoyed, will take some of its screens but not all of them. Dhadak next week will be a bigger threat. I’ll be curious to see what theaters, and audiences, will pick when they have more options.