Om Shanti Om Trounces Saawariya at U.S. Box Office

Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan’s reincarnation-based film Om Shanti Om handily beat Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya featuring debutantes Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor at the U.S. box office for the November 9-11 opening weekend.

According to U.S. box office numbers, Om Shanti Om came in at a respectable No-11 with a weekend gross collection of $1.76 million. Eros Entertainment distributed Om Shanti Om.

Based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novella White Nights, Saawariya was way behind at No-24 and a weekend gross of $542,192. Saawariya was produced and distributed by Sony Pictures.

Om Shanti Om was released in 114 theaters in the U.S. compared to 85 for Saawariya.

For Shahrukh Khan, the performance of Om Shanti Om at the U.S. box office during its opening weekend must come as welcome relief since his previous film Chak De India fared badly in its opening weekend (August 10-12, 2007) coming in at No-20 and grossing only $351,887.

Om Shanti Om also did a bit better than Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, which came in at No-17 and grossed $1.35 million in its opening weekend (Aug 11-13, 2006).

We thought Saawariya was the better picture but the people have spoken with their wallets at the box office. And their verdict was clear – more desis in the U.S. preferred to watch Om Shanti Om than Saawariya during the Diwali weekend.

Eros’ well-oiled publicity machine must have also helped Om Shanti Om to do well. Other Bollywood producers urgently need to pay attention to their PR machinery if they want their movies to do well at the box office.

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