Tag Archives: 2017

Bollywood Box Office: December 29-31, 2017

Tiger Zinda Hai closed out 2017 with another big weekend in North American theaters. Bollywood Hungama posted slightly lower figures for Tiger Zinda Hai during the December 29-31 weekend — $844,993 from 280 theaters ($3,018 average) — than those reported by Yash Raj Films to Gitesh Pandya and Box Office Mojo: $921,090 from 284 theaters ($3,243 average). Either way, Tiger Zinda Hai collected more money in its second weekend of release than 77% of the Hindi films released in North America in 2017 earned over the course of their entire theatrical runs! Yash Raj Films also reports New Years Day earnings of $306,315. The action sequel’s total presently stands at $4,878,546.

Other Hindi movies still showing in North American theaters:

Sources: Box Office Mojo, Gitesh Pandya, and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

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In Theaters: December 29, 2017

Following a hot start in North America, Tiger Zinda Hai carries over for a second weekend in nine Chicago area theaters: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC Dine-In Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and AMC Loews Crestwood 18 in Crestwood.

Fukrey Returns gets a fourth week at the South Barrington 24.

Other Indian movies showing in Chicagoland this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: December 22-24, 2017

Tiger Zinda Hai debuted with the third best opening weekend of the year for a Hindi film in North America, trailing behind only Baahubali 2 and Raees. From December 22-24, 2017, Tiger Zinda Hai earned $1,658,514 from 328 theaters* ($5,056 average; adjusted average of $5,528 from 300 theaters). 143 Cinema reports that the Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif action sequel earned an additional $1,231,481 from Christmas Day and Boxing Day, pushing its total past $3 million in the US and Canada (based on 143 Cinema’s slightly higher reported weekend earnings for the film). It’s certainly already surpassed the lifetime total of 2012’s Ek Tha Tiger ($2,347,774). Within days, Tiger Zinda Hai will have passed Raees‘s total earnings of $3,631,911, claiming second place for the year overall and moving into first place for films released only in Hindi (as opposed to the multi-lingual Baahubali 2).

Other Hindi movies still showing in North American theaters:

  • Fukrey Returns: Week 3; $10,106 from nine theaters; $1,123 average; $381,522 total
  • Secret Superstar: Week 10; $404 from one theater; $2,155,001 total

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice when they report figures for a film’s first few weeks of release. When possible, I verify theater counts at Box Office Mojo, but I use Bollywood Hungama as my primary source because they provide a comprehensive and consistent — if flawed — data set.

Sources: 143 Cinema, Box Office Mojo, and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Movie Review: Tiger Zinda Hai (2017)

2.5 Stars (out of 4)

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Tiger Zinda Hai (“Tiger Lives“) has its share of highlights, but the relentless plot requires a degree of stamina that would challenge any action movie enthusiast. Quick transitions from one set piece to the next allow little space for story or character development.

Set eight years after the events of Ek Tha Tiger, Salman Khan’s titular hero and his then-girlfriend-now-wife Zoya (Katrina Kaif) live in Austria with their son, Junior. The novelty of seeing Khan play a father onscreen is noteworthy, owing to its rarity.

Though Tiger and Zoya are retired from active duty, they haven’t left the spy life behind entirely. Zoya keeps her combat skills sharp by subduing armed robbers in the local grocery store, and Tiger confidently fights a pack of wolves while snowboarding. He has a room dedicated to tracking the activities of Indian intelligence agency RAW across the globe.

Thus, he’s not surprised when his former boss Shenoy (Girish Karnad) comes to him with an urgent mission: Islamic militants captured twenty-five Indian nursing students working in Iraq, and America has given India seven days to rescue their people before they bomb the hospital where the students are being held.

Zoya knows that Tiger’s love of country surpasses even his love for her and Junior, so she sends him on his mission without complaint. What they don’t know is that the Indian authorities neglected to tell them that fifteen Pakistani nurses are also being held in the same hospital. Tiger’s not the only one to get called out of retirement.

Tiger Zinda Hai‘s cynicism about politics is its most interesting attribute. As in the original film, the main couple personify the idea that Indians and Pakistanis have more in common than not, and that it’s the fault of the governments of both countries for pursuing agendas that make peace impossible. The members of Zoya’s and Tiger’s support teams also come to see the wisdom of working together toward shared goals, a tactic they wish could be applied across borders to improve things like education and healthcare on the subcontinent.

The sequel’s story expands that cynicism globally to indict America for what is deemed to be imperialism in the Middle East, chiefly the greedy pursuits of oil and lucrative weapons contracts cloaked under the guise of the eradication of terrorism. Abu Usman (Sajjad Delafrooz) — the leader of the terrorist group in Tiger Zinda Hai — cites his years in detention at Guantanamo Bay as the very reason for his radicalization.

Unfortunately, these political ideas aren’t woven into the plot, instead existing as meta-commentary directing the audience on how they can find their own kind of woke nationalism. Zoya’s and Tiger’s teams shed their instinctive mistrust of one another within minutes. Most of the criticism of America arises from conversations between Abu Usman and Poorna (Anupriya Goenka), the head nurse, but as supporting characters, the plot doesn’t devote much time to their character growth.

Then again, none of the characters in the movie really grow. Tiger is what he is: a patriotic humanitarian killing machine. Not that there’s anything wrong with such a character; it’s just a question of how much time can an audience be asked to spend with a character that reacts but doesn’t evolve.

The answer to that question is: something less than Tiger Zinda Hai‘s lengthy 161-minute runtime. Apart from one romantic song early in the movie — before Tiger leaves his family and we bid adieu to Junior for most of the film — the plot races through each action sequence, followed by a brief break to set up the next action sequence. After a while, all the explosions and fisticuffs become too much of a good thing.

Yet, when it is good, Tiger Zinda Hai is pretty fun. All of the movie’s best moments belong to Katrina Kaif, and she proves herself to be a compelling action hero in her own right. From her stunt-driving through narrow alleyways to her own one-woman-wrecking-crew takedown of a bunch of bad guys, Kaif commands the screen.

Khan is no slouch when it comes to fight sequences, of course, and his obligatory shirtless scene is a hoot. His sidekicks have little to do, raising questions as to how that can be the case given how long the movie is. Delafrooz’s relaxed demeanor makes him an effective villain.

One personal complaint is that Tiger Zinda Hai cuts corners by casting non-Americans in American roles, leading to some head-scratching accents. Also unintentionally hilarious is the fact that one of the American military officers in Iraq has his first name — Gary — written on his name tag on his uniform. Gary zinda hai!

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Opening December 22: Tiger Zinda Hai

Tiger Zinda Hai — the sequel to 2012’s spy thriller Ek Tha Tiger and the last big Bollywood release of the year — hits Chicago area theaters on December 22, 2017. It’s releasing in 300 theaters across North America.

Tiger Zinda Hai opens on Friday in nine local theaters: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC Dine-In Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and AMC Loews Crestwood 18 in Crestwood. The Marcus Addison wins the award for Earliest Showtime, with its first showing of Tiger Zinda Hai starting at 8:50 a.m.! The film has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 45 min.

Fukrey Returns gets a third week at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies showing in Chicagoland this weekend:

Movie Review: Fukrey Returns (2017)

1 Star (out of 4)

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Fukrey Returns is a stale bore, populated by characters the filmmakers seem determined not to give us any reasons to care about.

Familiarity with 2013’s Fukrey is essential. The only plot refresher regarding the original film is a sequence of video-only clips that run behind the opening credits of Fukrey Returns. If you haven’t seen Fukrey recently — or if it didn’t leave much of an impression — you’re going to miss some references (I know I did).

The main characters from the original are back, including: smug ladies man Hunny (Pulkit Samrat); his psychic toady Choocha (Varun Sharma); the guy who’s too smart to be hanging around with these idiots, Zafar (Ali Fazal); and the guy who doesn’t really have anything to do in the story, Lali (Manjot Singh). Also returning are the guys’ shady mentor, Pandit (Pankaj Tripathy), and their gangster nemesis, Bholi (Richa Chadda).

After a year in prison, Bholi is eager to take revenge on the four friends who sent her there. She owes a large sum of money to crooked politician Babulal (Rajiv Gupta) for arranging her release, so she needs to use Choocha’s prophetic dreams in order to raise a lot of money, fast. The plan is for the guys to collect wagers from the public, promising to double investors’ winnings when Choocha dreams of the winning lottery numbers. In fact, the lottery pays out at a rate of ten-to-one, leaving Bholi with eighty percent of the winnings. In return, the guys get to continue living.

When their scheme is thwarted, the guys are pilloried for having defrauded the public and are forced to run for their lives. Fortunately, Choocha manifests a new prophetic power he calls “deja Chu” — premonitions that offer their only hope for clearing their names, freeing Bholi from her debt to Babulal, and getting themselves off of her hit list.

The plot doesn’t unfold as neatly as I’ve described it. Establishing what the guys have been doing since the events of the original film takes up a lot of time, yet reveals surprisingly little about the characters. Subplots are introduced and then forgotten about until the end of the movie. Hunny’s girlfriend Priya (Priya Anand) and Zafar’s fiancée Neetu (Vishakha Singh) stage their own disappearing acts until their presence is required for the climax.

The quality of the cast is uneven. When characters played by Chadda, Fazal, and Tripathy interact with one another, the gulf between actors of their caliber and the rest of the cast feels as wide as the Grand Canyon, especially considering how little the script gives them to work with. It seems like Samrat and Sharma have plateaued as performers.

Of course, the most damning indictment is that Fukrey Returns just isn’t funny. Right away, we get a tired gag about Hunny being bitten in the rear by a venomous snake and Choocha having to suck out the venom, and the same gag repeats later. Director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba also doesn’t know when to end a joke, lingering on reaction shots of other characters well past the point when the audience is ready to move on the next gag. Hopefully Lamba and his co-writer Vipul Vig will accept that Fukrey‘s well has run dry and move on themselves.

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Bollywood Box Office: December 15-17, 2017

With minimal competition from other Hindi films, Fukrey Returns held up really well in its second weekend in North America. From December 15-17, 2017, Fukrey Returns earned $82,903 from 44 theaters ($1,884 average). That’s a weekend-to-weekend carry over of 47% (anything higher than 45% is in the top quartile for the year). Fukrey Returns‘ total so far stands at $325,724.

Other Hindi movies still showing in United States:

  • Tumhari Sulu: Week 5; $4,571 from seven theaters; $653 average; $512,480 total
  • Firangi: Week 3; $1,638 from five theaters; $328 average; $180,992 total
  • Secret Superstar: Week 9; $654 from two theaters; $327 average; $2,153,816 total
  • Qarib Qarib Singlle: Week 6; $484 from one theater; $236,331 total
  • Golmaal Again: Week 9; $244 from one theater; $2,360,089 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama