Producer Karan Johar can certainly look for a solid tomorrow for Kal Ho Naa Ho following the $1 million gross the musical melodrama took in four days in North America. Many fans in Manhattan said they were planning to see it again after a week and would strongly recommend it to friends and families. Many shows went full in New York, Fremont, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.
"Now that I know what the film is about, I will bring extra hankies when I return," said a young woman who was eager to bring her boyfriend to see it. "He could not be here today," she continued. "I will tell him this is more than a date film. This film is about life."
Lead actor Shah Rukh is enormously popular with Bangladeshi and Pakistani movie fans, and the release of the film soon after Eid gave it a stronger box-office push.
Released on Thanksgiving Day, one of the busiest days for movies in North America, the movie grossed about $270,000 on its opening day, according to box-office guru.com
The film, which is in 52 theaters where it will continue into its second week, had a strong per screen average of $14,000, slightly more than what Johar's Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham had from a similar number of theaters. But K3G grossed $1 million in three days.
Hindi movies usually take a 50 percent plunge in the second week, followed by similar attrition in subsequent weeks. If Kal Ho Naa Ho follows that track, it could earn a strong $2.3 million and become the highest grossing Indian film of the year, earning far more than Raakesh Roshan's Koi Mil Gaya that made some $600,000. The film KHNH will have to beat is Sooraj Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon that grossed about $1.3 million this year.
On the other hand, if it shows strong legs as K3G did, it might try to challenge that film's $3 million plus gross. Of course K3G was produced and directed by Karan Johar with a bigger star cast while he served as producer, writer and mentor to first-time director Nikhil Advani on KHNH. By any account, this is a third hit in a row for Johar and Shah Rukh Khan.
KNKH has better chances of gliding past the $2 million grossed by Johar's first film, Kuch Kuch Hota Hain.
With a $730,000 gross in three days, KHNH could find a place among the top 20 grossing films in North America. Human Stain, which grossed $700,000 last weekend, was the 16th highest grossing film.
The buzz from Great Britain has it that KHNH could be a stronger earner there where it is expected to be among the top 10 earners.