Box Office: Mulk Does Bad, Karwaan Does Better, Fanney Khan Does Best

I know, I skipped last week, but there wasn’t much to talk about.  This week, three things to talk about! (as always, figures from renttrack by way of bollywoodhungama)

In America, Fanney Khan released on 69 screens and made $1,615 per screen.  Karwaan released on 58 screens and made $1,242 per screen.  Mulk released on 25 screens and made $1,716 per screen.  So, per screen, Mulk was actually best.  But the screen count is so low, and $1,716 is still really bad, so yeah, Mulk is the biggest flop of the three.

The American box office was still hoping though, thanks to the non-Hindi films.  Goodacheri released on 115 screens and made $3,000 per screen.  Which is actually pretty sad for a Telugu film, but at least it means a modest profit for the theaters, and it was something to fill all those screens that the other movies didn’t take (adding all 3 Hindi releases together, that’s still only 154 screens, half of what Sanju alone took).

And then there’s Koode.  25 screens, a shockingly high number for a Malayalam film, showing what faith the distributors had in it.  Faith which was rewarded, $1,769 per screen, shockingly high for a Malayalam film as well.  For comparison, Aadhi only made $1,000 per screen.  But then, it was on 38 screens, so Mohanlal Jr. got his nice big box office handed to him.


So, what does this mean?  Well, it means the audience would rather see Anil Kapoor and bright colors and happy songs than Dulquer and Irrfan making wry remarks and Rishi Kapoor giving speeches about prejudice.  I think we could all kind of guess that.  And it means that the director-lead Malayalam film can still triumph, Parvathy and Prithviraj JUST had a release, and it flopped, so it’s clearly not the stars of Koode that are making the difference (yes Nazriya is there too, but that’s still not enough).  Oh, and it also proves that My Story flopped not because of Parvathy boycotts or anything stupid like that, but just because it was a bad movie.

And it means this was just a bad weekend.  And everyone knew it would be.  Those screen counts are telling me the distributors didn’t have much faith in these particular films either.  And I already kind of got that from the promotion campaigns, which were lackluster to say the least.  There’s two big movies coming out for Independence Day, no one wants to get caught up in competition with them, so this is a good weekend to dump out your so-so movies and let them run as long as they can without competing because you know they can’t stand up to competition.

(I think this is the most interesting song from Fanney Khan, and they didn’t even release it until the film was already in theaters.  Terrible promotion team.)


As for the rest of the world, it’s basically business as usual.  These 3 Hindi films all did the same everywhere, really weak box office all around with Fanney Khan slightly better and on slightly more screens than the other two.  The two southern films didn’t even come out anywhere else, per usual.  Punjabi is screaming high in Canada and Australia.

Oh right, the one interesting thing!  That I would have talked about last week if I’d had time.  Teefa in Trouble is doing well in Canada and the UK.  Which I find fascinating.  Because in the UK, it is (presumably) picking up on the Pakistani diaspora audience.  But in Canada, I think it is picking up on the Punjabi audience!  Because, it is Punjabi.  The language, the humor, the sound of the songs, it all feels Punjabi to me.  I think there’s even a few jokes about how Punjabi the characters are thrown in there.

So, that’s a fascinating thing to think about with the Pakistani market!  If they keep making big fun films like this, they could pick up an odd combined market of Punjabi ethnicity and Pakistani nationality.

10 thoughts on “Box Office: Mulk Does Bad, Karwaan Does Better, Fanney Khan Does Best

  1. `

    Did Mission: Impossible – Fallout get wide distribution in India? I seems like something that would do well internationally.


    • Yes, and it did very well. In India I am seeing reports of Hindi films releasing at shockingly low levels, and that is probably partly because of MI competition.


  2. Do you know how many screens a movie will get is determined? Like where do the distributers come into play? I’m asking to understand for selfish reasons lol
    I like in a very small city and the AMC played Sanju but doesn’t play any other/ hasn’t played any other hindi or even punjabi movies. So how did THAT movie happen… do you know what I mean?


    • I wish I had a better sense of it, but I just don’t. I know generally it is the distributors who control it, because they control everything about the distribution rights, but I don’t know how that breaks down exactly, if producers can pressure them or put something in a contract to guarantee screens, or if the distributors have to beg for screens from theaters.

      I know, theoretically, a theater has the right to turn down any movie if they don’t want to show it. At least in America there was a massive anti-trust case about that back in 1948. But I also know there is unofficial pressure put on theaters all the time, if they want one big movie they have to take another. Like, for instance, if the same distributor had the rights for Race 3 and Sanju, they might have implied to theaters that that they have to take Race 3 if they wanted Sanju.

      It used to be easier to understand because there was a physical element to it, producers and distributors paid for a certain number of copies of the film to be made and then shipped them to a certain number and theaters and so on. But now that everything is digital, I have no idea how it works.

      Sanju had a ridiculously massive number of screens, so I’m not surprised it was the only one that played for you. I am sure that screen count came about because it was a Hirani film so the distributors had a lot of faith in it and theaters did too.


  3. That’s a really interesting thing about Pakistani Punjabi films that you picked up. I did not even think about it. Fawad Khan’s next Pakistani film, Maula Jutt, will be completely in Punjabi. It will be interesting to see how it fares internationally and if it is able to attract the Indian Punjabi audience as well.


    • I’ll be curious as well! Usually Pakistani films don’t do as well overseas as Punjabi, so if it does well (especially in places like Canada) that could be a sign of a new sort of cross over market.


    • Probably not, with my sister in town this weekend and then the Independence Day releases next weekend.

      On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 5:41 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. I’m surprised that Mulk did bad because it got really good reviews. May be it wasn’t promoted right.

    Goodachari is a hit here but I don’t think it will have a long theatrical run. There is another film coming up next week (Srinivasa Kalyanam) and the producer is going all in while promoting the film like send your wedding card and get a free silk saree!!


    • My goodness, that’s enough reason to get married! Or at least to print up a fake wedding card.

      On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 6:49 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.