Tag Archives: 2017

In Theaters: January 20, 2017

With two big movies coming out January 25 — Raees and Kaabil — there are no new Hindi films opening in Chicago area theaters on Friday, January 20, 2017. At the time of this writing, the only theaters with confirmed Wednesday showtimes for Raees and Kaabil are MovieMax Cinemas in Niles and the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, though certainly that will change in the coming days.

Last weekend’s unpopular new release, OK Jaanu, sticks around at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Tuesday is the last day for OK Jaanu at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17, and it shifts to one showing per day — at 11:15 p.m. — at MovieMax starting Wednesday.

Dangal carries over for a fifth week at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: January 13-15, 2017

Let’s hope that the lackluster performance of Bollywood’s first 2017 release in North America isn’t an ill omen for the rest of the year. From January 13-15, OK Jaanu earned $211,660 from 136 theaters ($1,556 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. Box Office Mojo reports the number of theaters as 121, which only improves the per-theater average slightly to $1,749. Any opening weekend average of less than $2,000 is bad. Sure, OK Jaanu was up against several new South Indian releases, but Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday should’ve boosted overall theater attendance, especially on Sunday.

What compounds the heartache for OK Jaanu is that it earned less than Dangal, which is four weeks old! Over the weekend, Dangal added another $339,057 from 90 theaters ($3,767 average) to its astounding North American total of $11,736,636.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Movie Review: OK Jaanu (2017)

okjaanu3 Stars (out of 4)

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OK Jaanu (“OK, Darling“) is a straightforward, contemporary romance. No twists, just two attractive people falling in love. The movie works because it knows what it is.

OK Jaanu is a Hindi remake of the 2015 Tamil film OK Kanmani (which I haven’t seen), and from what I understand, it’s pretty faithful to the original. OK Jaanu‘s director, Shaad Ali, got his start as an assistant director under Mani Ratnam, who directed OK Kanmani.

The Hindi version stars Aditya Roy Kapur as video game designer Adi and Shraddha Kapoor as Tara, an architect. At a mutual friend’s wedding, they discover a shared disdain for marriage. They both have plans to leave India in short order: Tara to Paris to continue her architectural studies, and Adi to the United States to “give Zuckerberg a run for his money.”

Allow me a nerdy digression. Mark Zuckerberg is the creator of Facebook, but he’s not a game designer. It would’ve been more accurate for Adi to say he was heading to America to become the next Mark Cerny or Will Wright. (Yes, I know how geeky I sound.)

Adi’s flirty friendship with Tara blooms into a full-blown love affair, though they refuse to utter the word “love”–since their romance must end once they expatriate. The sequence leading up to the consummation of their relationship is very sexy without showing much skin, other than a brief glimpse of Kapur’s shirtless back. The camera pans around the bedroom, letting the sounds of a thunderstorm and A.R. Rahman’s stirring score fill the audience’s imagination.

Adi’s and Tara’s belief that their fling is temporary and free of emotional strings is met with a collective, “We’ll see about that,” by the elder members of their social circle. Their landlord, Gopi (Naseeruddin Shah), recognizes in them the same fondness he and his wife, Charu (Leela Samson), shared in their younger days. As Gopi cares for Charu as her Alzheimer’s progresses, Adi and Tara see a depth of love that they might experience if they were willing to commit to each other.

The main characters’ family situations are a bit confusing, which is unfortunate given that those relationships exist in the story to explain why Adi and Tara are both so biased against marriage. At other times, scene transitions fail to clarify where the characters are geographically.

The lead actors are pretty good, and Kapur’s smile is a killer. However, the characters themselves never really won me over, despite multiple “Having Fun!” montages of the duo and their friends standing in moving convertibles or driving a moped through a cafe. Adi’s and Tara’s first conversation is over cell phones during the middle of a church service, which seems more rude than charming.

Where OK Jaanu redeems itself is in showcasing characters who are open and unapologetic about their sexual desires, all within a narrative that is strongly pro-monogamy. It’s a nice blend of modern and traditional.

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Opening January 13: OK Jaanu

The first Bollywood movie to release in Chicago area theaters in 2017 is OK Jaanu, a remake of the 2015 Tamil hit OK Kanmani (available on Netflix). The Hindi remake hits theaters on January 13 and stars Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor.

OK Jaanu opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 15 min.

Dangal carries over for a fourth week at the South Barrington 30, Cantera 17, Woodridge 18, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, and AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include:

Bollywood Box Office: January 6-8, 2017

Dangal passed PK to become the highest grossing Bollywood film in North America ever, taking just seventeen days to do so. During the weekend of January 6-8, 2017, Dangal earned another $770,084 from 226 theaters ($3,407 average), bringing its total earnings to $11,084,912.

Dangal‘s success in North America perfectly illustrates Canada’s theater dearth. The film opened in 26 theaters in Canada and 331 theaters in the United States for a total of 357 theaters, the film’s widest release. (The US figure may be in dispute, but I’m using it since it doesn’t significantly alter the point I’m trying to make). Based on those numbers, Canada accounts for 7.3% of the total theaters to ever carry Dangal in North America. Yet the film has earned $1,871,072 in Canada, accounting for 16.9% of the North American total. Dividing each country’s total earnings thus far by the highest number of theaters Dangal released in gives each of those 331 US theaters a lifetime average earnings of $27,836, versus a lifetime average of $71,964 for each of the 26 Canadian theaters!

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Dear Zindagi: Week 7; $720 from two theaters; $360 average; $2,453,270 total
  • Kahaani 2: Week 6; $348 from one theater; $489,873 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: December 30-January 1, 2017

In its second weekend in North American theaters, Dangal‘s business fell a mere 35% from its first weekend of release. From December 30, 2016-January 1, 2017, it earned another $2,014,225 from 331 theaters ($6,085 average) to bring its remarkable total to $9,126,258. PK‘s chart-topping $10.5 million total will soon be history.

Other Hindi films still in theaters:

  • Dear Zindagi: Week 6; $2,223 from three theaters; $741 average; $2,451,659 total
  • Befikre: Week 4; $174 from two theaters; $87 average; $811,916 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama