Airlift, Wazir, Dilwale, Bajirao: Global Box Office Collections

Once again, the raw data can all be seen at bollywoodhungama.  I’ve already talked about the local numbers for Airlift in particular, but now figures are available for international territories for the whole week.

Read on to see how it all shook out.

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Box Office Report: Dilwale is still knocking down Global records, Wazir is barely holding on, Airlift is coming to destroy them all

Thank you for providing so many numbers to me!  There are a few interesting things going on in the local and global box office, going into Airlift weekend.

Airlift, and Republic Day, will put an end to the traditional Christmas season releases, as the screens are given over to patriotic rather than family friendly films.  Meaning this is expected to be the last big week, and final box office projections are rolling out for Wazir, Dilwale, and Bajirao.

Read on to learn more.

(first reports on Airlift box office here)

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More Box Office Stuff! Shahrukh wins the outer regions, Bajirao hits off center, Salman is still our Bhai

Bollywoodhungama is just the best.  They just posted the best of the box office 2015 list, broken down by territories.  I already talked about how Bajirao stacked the deck by focusing on the Bombay audience, and how Dilwale suffered by losing market share to protests. And how Salman is consistently the all India winner.  But this makes it even more apparent.

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Weekend Box Office Collections Analysis: Germany Loooooves SRK/Dilwale, and non-Indians looooooove Bajirao

So, Bollywoodhungama posted the weekend overseas box office figures, broken down by country, with screen counts included as well.  Some interesting things in there.

(also, admire my pun in the header image!  “Two days, two players, one game.”  How perfect is that for another Bajirao vs Dilwale weekend report!)

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Dilwale vs Bajirao box office: Did Bajirao stack the deck?

So, this article points out that the gap between Dilwale and Bajirao is biggest in the Bombay box office, and that the Bombay market is usually the biggest profit within India.  They also point out, what should have been a “no duh!” sort of thing but which somehow had not occurred to me, that Bajirao is about a famous Maharashtrian, and therefore will do better in Maharashtra than anywhere else.

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Dilwale Box Office Report

So, the first weekend figures are out, and has an analysis.  Well, a lot of sites have an analysis, but I trust rediff the most.

The short answer is, Dilwale wins!  But the long answer is more complex, and involves Salman Khan.  Things that involve Salman are always complex.

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Boring Industrial Inside Baseball stuff

Notice how I put the really exciting picture at the top so we would remember why this really matters?

So, currently, the highest Shahrukh movie on the all time gross list for India is number 5.  NUMBER 5!!!  The shame of it!  Ahead of him is PK, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Bahubali, and Dhoom 3.  The whole list is here on wikipedia.

Now, you know what all these films have in common?  They are all from the past 5 years.  And the film at the top is usually from within the past 2 years.  In America, we are used to that, the top grossers are always fairly recent, but in India that wasn’t always the case.  Mother India set a box office record in 1957 that stayed in place for 3 years until Mughal-E-Azam surpassed it in 1960.  Mughal-E-Azam held the record until Sholay beat it in 1975.  Sholay  held the record until Hum Aapke Hain Koun came along in 1994.  Hum Aapke Hain Koun was toppled quickly by DDLJ in 1995.  Then DDLJ lost it’s crown to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998.  That record held until 2001 when it was beaten by both Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and Gadar: Ek Prem Katha.  Gadar held the record until 3 Idiots in 2009, at which point everyone breathed a sigh of release because they could start pretending Gadar never happened (very very problematic messages in that film).  And then 3 Idiots held the record for a long time, by a big big margin, until it was finally beaten by Chennai Express in 2013.  All Shahrukh fans cheered and celebrated and laughed in the faces of their Aamir-fan friends, or at least that’s what I did.  Truly, it was a magical time!


(Shahrukh, take a bow!  You earned it!)

And then about 2 months later, Dhoom 3 came out and Aamir was on top again.  It stayed up there for a year, until PK came out, and then Aamir had the two top spots.  PK is still up there, but Bajrangi Bhaijaan did really well this summer and came close to beating it.  And Bahubali, of course, is a huge deal since it is the only non-Hindi film up there (although it was distributed by a Bombay based production house, Dharma, which is very important in terms of overseas awareness and national reach in India).

So, on the micro-level, this just means we all need to buy as many tickets for Dilwale as humanly possible in order to return Shahrukh to his rightful ranking.  I don’t care if you are actually seeing Star Wars, you buy your ticket for Dilwale!!!

But on a macro-level, in terms of global trends, economics, and the future of the industry, what does all of this mean and where does it come from?

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New Making of Trailer

Okay, now they are just spoiling us, with a new trailer every day:


It is an interesting publicity strategy, especially in comparison with Bajirao Mastani which released a teaser months ago, but then nothing new for months after that.  Instead, Dilwale is releasing everything at the last minute very close together.

I guess it makes sense, because just the fact of a new SRKajol film is enough to get people pumped and excited, any trailers or songs is just frosting on the cake, something to entice you to buy tickets for the opening weekend.  But Bajirao had minimal name recognition going in and had to sort of train people to care about it at all, and therefore needed that spectacular teaser to get people talking for the past 5 months.