UPDATE, MONDAY AM: Indian actioner Dhoom 3 has set new benchmarks for a Bollywood movie at home and abroad. Distributor Yash Raj Films made a calculated decision not to release the movie with Thursday night previews and to instead go out day-and-date in key markets on Friday, increasing the frenzy surrounding the title. In India, it took $17.64M, breaking all previous records. On the international front, it took $3.435M in North America on 236 screens, outpacing the earlier estmate of $3.305M for the best Bollywood opening weekend ever. In the United Arab Emirates, it was at $2.801M; the UK was $1.451M, for the highest Bollywood non-holiday three-day weekend. In Australia the take was $765K and in Pakistan it was $630,500 for the biggest Bollywood openings of all time. Dhoom‘s total international weekend cume was $10.17M for a worldwide total of $28.11M. The next territories to release over the coming days are Morocco, the Maldives, Rwanda, Lebanon, Egypt, Germany, Peru, Romania, Japan, Russia, CIS and Turkey, with others to follow.
Listen to (and share) episode 3 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about what the creators of Downton Abbey have planned for Season 4; the record-breaking Bollywood hit Chennai Express and where it might roll next; whether Simon Cowell is truly ITV’s X factor; and last-minute dealmaking over the lucrative TV rights for the most important thing in Britain as English Premier League football kicks off.
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Sundance screenwriting award-winner In A World…, by director/writer/star Lake Bell, reigned over the Specialty Box Office this weekend, which also showed a strong number from a Bollywood title. Roadside Attractions‘ World opened in three L.A. and NYC theaters, grossing nearly $71K and averaging $23,660.
Roadside noted the title received an 86% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes Sunday, touting its weekend numbers. Said Roadside’s Howard Cohen reporting numbers today: “Lake Bell did a large amount of TV, online and print interviews and got wide coverage for her Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award-winning comedy that she starred in, directed and wrote. Next week we expand into 8 new top markets and expect to be in the range of 25 screens, with further expansion in following weeks.”
Indian film Chennai Express also curried favor with North American audiences this weekend, rising atop the Specialty box office in an otherwise banal three days for limited release cinematic newcomers. Touted by its U.S. distributor UTV Communications earlier this week as “one of the most anticipated Indian film” in recent memory, the film debuted in what it described as one of the largest rollouts ever in North America for a film hailing from the subcontinent. In 196 theaters, the feature by powerhouse Indian director Rohit Shetty and star Shah Rukh Khan grossed $2.225 million for a $11,352 average.
Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Prince Avalanche’, ‘Chennai Express’, ‘Off Label’, ‘In A World’, ‘I Give It A Year’
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Magnolia Pictures will bow two Specialty titles this weekend including the latest by David Gordon Green who made a return to a relative micro-budget film he shot quickly earlier this year starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. Prince Avalanche was adapted from an Icelandic film he saw at a New York film series last year. Magnolia will also open comedy I Give It A Year by Borat scribe, Dave Mazer. UTV Communications will open Chennai Express, one of India’s most anticipated blockbusters in North America in a comparatively large number of theaters numbering under 200 targeting the South Asian audience here. Oscilloscope and doc filmmakers Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri take on pharmaceuticals in Off Label, while Roadside Attractions’ In A World is possibly a showcase for rising talent, Lake Bell.
Austin-based director David Gordon Green returns to his indie roots with his latest film Prince Avalanche, albeit with a couple of recognizable names in the form of Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. The filmmaker adapted the story from Icelandic film Either Way which he caught at a festival spotlighting the country’s cinema at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Rudd and Hirsch star as two highway workers spending the summer of ’88 away from the city in an isolated landscape where their misadventure finds them at odds with themselves and the women they left behind. “We conceived of the movie in February ’12 and we were sound mixing by July,” said Green who added that the planned 18-day shoot finished two days ahead of schedule from a loose 65-page script. Green decided to adapt Either Way to Bastrop, TX in an area that had been devastated by fire. “It’s a conflict of characters and you turn it on its ass and find out that they’re not what you expect them to be,” said Green. “I also wanted to take what you know about Paul Rudd and what you comedically know about Paul and show the depth and tenderness to him. And I wanted to take what you know about Emile from watching his movies, the dramatic side to him, and show you how funny that kid is…”