JayShah’s Saturday Box Office Column – New releases poor; Delhi 6 flops…

Note all numbers are from Trade Guide

Reporting Methodology

1) New films most of the time where possible will be benchmarked against other films ‘in the same range’. The gross used for the older films will be one’s I have computed in the past
2) Films currently playing – I will always do some trending analysis. This is always against the ‘week before’
3) To compute subsequent week grosses I will always benchmark against ‘the first week’. Before it was always the preceding week, but Week 1 is always the best base because it gives maximum centres to use
4) Going forward I will show ONE example in FULL and show the results of the remaining scenarios

New Releases

Kisse Pyaar Karoon and Siddharth – The Prisoner

Kisse Pyaar Karoon and Siddharth – The Prisoner both had very feeble opening week figures as the Indian box office goes through a lull of sorts. The former collected better, around 0.4-0.5Cr whereas the latter managed only between 0.1-0.2Cr.

Past Releases

Delhi 6

Delhi 6 fell hard despite the advantage of a clear week at the box office. The fall was huge.

Delhi 6 Week 2 vs Delhi 6 Week 1
77% Mumbai means Delhi 6 fell by 77% in Mumbai in Week 2

Mumbai 77%
Ahmedabad 80%
Gandhinagar 75%
Himmatnagar 69%
Rajkot 65%
Baroda 74%
Bharuch 76%
Pune 88%
Nasik 72%
Goa 81%
Delhi 71%
Noida 66%
Kaushambi 72%
Gurgaon 69%
Faridabad 85%
Aligarh 62%
Gorakhpur 71%
Lucknow 82%
Indore 75%
Ujjain 68%
Nagpur 72%
Raipur 83%
Kolkatta 78%
Guwahati 62%
Jaipur 89%
Kota 79%
Burdwan 67%
Hyderabad 68%
Bangalore 53%
Chennai 61%
Vijayawada 85%

Week 2 drop = 74%
All major centres fell by well over 65% with the exception of Bangalore which was the best performing centre overall. Like Billu last week, no centre has fallen by less than 50%.

The Delhi 6 Week 1 total for the above centres = 8.99Cr
The Delhi 6 Week 2 total for the above centres = 2.29Cr

This means that Delhi 6’s Week 2 total is 26% of Delhi 6’s Week 1 total (2.29/8.99 = 26%)

Using my own Delhi 6 Week 1 Total of 23.0-24.5Cr, Delhi 6’s Week 2 Total = 26% * (23.0-24.5) = 5.9-6.3Cr

Delhi 6 2 Week Total = 23.0-24.5Cr(Week 1) + 5.9-6.3Cr(Week 2) = 28.9 – 30.8Cr

Verdict – Flop

Delhi 6 fell significantly and more importantly did so with a clear week at the box office. The film’s performance is very similar to Sarkar Raaj, Raaz – The Mystery Continues and Billu, in that the first week is decent (mainly by way of huge print counts) but the second week fall is 70% or more in most centres.

The film adds to the already growing list of medium to big budgeted disappointments of 2009.


Billu fell by around 70% in its third week to record net collections of 1.1-1.2Cr. In doing so, the film now has a total of 22.3-23.6Cr and is a flop at the box office.

Dev D

Dev D had a marvelous fourth week at the box office, dropping only 20%. Rapidly emerging as the year’s only clean success, it managed collections of 1.2-1.3Cr in its fourth week and now has a total of 14.6-15.4Cr. The film upgrades to a semi-hit classification and stands a good chance of continuing its run in the coming couple of weeks.

January 2009
Chandi Chowk to China : 24.5 – 26.2Cr (Disaster)
Raaz – The Mystery Continues : 22.5 – 23.8Cr (Below Average)
Slumdog Millionaire : 4.8 – 5.5Cr (Flop)
Luck By Chance : 16.3 – 17.9Cr (Flop)
Victory : 1.2 – 1.5Cr (Disaster)

February 2009
Dev D : 14.6 – 15.4Cr (Semi-Hit)
Billu : 22.3 – 23.6Cr (Flop)
Delhi 6 : 28.9 – 30.8Cr (Flop)
Kisse Pyaar Karoon: 0.4 – 0.5Cr (Poor Opening Week)
Siddharth – The Prisoner: 0.1 – 0.2Cr (Poor Opening Week)

42 Responses to “JayShah’s Saturday Box Office Column – New releases poor; Delhi 6 flops…”

  1. hey jayshah nice work as usual…
    really happy for devd and anurag kashyap…its my favourite movie and have watched it twice in cinema

    also disappointed by delhi 6 i though it might bring happiness at bo…but disppointed with begining of 2009…
    i feel now theres going to be huge gap before we get another hit


  2. Clear and comprehensive report as always Jay. D6 is a goner. No doubt about it.


  3. Thanks Jay. Unlike other sources, you waited two weeks to decide verdicts on both Billu and Delhi 6. That’s only fair.

    Yes, D6 is a flop, while Dev D is a clear hit now.

    Wonder how the failure of D6 will affect Abhishek. The good thing is that he continues to keep doing interesting films. But seriusly, it’s time to introspect for him. God forbid, if his next ventures also flop, he might be in a real soup.
    Ultimately, an actor must be conscious of the work he’s doing. Films like Drona are not justified. Even D6 has problems in the script and he should have thrashed it out at the scripting stage. BUt I have a feeling, Abhi just does his work and leaves, without bothering much. He needs get more involved and show better script sense.


    • I think drona cannot be justified on any level. On D6 the irony is that Abhishek (according to a recent interview) refused both Aamir’s role in RDB and then Siddharth’s role because he somehow couldn’t understand the film! He does get involved with the scripts. But it’s clear that he still hasn’t found the right marriage between the interesting and box office success. Let’s take an extreme example. One could be doing a number of Guru dutt films and these films could be masterpieces but they still wouldn’t work! But yes in a commercial industry you have to a la Aamir pay some attention to this other aspect of things.


  4. jayshah1 Says:

    He’s been unlucky at the box office. Far worsen films then JBJ, SR and D6 have done better at box office. Drona is a qualified disaster and flop film but the 3 films mentioned were not bad films by any stretch.

    I don’t see these films affecting Abhishek, he doesn’t seem fazed at all – probably because his personality is rather relaxed. He is still landing films and as long as he does that he’s still in the game. The point at which the failures affect producers/directors to stop going to the actor is when there is a problem. There is no signs of that.

    Even D6 box office is surprising, I expected it to hold on well for at least one week, but its pretty clear now the film didn’t engage the audience overall.


    • Jay I agree with all of this except for one factor. I think it’s less about ‘good’ or ‘bad’ films but films that are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in certain ways. I am most surprised with the SR result here despite some of my ideas on why it didn’t work. JBJ and D6? Not really.

      But yeah where you’re absolutely on the money is that it is ultimately about the narrative a star frames for himself. If Abhishek suddenly started doing a lot of formula cinema we’d know there was a problem as it would imply the failure of his narrative. But he’s doing the same kinds of prestige projects. Yes the distributors certainly have an opinion on these failures (!) but again as long as these projects are good enough they’d still be interested in the films. Now having said all of this there is a limit even to this strategy. The box office is needed.


  5. I agree with JayShaw. D6 got the best of all with music and director. After watching the movie, I’ve disappointed particulay with ROM. He has put too much effort in every scene, the story is suitable for low budget. How can they spend 40-50crs on this type of movie ? It didn’t fully attract NRIs or single screen audience. Abhishek’s Pa will get released before Ravana. Being low budget, that would become hit.


    • I’ve lost count of the number of Abhishek projects that I thought were safe. LOL! I will say this, I admire Abhishek’s equanimity. He’s not going to eschew this path. Yeah Pa seems safe but directors seem to get a lot more adventurous when Abhishek is around! I think here Aamir knows how to split the difference. Having said all of this he has had some bad luck too. JBJ seemed completely safe on paper, similarly SR should have done more, even D6 though always risky still seemed relatively safe.

      But I think that Rathnam might be safer than some others. Because what Rathnam seems to get right is the ‘iconic’ appeal of the Bachchan name and persona. In other words he always gives Abhishek the sorts of roles that the audience can get instantly attracted to. This is by the way something that Aamir is always very alert to. I’ve made this point before but Aamir always preserves a certain ‘populism’ in his characters across very different subjects. Abhishek simply becomes different characters without enough attention to audience expectation, the iconic and so on. Popular as a star can be the audience always expects a certain persona to show up. If this doesn’t happen it depends purely on the film.

      So let’s say a film like BnB doesn’t satisfy some people. They might still be in it for the songs and so forth. But outside formula genres there’s less leeway for this.

      In some ways the problem with Abhishek’s choices hasn’t been the films (most of these are films most actors wouldn’t refuse) but the fact that he hasn’t paid enough attention to the ‘star’ aspect of things.

      Of course it’s also true that he does enjoy enough prestige (and this is something that keeps growing for him) so that his lineup is always interesting. so now he has Paa, Raavana, the abhinay deol thriller, the Rajiv menon film, the Rohan Sippy film. Don’t enough about the thriller but it’s hard not to be interested in the others. And again these are prestige projects that any star would agree to unless he were thinking purely in commercial terms.


  6. interesting films allright but are they strong script wise at the same time commerciall that is were my doubt lies….

    also jayshah u mentioned a interesting point that film which were bad than sr, jbj and d6 have done well so than whos to take responsibility??

    ok he does fine job according to me but he lacks in x factor…like hrithiks connection with children or aaction lovers or body builders…shahrukh has his female audience spot on…and left aamir he goes with perfect script…

    so i feel abhi though a nice actor needs to devolop a bit more of his own x factor which i feel u guys may elaborate that can make him much more acceptable because believe wen i say oldies meaning big b fans that i know feel hes a shdow and compare him for legacy…young generation has hrithik…and mature audience has aamir …and yeah srk for girls….he needs to do a hardcore girls and dudes sizzling action like dhoom were his the villain or anti hero or he needs to do something like crispy college love story…..good directors prefer him ok but uptill wat time will they except poor result at BO….i admit there was even mistakes from directors but it hurt actors like abhi more


    • Rooney, I think the connection comes about in formula cinema or when you do films that constantly present a certain persona. So with SRK or Hrithik no matter what the film or subject you get ‘Hrithik’ or ‘SRK’ in them. Audiences can instantly relate to the persona. But the Abhishek who shows up in many of these films isn’t the guy who connected with audiences in some successful films. Just recently we saw that he was loved by everyone in Dostana (he got extraordinary reviews for it.. I personally would put his D6 performance over Dostana very easily).

      Paradoxically Abhishek is too good an actor or too sincere to preserve that star persona that audiences connect with. Now in terms of the genres it’s quite clear that he will not do formula films just for the heck of it. This is perhaps too idealistic a choice. Even Dostana he was attracted to because it had a gay theme to it so something a bit different within the genre. I think there should definitely be either a mix or at least a certain ‘signature’ across films.

      what does work for him through these failures is ‘prestige’. Yes it’s ultimately about the box office and his drought is getting a bit too long (Dostana was the one bright patch in between but even this didn’t do enough). But he is still on the right side of (multiplex) history in many ways. Hopefully he’s learning from some of these failures also.

      I must say that much as I’m disappointed as a fan that he isn’t getting more success I’m also enough of a romantic to admire his ‘lone man’ attitude in this sense. People talk about lesser stars who make these decisions. But Abhishek is the only one who is willing to really pay the price. Other than of course Aamir who went through the 90s refusing to jump on the Yashraj love stories bandwagon. Of course aamir maintained a certain level of success throughout this decade but again he mixed it up. The risky with Indra Kumar!

      All in all I am not displeased he did D6. I actually have a greater grudge with respect to SR because with this sort of deal there shouldn’t have been anything but a solid success. Whatever decisions that were right or wrong for the film (and I have theories) these should have been ironed out. D6 though was just very different tonally from RDB. A rather experimental attempt by Mehra in some ways. I liked the film quite a bit so I can’t say I would have this decision reversed for the box office. I think that if he has a chance he should still do another film with Mehra. The ‘fat’ should be cut out elsewhere not with a director like Mehra.


      • hey completely understand ur view point even i m frustrated to see srk or hrithik surviving through their same image as they are…but abhi i sincerly thought deserves better only for his choices of movies…and thats the reason i beleive for this good man shud go with aamir way do one massy and another risky…

        i dont care bo ( i liked jbj, sr a little less and d6 yet to see) all of them shud atleast had to be hit simple hit
        because as u have mentioned his line up i have my views which leads to bad consequences…
        -Paa- hit at best
        -Raavana-quality will be world class but bo maximum super hit and also mani films either hits bulls eye or fail…
        – the abhinay deol thriller-i like this one but bo dont know because hes a new guy but doing delhi belly but can he get more than super hit??
        the Rajiv menon film-dhun if i m right hit- super hit

        in my view there lies a tough road because if pa is hit people will say about presence of big b in bigger role etc
        ravana can be world class but common who will put money on manis film to be really good super hit..that to in action drama…with tyrst with history…
        deols thriller is silver lining but i pray that delhi belly releases before and aamir shud market it well and if decent bo product all eyes and media will hype him up resulting eventually helping abhi


  7. In some ways the problem with Abhishek’s choices hasn’t been the films (most of these are films most actors wouldn’t refuse) but the fact that he hasn’t paid enough attention to the ’star’ aspect of things.

    — I agree with you Satyam. He has to work on it…
    In some of interviews, I found him very stubborn.. When
    comes to looks or body or working with friends. In one interview, he said Mani and RGV are his friends. The media was asking question about friends like Apporva or Goldie…, not about RGV. I’ve watched RGV’/Man’s fims since 1989, Abhi ws nowhere during that time. With bluffmaster he has got younger audience, he couldn’t able to retain … He has to develop something that attracts the audience or if comedy works, he can do romantic comedy action like Akshay.


  8. I am great fan of Mani. With Guru, it got major share from South and overseas. In case of Ravana, it is getting released in two languages. The hindi version lose viewers from South which is major for any Mani’s films. That affects the box office.
    Frankly, I haven’t watched any of Hrithik’s films more than 10 minutes. He looks so artificial and so rehearsed acting… People love it , so the box office. I’ve watched Jodha Akar full For Aish. After watching movie, I’ve appreciated his act, sincere and had ood screen presence.


    • ted, Guru was quite stable in the North actually specially across smaller centers. But yes it was better in Western India.

      JA though was definitely one of his better moments, certainly his best in a long time. But he’s a different sort of star and persona. JA is hrithik at his very best in many ways. If one doesn’t like him here one will never like him. I liked him most here since just about anything since KNPH probably. But he isn’t an ‘actor’ in my books. More a ‘star’ with a very appealing persona. Very competent with everything he does but it’s surface level stuff. For example I could compare SRK with Aamir and prefer the latter (as I do) but a Hrithik/Aamir comparison seems a little absurd. Not because Aamir is better (he undoubtedly is) but because Hrithik is (quite literally!) dancing to his own tune. The best possible fate for hrithik is to develop as the Eastwood kind of star. The latter isn’t an actor either but everything he does seems ‘unique’. This is not to say that I take this analogy very seriously but this just seems to be Hrithik’s most likely best case scenario. Again not talking box office here but the ‘actor’ in the ‘star-actor’ couple.


  9. I wish to watch Abhishek in Ashutosh’s movie. He is a great director who mixes the message with audience pulse intelligently..


    • Yes but with Gowariker the box office remains very questionable. here’s a guy who failed with SRK, did better with hrithik (though nowhere close to what one might have expected of the film otherwise and in any case this film as a love story depended too much on a star couple, he won’t have this in every other film). I think he’s a sincere director. But if one is looking at the box office deal one won’t get it with him.

      The Rathnam thing is something I disagree on though at least with Abhishek. Guru did very well. Yuva not very well though it made as much as Company. So Rathnam has never really delivered a complete failure after Dil Se (which was too edgy a subject).

      I think we have to separate projects that could have worked with some tinkering from those that wouldn’t really work in any scenario.


  10. Abhishek from facebook:

    ok to end speculation….. as of 1st march boxofficemojo posted D6 collections: 49,46,22,418 Rs.
    maddy, piyu: what do you make of that???? not a flop in my books guys. think you need to rethink your opinion


  11. Jimmy Cliff Says:

    Satyam, agree with you on Hrithik in JA but I thought he was better in LBC which is IMO his first truly unpredictable and interesting performance.


  12. Great work, Jay.
    Your line should be : IMITATED BY MANY, EQUALLED BY NONE.


  13. jayshah1 Says:

    Rangan wrote a good post on Aamir, describing how he “compromises” and treads the path between critical and commercial success. The disadvantage of this maybe that an Aamir film won’t truly be an out and out risk or lets say he’s unlikely to make a film like Kashyap regularly churns out. He is too calculated for this because the need for commercial success is just as important to him. So he may compromise a tad to ensure the film is commercially viable.

    We forget Abhishek is 8 years in the industry only. Aamir after only 95 really started to take his career really seriously. Till then he’d had a number of successes but many flops too. Akshay Kumar only really became a bonafide superstar this decade. Abhishek is talented but the deeper issue maybe his “star” persona is not quite to the mark as the others ahead of him. His key successes Yuva and Guru suggest more a character driven star.

    “but the fact that he hasn’t paid enough attention to the ’star’ aspect of things”

    Yes pretty much agree. I’m sure NYKavi wrote something similar too that Abhishek is currently more actor than star. Plus ultimately it depends what the actor in question wants out of his career. Abhishek could still be very happy with D6 despite its lack of success commercially. If this is the case, he may not be too worried about the box office. But this is a false strategy in the long run if true because producers/directors won’t keep betting on you – the commercial aspect will always talk in the end.


  14. Unfortunately, there is no substitute commercial success.
    The best have always combined the two. Plus, its just not worth taking risks for the sake of it.


  15. ideaunique Says:

    actually, i go with sandy’s words reg. D6’s failure – abhi should be able to understand while reading the scripts, that they are weak – but i guess barring aamir, no other actor in the industry is putting is foot down when they don’t like the scripts – especially when they are offered roles by these so-called-prestigious directors or those whose last film was a success…yes, satyam – mani’s film has all the possibilities of bringing abhi back in the reckoning…but how long can he go on resorting to Mani Ratnam….he needs to learn a thing or two from his contemporary actor – ShaHIT khan 🙂 that is what they call him….just see his track record for last few films….without making many headlines or page 3 appearances – he is giving HIT after HIT….he idolizes aamir and is really walking on his lines….abhi has to understand that the script is the real hero of the film….if he doesn’t now, i see him going down gradually and eventually he will be considered only as a multi-starrer hero and no one wud offer him a solo role….but one option will be still open then also…..ABCL or BRAND BACHCHAN will be able to produce many films while keeping abhi as a solo hero…..but that is not what you call universal acceptability…isn’t it? it wud be like tushaar kapoor where only ekta offers him lead roles and no one else 🙂


  16. ideaunique Says:

    *putting his foot down*


  17. “Great work, Jay.
    Your line should be : IMITATED BY MANY, EQUALLED BY NONE.”

    Whoa! Great line. And whether Jay uses it or not, we know its true.


  18. Abhishek takes random risks, not calculated ones. That is where he’s going wrong. Aamir takes on dicey projects, but they’re all very well-thought out ones. And of course, he has the experience and has the best pulse on the audience.


  19. One of the reaons why Farhan, Ashutosh, John Mattan, Rakeysh Mehra have not been able to better theri first film with Aamir is also because with the latter, they have a bonafide director on the sets who can guide them. They don’t have that luxury when they work with other stars.


  20. Idea: I’m not a fan of Shahid Kapoor actually. He was nice in Jab We MEt but he really has a long way to go.


    • but sandy importantly enough shahid got good solo success with the kind of directors hes working…i feel if he had mehra, mani, etc thaneven they could have extract a good performance from him…i like his choices and performance lately though he does have gr8 directors with him except vishal ,,,,but i feel kaminey will be FUPERHIT:-) and establish him as an good lead actor and bo performer….looking forward to Fahid Kaminey!!


  21. ideaunique Says:

    sandy, me too – not a shahid-fan 🙂
    but, i admire the way he is shaping his career – and despite all his solo-hits, if you feel that he has a long way to go – Abhi, by that measure, has long-long-long way to go 🙂


  22. ideaunique Says:

    i liked shaHIT in Vivah, JWM, Ishq-vishq…actually, I liked him in Shikhar also – where JMM didn’t have a great script…


    • mksrooney Says:

      hey idea did u read mnik is based on forest gump like story telling which aamir has always said he did like to remake!!!!
      i just cant believe how this guy has always copied from ace khan and what else:-)


  23. ideaunique Says:

    “One of the reaons why Farhan, Ashutosh, John Mattan, Rakeysh Mehra have not been able to better theri first film with Aamir is also because with the latter, they have a bonafide director on the sets who can guide them” – this could be the reason sandy, but i feel the more important reason than this one is that when aamir listens to the script – there itself, he comes forward with many a points – so evenif, he doesn’t interfere during the making of the film – he knows what was the final draft of the script he approved of – so if something goes amiss, he can point it out – but credit must be given to the directors also when they shoot the scenes where aamir is not a part or is not present…..but yes, barring ashu’s JA – all other directors have not been able to recreate that magic….aamir’s absence may look the major reason…but i think the lack of proper script can be the actual reason…and of course the involvement aamir has with his projects…no other actor brings the same on board….not even SRK, otherwise how would one explain failure of billu where he was the producer and he put his own money……he’d say that he blindly trusted priyan….wud aamir have done this???


  24. mksrooney Says:

    never idea never aamir would have trusted his director completly before he satisfies him than he gives them the free hand….look wat he did amole wen he fail to win his confidence

    also i get it about scripts that u say but then how can this industry survive wen none of the leads pay weightage to SCRIPT!!!


  25. One off the track question… how do I become a member and post here?


  26. BTW, Sachin blasted 163 in India’s win in the third ODI.


  27. Hollywood studios line up for Delhi-6


    In the two weeks since the movie was released, multiplexes (PVR, Cinemax, Satyam, Inox and Fun) averaged 27% occupancy and grossed Rs 8 crore (according to ET’s Multiplex Tracker), while UTV pegs the overall gross across its 935 screens at Rs 40 crore, (the film’s budget was Rs 50 crore) with another Rs 12-13 crore coming from its 250 screens overseas, Rs 7 crore from its music rights to T-Series and Rs 4 crore from home video rights to Moser Baer. The satellite rights are still to be exploited. “There is definitely an audience out there that we need to tap and after the US, we will explore Europe for the same,” says Kapur.


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