Star Wars The Force Awakens
Courtesy of Disney

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” bowed on Christmas Day in India in the face of fierce competition from blockbuster holdovers “Dilwale” and “Bajirao Mastani.”

Disney opened the film on 1,230 screens in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu language versions and it debuted in third place with collections of $1.51 million, with the bulk of earnings coming from the English release.

As is typical of Hollywood releases in India, the movie only played in DCI-compliant theaters.

Last week’s runner up “Bajirao Mastani” won the weekend, collecting $5.16 million, while last week’s winner “Dilwale” came second with $3.19 million.

Historically, all six previous “Star Wars” films have released in India to decent, but unspectacular, box office. A nation that has plenty of native mythology dating back millennia, including the epics “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata,” appears not to need a new Hollywood one.

Following a critical drubbing and poor word of mouth, business for Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol starrer “Dilwale” in India showed a steady decline with the 10-day total for the Dec. 18 release standing at $18.7 million. “Bajirao Mastani”, starring Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, on the other hand rode ecstatic reviews and strong word of mouth to post 10-day collections of $18.2 million despite releasing on fewer screens than “Dilwale.”

It is a different story overseas where Khan is the darling of non resident Indian and South Asian origin audiences. “Dilwale” has a 10-day overseas cumulative of $16.8 million. “Bajirao Mastani” is hovering near the $7 million mark.

 

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