Indian films are a box office mainstay and one, Jodi, from Rhythm Boyz Entertainment, hit big this weekend Stateside, grossing $734,000 on just 125 screens. In April, the film set a record as the most viewed Punjabi trailer in 24 hours (over 12 million views on YouTube).
“This has been happening more and more — Indian films popping into the top 5, or 10, or 15th” place in North America, said Paul Degarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, which compiled the numbers on Jodi. “It shows the strength of Indian cinema. That’s a really impressive number, almost three quarters of a million dollars at 125 theaters.” The ones that pop do really well on a per-theater-average, even if they make $1-$2 million or aren’t in the top ten, he said. Jodi’s PTA is $5.75k.
Some other breakouts this year include Waltair Veerayya, Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar and Dasara. Indian films may wind up being even more important to exhibitors down the line given the potential for prolonged Hollywood labor action.
Jodi is a musical love story written and directed by Amberdeep Singh, starring Dosanjh and Nimrat Khaira as two talented and passionate artists who set out on a journey to redefine the Punjabi folk music scene in the 1980s. It’s said to be based on the life of slain Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila and his second wife Bibi Amarjot Kaur. The film was scheduled for release twice during Covid and almost had its opening stayed on Friday in a legal dispute over rights that was resolved at the last minute, according to news reports.
Elsewhere in specialty: Multicultural romcom What’s Love Got To Do With It? from Shout! Studios grossed an estimated $78k of 500+ screens, according to sources.
Limited: Kino Lorber opened Maxwell Wolkin’s political thriller Chile ‘76 in two theaters to a debut of $16k for a nice PTA of $8k — making it the top-grossing subtitled film in New York City this weekend, the distributor said. Expanding to LA and other markets on May 19.
Greenwhich Entertainment doc The Melt Goes On Forever: The Art & Times of David Hammons grossed an estimated $6.25k at one location, NYC’s Film Forum. LA run starts June 2 at the Laemmle Monica.
KimStim opened Unrest in NYC at Film at Lincoln Center for at $4.2k. Expands to LA May 19 at Laemmle Monica.
Holdovers: Sisu from Lionsgate sees an an estimated $1.08 million (for a $5.5+ million cume) on 1,000 screens in week two, where it sits at no. 10 at the box office. During the last desperate days of WWII, a solitary prospector (Jorma Tommila) crosses paths with Nazis on a scorched-earth retreat in northern Finland.
Nida Manzoor’s Polite Society from Focus Features is reporting an estimated $215k weekend and a cume to date of $1.3 million.
Sideshow/Janus Films release of The Eight Mountains grossed about $16k on 4 screens, for a per-screen average of $4k and a new cume of $57.3k.
R.M.N from IFC Films grossed an estimated $11k in week two at 41 locations for a cume of $22.1k.
Abramorama documentary 32 Sounds grossed $4k in one run for a cume of $27.9k.