In Theaters December 17, 2010

No new Hindi movies are set to open in the Chicago area the weekend beginning Friday, December 17, 2010, but both of last week’s new releases are sticking around. Goofball comedy No Problem, which earned $242,116 during its first week in U.S. theaters, continues at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 23 min.

The fun romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat (runtime 2 hrs. 35 min.) also gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30. It posted dismal first week earnings of $43,820 in the United States, but that was from just 32 screens nationally, compared to 84 screens for No Problem. These meager numbers are something of a shock given that Band Baaja Baaraat is produced by Yash Raj Films.

When I started reviewing Bollywood movies in 2007, Yash Raj Films — fresh off huge hits like Fanaa and Dhoom 2 — was the one Indian production company whose films could be guaranteed a wide release in the U.S. But the company’s recent offerings have struggled to get distribution in the States. Lafangey Parindey opened here  in August on just nine screens.

I’m not sure why things have changed, but I hope YRF can regain some of its international mojo. The company has long made a point of reaching out to Indians living abroad with their films, and the polished production style of YRF appeals to audiences used to Hollywood’s big budgets. Maybe Mere Brother Ki Dulhan can turn things around for YRF.

Other Indian movies playing near Chicago this weekend include Best of Luck (Malayalam), Nagavalli (Telugu) and Rakht Charitra 2 (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove is also carrying Nagavalli, as well as the Telugu movie Orange.

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