JayShah’s Saturday Box Office Column – Short Kut and short lived at box office…ditto Kambakkht Ishq

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

Short Kut – The Con is On & Sankat City

Both new releases had short lived reigns at the box office after very poor opening day occupancies. Short Kut was expected to do much better with a more well known cast and some promise from previews between the lead pair Akshaye Khanna and Arshad Warsi. However, the reception both critically and commercially was lukewarm and the film failed to show any significant pick up over the first weekend. In the end, the collections are a low 6.1-6.6Cr [comparison with 13B, Dhoondte Reh Jaoge and Paying Guests] with Mumbai contributing 1.3Cr.

Sankat City on the other hand did win over some critics but at the box office the results were equally poor. Net collections as low as 0.4-0.5Cr by the end of the week suggest little opportunity for improvement in the coming week. Both Short Kut and Sankat City look certain flops.

Past Releases

Kambakkht Ishq

Despite the huge release of Kambakkht Ishq, the second week collections suggest a very different story. The performance is woeful with a huge drop across most reported centres.

KI Week 2 vs KI Week 1
88% Mumbai means KI fell by 88% in Mumbai in Week 2

Mumbai 88%
Ahmedabad 84%
Rajkot 75%
Himmatnagar 73%
Gandhinagar 81%
Guwahati 58%
Jamnagar 50%
Nasik 79%
Faridabad 80%
Gorakhpur 61%
Gurgaon 76%
Indore 74%
Nagpur 90%
Raipur 85%
Ujjain 59%
Sehore 23%
Kolkatta 97%
Jaipur 72%
Hyderabad 90%
Aurangabad 27%

Week 2 drop = 76%
Mumbai is an incomplete number but the likelihood is the fall is great there. Even otherwise, the collections across India prove that KI has been carrying poor word of mouth most probably from the first weekend after.

The KI Week 1 total for the above centres = 3.74Cr (ignoring any centre with fall greater than 85%)
The KI Week 2 total for the above centres = 0.80Cr (ignoring any centre with fall greater than 85%)

This means that KI’s Week 2 total is 24% of KI’s Week 1 total (0.80/3.74 = 24%)

Using my own KI Week 1 Total of 32.5-34.0Cr, KI’s Week 2 Total = 24% * (32.5-34.0) = 7.7-8.1Cr

KI 2 Week Total = 32.5-34.0Cr(Week 1) + 7.7-8.1Cr(Week 2) = 40.2 – 42.1Cr

Verdict – Below Average

Kambakkht Ishq had one good week overall which saves the film from a flop tag. But make no mistakes, the film is a huge underperformer and by most accounts the word of mouth has been poor. Though the producers and “trade experts” may claim otherwise, the numbers are there for all to see and significant fall in week two is the biggest indicator that the slide had happened much earlier on.

New York

New York steadied well in week three to record good collections. The film as predicted fought back after the dip in the second week due to Kambakkht Ishq’s release.

New York Week 3 vs New York Week 2
50% Mumbai means New York fell by 50% in Mumbai in Week 3

Mumbai 50%
Gandhinagar 42%
Himmatnagar 76%
Jamnagar 46%
Rajkot 60%
Nasik 24%
Gurgaon 73%
Faridabad 71%
Gorakhpur 46%
Indore 60%
Nagpur 76%
Jaipur 75%
Guwahati 49%
Kolkatta 96%
Hyderabad 86%

Week 2 drop = 66%
Week 3 drop = 50%
New York steadied very well particularly in the key centre of Mumbai.

The New York Week 1 total for the above centres = 6.06Cr (ignoring any centre with fall greater than 70%)
The New York Week 3 total for the above centres = 1.03Cr (ignoring any centre with fall greater than 70%)

This means that New York’s Week 3 total is 17% of New York’s Week 1 total (1.03/6.06 = 17%)

Using my own New York Week 1 Total of 26.0-27.0Cr, New York’s Week 3 Total = 17% * (26.0-27.0) = 4.4-4.6Cr

New York 3 Week Total = 26.0-27.0Cr(Week 1) + 8.9-9.2Cr(Week 2) + 4.4-4.6Cr(Week 3) = 39.3 – 40.8Cr

Verdict – Hit

New York will hit the 45Cr from here on in so qualifies as a hit. The third week has shown reasonable assurance and confidence that the film has legs and emerges as the first hit for any major biggie of the year.

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 : 16.0 – 17.2Cr (Hit)
Billu : 22.7 – 24.1Cr (Flop)
Delhi 6 : 32.7 – 35.0Cr (Flop)
Kisse Pyaar Karoon : 0.4 – 0.5Cr (Flop)
Siddharth – The Prisoner : 0.1 – 0.2Cr (Flop)

March 2009
Dhoondte Reh Jaoge : 7.5 – 8.1Cr (Flop)
13B : 7.4 – 8.2Cr (Flop)
Gulaal : 3.5 – 4.1Cr (Flop)
Jai Veeru : 1.5 – 2.0Cr (Flop)
Little Zizou : 1.1 – 1.2Cr (Average)
Aloo Chat : 4.0 – 4.7Cr (Flop)
Aa Dekhen Zara : 3.9 – 4.3Cr (Flop)
Ek – The Power of One : 4.3 – 4.7Cr (Flop)

April 2009
8×10 Tasveer : 11.5 – 12.5Cr (Flop)

May 2009
99 : 11.9 – 12.5Cr (Above Average)
Detective Naani : 0.6 – 0.7Cr (Flop)

June 2009
Maruti Mera Dosst : 0.2 – 0.3Cr (Flop)
Team – The Force : 1.5 – 1.7Cr (Flop)
Kal Kissne Dekha : 5.6 – 6.0Cr (Disaster)
Paying Guests : 6.9 – 7.5Cr (Flop)
New York : 39.3 – 40.8Cr (Hit)

July 2009
Kambakkht Ishq : 40.2 – 42.1Cr (Below Average)
Short Kut : 6.1 – 6.6Cr (Poor Opening Week)
Sankat City : 0.4 – 0.5Cr (Poor Opening Week)

45 Responses to “JayShah’s Saturday Box Office Column – Short Kut and short lived at box office…ditto Kambakkht Ishq”

  1. LOL, love the title! KI’s fall is pretty dramatic. At this rate it probably won’t touch 50 crores. More or less a complete rejection for the film. Incidentally Taran’s coming around to it also:


    I guess the drops are so remarkable that even he can’t spin it at this point.


  2. KI is average movie as thought but “AKKI” still rocks


    • akshay’s box office pull remains undiminished but he has to be careful with his scripts.. can’t afford too many of these.. since Tashan the only proper success he’s had is SIK.


  3. jayshah Says:

    Although Akshay still garners an initial, his standing is taking a beating for sometime IMO. Tashan, SIK, Jumbo, CCTC, Tasveer and KI – ignoring Jumbo cos it doesn’t count, 4 out of 5 have either been disasters or underperformers. But KI still proves he can open an movie and that is enough to suggest he is still a big star. But he is definitely on a slippery slope at the moment.


  4. Someone please explain to me how KI is average at 42 cr when it costs 62 cr to produce? Even with a huge opening that seems like a flop to me. What am I missing here? Are there different rules for movies that open well?

    The movie may not even make 50 cr yet it is deemed ‘average’. This BO stuff makes no sense.


    • Tyler, Jay has it at below average so far.


    • jayshah Says:

      It’s below average and will be no more. Mainly because it did have a good first week and not the first week film like CCTC or Tashan had.

      On the cost side I agree – the “trade” side, this film should be a flop by a margin…its going to make losses so by definition should be a flop. BUT I can guess websites and trade will give it a free pass and call it above average for whatever reason.


    • Lets not make the old mistakes again. BO status has nothing to do with ‘cost of production or budget or what the movie was sold for. When one looks at DOMESTIC collections alone, one should simply look at what the movie was sold for domestically.


  5. It’s the Kareena curse. 😉


    • Meanwhile isn’t it amazing how everything works with Katrina? The recent NY is a good example. Of course even she couldn’t overcome Ghai’s sorry career (at this stage) with Yuvvraaj!


  6. I think Akshay should also be looking at the Bhool Bhulaiya model where horror is combined with comedy. This might be a way for him to replenish his stock. Specially since horror also has enough of a market at the low end. The other thing is that the Akshay ‘image’ is based on multiple successes in any calendar year. Therefore he cannot have the one hit two flops deal or what have you. He still has a major comedy or two left this year but with each such film a great exhaustion with the genre also sets in and even the somewhat better film has a higher bar to reach in terms of really satisfying the audience. Which is why KI was a big missed opportunity. Tashan and CCTC were (rightly or wrongly) not regular films. But with KI he’s been damaged for the very first time in regular fare. Again this shouldn’t be overstated. He got a very big initial here. But he doesn’t seem to be in the zone as much. With this genre it’s only about the box office. Nothing else can be retrieved from such efforts. At the end of the day he probably gets a pass from the media on this one. Too many outlets have called it a success and I suspect this impression will remain. A few might backtrack but it will be too little too late.


  7. (1) KI came after a long haul due to strike.
    (2) KI was big budget film
    (3) KI had some different elements in terms of Hollywood actors and sets
    (4) KI had big marketing budget and Sajid is good at marketing
    (5) KI had skimmy looking Kareena and others (Still sex sell upto certain extent)
    An initial was garnered due to all above and to give credit to Akki is an unfair excercise. His and producerer’s juvenile attempt to declare it as a hit and threw party emulating Aamir’s Gajni sucess party theme put a dente in Akki’s credibility.


  8. Overall, KI has been rejected. For the reasons Pradeep lists above, the initial was impressive. Bit it has been rejected by the public for sure.
    Akshay can be happy that his star power drew in the audiences but he has to realise he cannot take anything for granted. His choices have never been great but atleast used to be safe. Tashan,CCTC,Tasveer and KI reek of overconfidence.


  9. Thanks Jay — yours is really the BO voice one trusts, and it’s one of the first things I look for come saturday morning. Incredible drops for Kambakht Ishq, in my book this seems like a flop (I mean, its 2 week total is just a little more than the ONE week total of Race, Singh is King, Rab Ne Banadi Jodi)…


  10. I am not surprised at KI taking a beating in the 2nd week. It had to. The movie is yet another lame effort by Akshay to reinstate himself as the comedy king. Yet no one in my view even comes close to Govinda in the comedy domain. He is a born natural.

    Moreover look at what the quality of humour is reduced to these days, bordering on reprehensible innuendos on female anatomy, sex etc. I think this kind of humour is done with and will not sell anymore.

    Moreover one thing Akshay should be mindful of is the age which has started showing on his face. Attempts at shoddy humour just look even more crass in my books. I do hope that Akshay goes back to being associated with some quality films that he has done in the past.On a positive side, Akshay has some good projects coming up which hopefully won’t let him down.

    There is no doubt in my mind however that he can pull off an initial even with some of the lamest stuff, but for how long is the question.


    • Re: “Moreover look at what the quality of humour is reduced to these days, bordering on reprehensible innuendos on female anatomy, sex etc.”

      agree completely. Compared to the stuff these days the stuff I used to make fun of in the 1990s seems tame by comparison…


    • CC2C, Tashan & Tashvir’s lame duck initial should have filled up your mind with lots of doubt Juilie!


      • Pradip, CCTC or Tashan or Tasveer were not regular Akshay films. Tashan didn’t get a proper multiplex release. With it I actually don’t think it would have done much worse than KI in week 1. CCTC collapsed instantly. But these were more on the side of being ‘spoofs’. Tasveer is not Akshay’s genre anyway and he shouldn’t have attempted it.


        • It’s safe to say that Akki is capable of carrying all kind of films provided it had good directors and good scripts. It’s not a question of genre or sticking to Akki brand regular. He is very competent and good looking actor and to suggest he can only be sucessful in one genre is unfair. He needs to give more attention to scripts and directors rather than to the banners.


          • I’m not sure Pradip. Akshay is not an ‘actor’ in any serious sense. he is a star with a masala persona. He’s now so much identified with comedies that it would be hard for him to break out of this mould. Once upon a time Govinda wasn’t a comedy star either. Limiting oneself to genre is great inasmuch as you get great initials and so forth but it can also be problematic in other ways. What Akshay could do is really a proper masala deal with comedy incorporated. To be fair to him the best talents of Bombay aren’t really making films he can star in.


    • Even Govinda (with David Dhawan) ) failed with repeated Raja Babu acts.


    • “Moreover look at what the quality of humour is reduced to these days, bordering on reprehensible innuendos on female anatomy, sex etc. I think this kind of humour is done with and will not sell anymore.”

      This I don’t agree with. These elements haven’t failed, the film has. If there were no market for this sort of thing these films wouldn’t even get an initial. The trailers (and Akshay’s history) I think make it amply clear what the film’s about.


  11. Alok Saha Says:

    Can someone please tell me why raaz tmc is a below average fare here?India fm claims it to be HIT while boxoffice india calls it a semi-hit?Many websites said it’s the first bona fide hit of 2009 before new york arrived.Why such varied verdicts on a film’s b.o status?!On the other hand you call dev d a HIT but india fm or b.o india say it’s an above average fare.And can you please say what are the topmost successful films this year?
    I think akshay kumar is turning into a flop machine slowly and besides the Khans n Hrithik,there’s only Emraan Hashmi who can guarantee a HIT today.


    • Bold words about Emraan Hashmi but words I’m inclined to agree with more and more these days. The poor opening of Jashn is also an indicator; what are the odds that if Emraan had been in the film and not Suman Jnr., it would have opened better? I like the guy anyway and think he gets unfairly slagged off when the fact is most of his films have held up pretty decently at the box office.

      Onto Akshay, I was very fond of him once upon a time. Yes, he’s still a star to be reckoned with but if there’s anything to be learned from the collapse of KI is that the audience is simply tiring of his schtick. It’s not enough to be the new ‘comedy king’, there has to be a story to the film for goodness sake. And KI had absolutely no story.


  12. sachita Says:

    I am not going to watch KI or any of these movies. But I have to say based on what i have watched singh is king and welcome, as an in-flight movie, akshay isnt as bad as an actor as Govinda. he does stand out with sincerity between the rest of the hams.

    may be it is just me but i am amazed that he could change himself after 10 yrs of bad acting.


  13. mksrooney Says:

    nice work as usual jay but i thought just maybe ki could manage a ok second week…but its apparent its a gone case…


  14. July 20, 2009
    A Wizard Is a Whiz at the Box Office

    LOS ANGELES — The boy wizard’s box office powers are stronger than ever.

    “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the delayed sixth installment in the Warner Brothers franchise, sold an estimated $159.7 million in tickets in its first five days in North American theaters, according to box office tracking services. Its predecessor, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” was given a nearly identical release in July 2007 and earned $140 million over five days.

    For the three-day weekend, “Half-Blood Prince” was easily No. 1 with estimated ticket sales of $79.5 million. (“Order of the Phoenix” sold a comparable $77 million.)

    The weekend was considerably less rosy for a struggling Universal Pictures, which saw “Brüno” crater. That risk-taking comedy, crude even by R-rated standards, sold an estimated $8.4 million in tickets, a steep 73 percent drop from its No. 1 opening last weekend. Total domestic sales for “Brüno” are about $50 million.

    Returns for the well-reviewed “Half-Blood Prince” are impressive for numerous reasons — not the least of which is that movie franchises tend to peak (both creatively and financially) long before the sixth entry. Warner also risked alienating fans by delaying its release by eight months, a move that was partly a consequence of last year’s writers’ strike.

    In particular there was fretting from news media outlets that “Twilight” had stolen Harry Potter’s mojo among teenage girls. That proved a fantasy. Although Warner was still sorting through demographics information early Sunday — and the overall audience is aging (along with the cast) — the studio said 40 percent of the audience was under 18.

    “It just shows that fantasy doesn’t age, and new fans are coming to this franchise all the time,” said Dan Fellman, Warner’s president for domestic theatrical distribution.

    Warner was forced to leave 3-D money on the table over the weekend. Because of the date change “Half-Blood Prince” was only able to secure three Imax theaters, most of which are still busy showing “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” The 3-D Imax format has become increasingly popular with moviegoers and can boost box office results dramatically because its tickets sell for a $3 to $5 premium. “Half-Blood Prince” will expand into about 190 Imax theaters in the weeks to come.

    It should be noted that many people interested in going to the movies over the weekend didn’t have much choice but to see “Half-Blood Prince.” A huge number — 4,325 theaters — showed the film, many on multiple screens, and Hollywood got out of Harry Potter’s way almost entirely; the only other movie to open over the weekend was the Fox Searchlight romance “(500) Days of Summer,” in 27 theaters.

    For the year ticket sales stand at about $5.98 billion, a 10 percent increase over the same period last year, according to Hollywood.com, which tracks box office results. Attendance is up about 8 percent.

    For the weekend “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” (20th Century Fox) was second with $17.7 million, bringing its domestic total to $152 million. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” a Paramount/DreamWorks release, was third with $13.8 million ($364 million total).

    “Brüno” was fourth. Rounding out the Top 5 was “The Hangover” from Warner, with $8.3 million ($236 million total to date).


  15. Kambakht Ishq: I couldn’t even finish this one, and found it to be one of the worst films ever. I mean it was disgraceful. Not to mention that it was incredibly misogynistic and offensive.


  16. http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/entertainment/stars-lies-and-box-office_100219926.html

    I wonder if those who have a problem with the propaganda on KI are also willing to reconsider their stance on KANK!


  17. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/fact-or-fiction-box-office-figures-fudged/97635-8.html

    It’s good that some questioning is going on. However I find it a bit dubious when only Akshay’s films are questioned!


    • ideaunique Says:

      nice one satyam, finally trade pundits are openly declaring aamir as no. 1….earlier they were in so much awe of srk…


  18. So you mean that after all of the hype about record breaking box office that KI is in reality only an average or above average movie at box office? Taran and other trade pundits who were cooking the books and who were vastly over playing KI’s box office have further illustrated that the majority of Indian trade pundits are biased, unreliable, untrustworthy, and inaccurate based on their agendas. Reform indeed needs to happen with a more transparent system in place in India.


  19. “I wonder if those who have a problem with the propaganda on KI are also willing to reconsider their stance on KANK!”

    why should they re consider their stance . Kank in 2006 did same as what ki will do now . count inflation and kank would easily hit even now .


    • It’s not about inflation but about a big opening followed by stunning drops. if KI isn’t a hit (as it isn’t) the same is true for KANK. Of course today it is referred to as a “damp squib” far more often than anything more positive than this.


  20. ideaunique Says:

    akki seriously needs to sit down and smell the coffee NOW…


  21. Akshay blogging and calling KI a “huge hit”:



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