Global Box Office: Kedarnath Sells More Tickets Than 2.0

Box office day!!!! Yaaaaaay!  And we get to see if 2.0 has staying power, and if Kedarnath has opening day power.  And then answer to both is…..sort of! (as always, figures from bollywoodhungama)

Just a reminder, for opening week of a Big film, $4,000-$8,000 per screen is the acceptable range.  For a medium film, $3,000 to $5,000 is acceptable.  For a very small film (anything Malayalam), $2,000-$4,000 is impressive.  Second week, for a Big film, $3,000-$6,000 is acceptable, $2,000-$4 is good for a medium film, bad for a Big Film.  $1,000-$2,000 is good for a small film.

So, what does that mean for this week?  Let’s start with 2.0 in America.  This is the biggest of big films.  A) It has Rajinikanth, a Very Big Star.  B) It has a Big scope to its ideas and budget.  C) It released in 3D, automatically driving up ticket prices.  Last week it came in at $8,000 per screen on a very large number of screens.  Which was really more like the equivalent of $4,000 per screen once you considered the inflated 3D prices and Tamil first weekend prices.  This week, it is coming in at $3,000 per screen on the same number of screens.  Now, if this were a regular Big film, I would say that is “bad, but not embarrassing”.  It means there are a few people who didn’t see it opening weekend and weren’t driven away by word of mouth, and a few others who actually want to see it again.  BUT!!!  It is in 3D!!!  Which means that even if the Tamil ticket prices have dropped down to a more normal level in week 2, leading to a predictable and expected drop in the overall box office, the 3D tickets are still going to be the same higher rate.  So it’s not exactly $3,000 divided by 2, but more like $3,000 divided by 2/3rds.  Which brings it down to what would be for a “normal” movie, $2,000.

Image result for 2.0 poster

This is the same pattern we have been seeing for southern releases at least since Spyder over a year ago.  The opening weekend is very good, the ticket prices are high and it is an Event to be there opening night.  But then it has no staying power.  In the most dramatic examples, the drop occurs between the very first and second nights.  In the less dramatic examples, it occurs between first and second weekends, like here.

There’s a lot of reasons for this, mainly related to how the southern films function differently than Hindi films.  The high ticket prices opening night are the start of it all.  The ticket prices are high because there is an exorbitant interest in opening night.  And in order to keep them high, promoters and stars and everyone else, focuses on opening night as well.  Finally, thanks to the high ticket prices, it is possible for a one time promoter to make money off the film.  To rent space in a theater for a flat rate, sell tickets at whatever they want, and come out with an overall profit.

This is all BAD for the theater industry in general.  And therefore the movie industry, since it floats up.  A theater doesn’t need a really big opening night, they need a film to run and run and run so they can sell lots of popcorn and snacks and everything else.  So the southern pattern, while it may rack up impressive numbers very quickly, is overall not the most important thing to look at.

This brings me to Kedarnath!  Which also made about $3,000 per screen in America, on 100 screens.  100 screens is very good for a mid-sized film.  And making $3,000 per screen is respectable for that number of screens.  More importantly, a film that had minimal publicity and made $3,000 on 100 screens opening weekend seems set to make $2,000 per screen on 70 screens next week, same on 40 screens the week after that, and so on and so forth.  Especially since it released with no 3D and no inflated tickets, just regular rates, same this week as it will be every other week.

(Kedarnath, positioned for a slow but sure climb)


So the bottom line is, this weekend was very good for Sara Ali Khan, and only so-so for Rajinikanth.

8 thoughts on “Global Box Office: Kedarnath Sells More Tickets Than 2.0

  1. I laughed so hard seeing this

    The ultimate crossover. Hillary and John Kerry trying to dance to BW music with SRK and the Ambanis. Check out Aamir on the side trying to fit in and dancing like he has no clue what’s happening.


    • My understanding is, the producers usually get their money back by selling distribution rights. The distributors then get the money from sub-distributors and/or theaters. In this system, it is the distributors who take on the most risk and the most reward. If you distribute your own film (like Rajshri did for HAHK) you have the opportunity for a massive gain. But you can also risk a massive loss (like Red Chillies took with Dilwale). The distributors purchase rights on a bidding basis, so the higher the buzz is around the film, the more expensive the rights are to purchase. For 2.0, it is possible that the 3D, big names attached, and the success of the original was enough for the producers to make the money back in the rights sales alone. But then, will the distributors make back their money or not?

      Thugs was kind of interesting because it tried a new angle on the risk factors. In that case, the distributors paid a massive amount to YRF, and then sold it to the theaters on a flat rate instead of a percentage system. Meaning the theaters had to pay the distributors a basic amount no matter what their profit was in ticket sales. Thugs ended up hurting the theaters most of all, rumors are it even put some out of business.

      What is more common is for the distributors to be left holding the bag. And in that case, it is the responsibility of the star of the film (whether or not he is a producer) to pay back the loss out of his own pocket. Such an odd tradition! And part of the reason the star system continues, distributors are a little more willing to pay top dollar for a Shahrukh or Salman or Aamir film because they know Shahrukh covered their losses for Dilwale, Salman for Race 3, and Aamir (presumably) for his last flop. But Aamir can’t do it for Thugs, not without tracking down every little movie theater in the country that paid the flat rate and lost money. Which might be why he did such a big public apology, it was all he could offer, for once he couldn’t have the piece of mind of making sure no one lost money on his film but himself.

      Sorry, I know that is way too long of an answer, but I find this whole thing fascinating!

      On Wed, Dec 12, 2018 at 2:20 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      • So, the pre release business that the film does is all the producers’ revenue which comes from the distributors and the post release is distributors and theater owner’s revenue? I find it fascinating because Mohanlal’ s big movie Odiyan is about to release and the director put out a big claim that the film has already done a pre release business of 100 crores. He didn’t give a breakup or anything and even some of the hardcore fans found it questionable. But his intention seems to be to create a hype on the overall business of the movie as some 200 crore+. But it isn’t really 100 crore pre release +100 crore theater business rt? The distributor is the payer of a portion of the 100 crore(that excludes the digital,satellite rights)which they hope to recover from the theater collections.Numbers are the new big promos machines.


        • Ra.One is the really interesting one to me. It was a flop in theaters, but massively profitable for the producers. Along with satellite rights (which can go as high as 40 crore), they also had all kinds of marketing tie ins and so on and so forth, all before it sold a single ticket.

          I don’t know what they mean by “pre-release” profit. I always thought it was advance ticket sales, but I could be completely wrong.

          On Wed, Dec 12, 2018 at 11:50 PM 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.