Box Office Report: Everyone is in Love with Love

Good week for Punjabi films!  Bad week for all other films.  Oh well, someone always has to rise to the top. (as always, figures from bollywoodhungama)

Batti Gul Meter Chalu did BAD!!!  Which I can’t find it within myself to feel sorry about.  Less than $2,000 per screen in America (and on only 63 screens), and only $1,000 per screen in the UK (but on 53 screens which is a lot for England, so not quite so bad).  Only $2,250 in Canada.

Image result for batti gul meter chalu poster

(So, I wasn’t the only one who decided to skip it and stay home with a good book instead)

Meanwhile, Manmarziyaan is doing slightly better in the second week for a second week than it did in the first.  Slightly over $1,000 per screen on 60 screens in America, not totally terrible.  Terrible in the UK though, 22 screens and only $300 per screen.  Ouch!  And about the same in Canada, for Canada, $1,200 per screen on 19 screens.

Stree on the other hand is doing magnificent, over $2,000 per screen in week 4 in America.  Almost $2,000 per screen in Canada.  Not so good in the UK, $130 per screen.  Of course, it also severely slashed the screen count, down to 23 in America and only 4 in Canada and the UK.  So maybe not “magnificent” but “intelligently making the most of things”.

The southern films are just dreadful this week.  Nannu Dochukunduvate continued the trend of the southern film having more screens in America than the Hindi, released on 101 screens.  And it made less than $1,000 per screen.  Saamy 2, the Tamil release, had only 36 screens and did even worse per screen.  I suppose this could just be because Devudas is coming out soon and no one wants to release in competition, but I’m honestly not sure if anyone besides me is excited about that.  So it could be that hopes were high for these films (101 screens seems like it) and they didn’t live up to their promises.


But, who is looking good this week?  Punjabi!!!!  Qismat is doing extremely well basically everywhere.  Only 24 screens in America, and $4,000 per screen.  $7,500 per screen in Canada.  $4,100 per screen in the UK.  A very solid hit all over the world.


So, what does this tell us?  First, the thing I have been banging on about for weeks, the audience is no longer strictly following language lines.  Or rather, the lines of “my home language plus Hindi” now it’s more “my home language plus anything else that looks interesting”.

But second, if language lines no longer matter, what is bringing people in?  Stars go with language, so it’s no longer stars.  If it was, Shahid Kapoor’s film would be opening far far better based on the success of Padmavat earlier this year.  Clearly the first film did well, and this one didn’t, completely unrelated to actors.   No, it’s the type of film that is bringing them in.

Urdu did well a few weeks back when it had traditional romances releasing.  Then Telugu, when it had a romance.  And now Punjabi has the good old traditional romance, and it is doing well.  The pattern is clear.


And what Hindi films are failing?  The ones that lean away from romance.  Manmarziyaan emphasized its cool hip Anurag Kashyap surface in the promos, instead of the traditional romance heart.  Batti Gul Meter Chalo went after the social message instead of the romance in it’s promotions.  And both films are failing.  Qismat loudly and proudly declared itself a good old-fashioned romance, and it is taking off.

Image result for qismat poster

9 thoughts on “Box Office Report: Everyone is in Love with Love

  1. Its not exactly surprising that Saamy 2 isn’t doing well. The movie is the sequel to Vikram’s 2003 film and I don’t think the concept has aged well. The original Saamy was bombastic, fun film with Vikram as the cop who’s willing to bend the rules to do good. Its a bit over the top but it worked well for its time. The sequel just feels a bit old already. All the things in the first movie that seemed cool or new have become standard tropes. I think they may have been banking on getting some nostalgia viewers with the release. Which is a shame because I do like Vikram and I want him to have his big hit. He seems a bit more focused on his son’s launch though.

    To your point about language not mattering anymore, I’m not sure. Maybe that’s the case with the avid movie goers who are now willing to branch out to other language films because there are subtitles (usually). I feel like with others have just gotten more picky. I’m not heading all the way to the theater to watch a movie unless its got great reviews or its an “event” film- namely big actors or big collaborations or something. For everything else, at least with Tamil, the movie will be streaming soon enough that I’d rather wait. I’ll probably try to catch Saamy 2 when its streaming purely for nostalgia but when I do, I’ll have the benefit of fast-forwarding through parts or stopping it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I picture it, the audience now breaks down into 4 parts:

      1. People who will see a movie just because they want to see a movie and will pick the one that looks best without putting much priority on language.

      2. Dedicated fans of a particular language/actor

      3. People like you, who will turn out for an exciting looking film with a language preference but might be willing to try something outside their language if it looks really good.

      4. People who wait for word of mouth to see how a movie does.

      The problem is, the number of people in the number 2 group are a smaller and smaller proportion of the total audience. And people in the number 3 group have higher and higher standards as it becomes easier to see a film streaming (if you knew the movie was never coming to streaming and the theater might be your only chance, you would probably have lower standards for what gets you into a theater). So the number 1 group is getting every more powerful since they are the only ones seeing movies. If the number 2 group was still dominant, than a Shahid Kapoor movie or a Vikram movie would do well. The number 4 group is getting more numerous than before as well, less of a drive to see the movie no matter what, which is why Stree is doing so well in later weeks after a weak opening. I agree most people fall in the number 3 group, but on a regular week since they aren’t coming to theaters, it is the number 1 group that makes the difference for the opening weekend box office and the number 4 group that makes the difference for the later weeks..

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 8:15 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • That does make sense…I wonder though what that would mean for the various industries though. Do you lose that ‘local’ element of a movie because you’re trying to appeal to a larger crowd? Do you keep the local films for India and a more universal films for overseas? Are you starting to see a larger split in films that succeed in India versus here?


  2. Oh I saw that Qismat has the same heroine as Lahoriye. She is good, I like her. And I watched music video for Qismat (the song) , made year ago, and I know why people wanted to see the movie with the same couple (and the same title, unfortunately not the same plot)

    I’m surprised Batti Gul Meter Chalu did so bad, because I have seen good reviews and I was sure the worth of mouth will help this movie, like it helped Stree few weeks ago.


    • The reviews I saw were somewhat tepid. But even with great reviews, I’m reminded that Padman did pretty bad earlier this year, I think people are over the whole social issues movie thing.


  3. Why didnt Manmarziyaan do well despite all the critical acclaim? Does this mean audience prefer humorous, less serious content(Sanju, Stree)to honest, intense dramas? What exactly do people find entertaining ?


    • So far as I can tell, the audience just really hates Anurag Kashyap. Not even kidding, his movies constantly do terrible even on opening night. There is something about the way they look that just turns people off. At least people in the first two groups who just want to see a movie and/or are faithful to language/stars. He does better in later weeks and on streaming than he does on opening night in theaters. I can’t figure it out, but there is just something about the way his films look to people that turns of the “I just want to see a movie” and the “I want to see my favorite actor” crowd.


        • Maybe? Or just low on gloss. Anurag’s films all of that kind of gritty dirty feel to them which you can see even in a poster or a brief teaser. Maybe that’s what turns the audience off? The feeling that this won’t be escapism this will be getting-deeper-in-ism?

          On Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 8:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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