UPDATE, THURSDAY AM: Salman Khan’s Kick may not have broken any all-time Bollywood records when it was released last Friday, but that hasn’t stopped it from racing to the top of the yearly charts. With 148.66 crore (about $25M) through Wednesday, the movie is now the top film of 2014 at home and is expected to continue to grow with no other big openers in the marketplace until August 8. Kick bested Khan’s own Jai Ho which was released in January and ultimately made 116 crore. Kick also becomes one of the fastest movies ever to pass the 100 crore mark, having done it in five days, as Bollywhood Hungama points out. That’s on a par with Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger, his highest grossing film ever, and just below last year’s Dhoom 3, Krrish 3 and Chennai Express. The latter film also came out during this same Eid holiday period that’s going on now. It’s one of the most lucrative at the Indian box office. Kick is still playing in North America and the UK and we should have updated figures for those runs this weekend.
PREVIOUS, TUESDAY AM: At 48 and with more than 80 films under his belt, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is one of Indian cinema’s biggest draws. He shares A-List status with a group that includes Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan. Working in an industry whose box office is up to 90% driven by local movies, they have a rabid fanbase. And that spreads throughout the diaspora, making it a global event each time one of their films is released. Khan just returned to the Eid al Fitr holiday season with Kick, an action romance thriller released by UTV on Friday. Last week, I wrote about expectations for the highly-anticipated film’s debut, and with many figures now in, here’s the post-mortem on the latest from the legend.
The film went out in India, North America, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and other markets on Friday, performing well but falling short of all-time records. At home in India, Kick grossed an estimated 83.83 crore ($13.95M) on more than 4,000 screens for the biggest weekend debut of the year. It bested Khan’s earlier 2014 release Jai Ho, which did 60.68 crore in its first weekend in January. Kick is now the No. 6 all-time opener in India. The film marks something of a comeback for Khan, who in 2013 stepped out of the highly-profitable Eid corridor for the first time in years, leaving the date to rival Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express which broke several records upon release.
Outside its domestic market, Kick has an estimated take of about $3M through Sunday. While that’s a healthy perf, the $1.07M North American gross on 177 screens was well shy of Dhoom 3‘s $3.3M last year which remains the biggest Bollywood opener ever in North America (and the highest-grossing local film of all time). Elsewhere, Rentrak reports Kick took $407,337 in UK/Ireland and a combined $314,633 in Oz and New Zealand. Opening on the Friday before the official Eid holiday began Monday night is likely to have dampened Kick‘s debut. Eid marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan and some folks were expected to stay away from theaters until the official holiday kicked in. BoxOfficeGuru.com editor Gitesh Pandya tells me, “Eid falling on Monday was always going to be an issue for part of Kick‘s audience, but I think it was a better move to have it in the marketplace already than open the following weekend.” Pandya suggests the full-week start could still set a new opening week record for Khan in the U.S., but cautions, “Of course, it’s still half of what Shah Rukh Khan’s record is in the U.S. as he generally attracts a larger audience in this market.”
In India, the box office is expected to grow considerably this week. After bowing on Friday with 26.40 crore, or about $4.4M, there were increases on Saturday and Sunday. Kick should quickly advance past the coveted 100 crore mark given the upcoming festivities surrounding the Eid period and the national holiday today. When that happens, Khan will have seven films on his résumé to have hit that milestone. His highest grosser at home is Ek Tha Tiger which earned 198.78 crore ($33.14M) during Eid in 2012. The next big release in India is August 8’s Entertainment, giving Kick time to stretch its legs.
Next year’s Eid will bear further witness to the Salman Khan/Shah Rukh Khan rivalry with each eyeing the holiday: SK with Bajrangi Bhaijaan and SRK with Raees.