Tag Archives: 2017

Bollywood Box Office: March 24-26, 2017

Phillauri got off to a solid start in North American theaters. During the weekend of March 24-26, 2017, it earned $259,250 from 87 theaters ($2,980 average; adjusted average of $3,503 from 74 theaters*). A third of that total came from just thirteen Canadian theaters, which accounted for fewer than 20% of the total number of theaters.

As the second production from actress Anushka Sharma’s production house Clean Slate Films, Phillauri‘s performance shows the company’s fortunes trending in the right direction. Phillauri opened with almost twice the earnings of the company’s first release, NH10, which earned $143,209 when it opened on 46 screens on March 13, 2015. Granted, NH10 was a violent revenge drama with a more limited potential audience than a family friendly romantic-comedy like Phillauri. Still, Sharma is clearly producing movies that people in North America want to see, so more power to her.

Badrinath Ki Dulhania continued its strong run through a third weekend, earning $139,618 from 105 theaters ($1,330 average; adjusted average of $1,501 from 93 theaters). Its total stands at $1,888,844, putting it in second place for the year so far in North America, behind Raees.

The Ghazi Attack finished its sixth and likely last weekend with $468 from two theaters ($234 average). Its total earnings across all languages are $770,163.

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice in 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: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

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Opening March 24: Phillauri

The second movie from actress Anushka Sharma’s production house Clean Slate Films hits Chicago area theaters on March 24, 2017. Phillauri stars Sharma as a ghost who gets accidentally hitched to a young man with an unlucky love life, played by Life of Pi‘s Suraj Sharma.

Phillauri opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 18 min.

Badrinath Ki Dulhania carries over for a third week at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Marcus Addison, and Woodridge 18, plus the Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

Director Ritesh Batra’s The Sense of an Ending carries over for a second week at Century Centre Cinema in Chicago, Renaissance Place Cinema in Highland Park, Century 12 Evanston in Evanston, Regal Lincolnshire Stadium 15 in Lincolnshire, and AMC Showplace Village Crossing 18 in Skokie.

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

Recap: First Ten Reviews of 2017

Having published ten reviews of Bollywood movies that released in Chicago area theaters so far this year, I wondered: how many of the movies released early in a calendar year tend to wind up on my Best Bollywood Movies list at the end of that year? How many wind up on my Worst Bollywood Movies list for the year?

I looked back at my “Best of” and “Worst of” lists for the last five years to see just how many of the finalists in my top ten and bottom ten were among the first ten theatrical releases of each year. Here are the names of those films, as well as the position they finished in each list:

Best of 2012: Kahaani (1st)
Worst of 2012: Ekk Deewana Tha (1st)

Best of 2013: Kai Po Che! (3rd), Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (4th), ABCD (7th)
Worst of 2013: Zila Ghaziabad (8th)

Best of 2014: Queen (2nd), Highway (5th), Dedh Ishqiya (6th)
Worst of 2014: Karle Pyaar Karle (2nd)

Best of 2015: NH10 (6th), Badlapur (7th)
Worst of 2015: Shamitabh (4th), Roy (10th)

Best of 2016: Neerja (8th)
Worst of 2016: Mastizaade (1st), Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 (2nd), Ghayal Once Again (5th)

The first few months of the year certainly offer up a mixed bag in terms of the quality of the films released. Three of my worst movies of last year were among the first ten films release in 2016, but I gave a four-star rating to all three of the above titles that made the Best of 2014 list.

I’m skeptical that any of the releases from this year will ultimately land on my Best of 2017 list. I gave ratings of at least 3.5 stars to all of the “Best of” titles listed above, and the film presently sitting atop my 2017 list — Commando 2 — only earned 3 stars. If it makes the cut, it will only be because there weren’t ten titles that I rated more highly than it, which is kind of a depressing prospect.

On the flip side, zero-star Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai and 0.5-star Kaabil have already locked up a spots on this year’s “Worst of” list. 1-star Badrinath Ki Dulhania will almost certainly make the list, too, barring a glut of really offensive films that manage to make it look comparatively progressive. That’s a depressing prospect as well.

While none of the 2017 films released thus far have blown me away, there are a number of movies yet to release that I’m really looking forward to — comedies like Phillauri and Noor and the action-thriller Naam Shabana. 2017 could be a strong year yet.

Here are links to my first ten Bollywood reviews of 2017 (in chronological publishing order):

Bollywood Box Office: March 17-19, 2017

Badrinath Ki Dulhania held up really well in its second weekend in the face of monstrous competition from Beauty and the Beast, even adding four theaters in the United States. From March 17-19, 2017, Badrinath Ki Dulhania earned $413,488 from 174 theaters ($2,376 average; adjusted average of $2,651 from 156 theaters*). That’s a hold-over of 48% from its first weekend, the best of the year so far for a Bollywood film in North America, just ahead of Jolly LLB 2‘s 46% retention rate. If it follows Jolly LLB 2‘s trajectory and manages to earn 2.2 times its first weekend earnings over the course of its theatrical run, Badrinath Ki Dulhania could finish with a total of nearly $2 million. Its total earnings presently stand at $1,581,270.

One note regarding Beauty and the Beast: its estimated opening weekend per-theater average of $40,380 is crazy good — 7th best all-time for a movie opening in more than 4,000 theaters in North America, according to Box Office Mojo.

Other Hindi movies showing in North America over the weekend:

  • The Ghazi Attack (all languages): Week 5: $2,825 from seven theaters; $404 average; $767,634 total
  • MSG Lion Heart 2: Week 2; $762 from one theater; $3,430 total
  • Jolly LLB 2: Week 6; $745 from one theater; $1,641,082 total
  • Commando 2: Week 3; $244 from two theaters; $122 average; $76,133 total
  • Rangoon: Week 4; $171 from two theaters; $86 average; $503,610 total

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice in when they report figures for a film’s first two 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: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: March 10-12, 2017

Badrinath Ki Dulhania posted the second best opening weekend of the year for a Bollywood movie in North America. From March 10-12, 2017, the romantic-comedy earned $858,623 from 170 theaters for a per-theater average of $5,051 (also second best for the year). That total is just $23,720 less than what Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania — the first film in the Varun Dhawan-Alia Bhatt franchise — earned from its entire 2014 North American theatrical run ($882,343)!

Before I move on from Badrinath Ki Dulhania, I’ll address in more detail something regarding theater counts that I plan on adding as an addendum to weekly box office posts from here on. My main source for box office information is Rentrak, a company that independently collects information from theaters across the country. Access to Rentrak’s raw data is expensive, so I rely on the Rentrak data as reported by Bollywood Hungama. For some reason, during a film’s first weekend of release in North America, Bollywood Hungama routinely includes Canadian theaters in the US theater count. So, when data from the two countries is added together, Canada’s theaters get counted twice. While I normally can’t verify this without direct access to the Rentrak data, I can confirm it when a film appears on Box Office Mojo, as their theater totals are always accurate. However, I can’t use Box Office Mojo as my main source because they rely on individual distributors to report results to them, and as a result, only four of the thirteen Hindi films released here this year are listed at Box Office Mojo. So, even though I am reasonably sure that Bollywood Hungama misreports theater information in a film’s opening weekend, using their information gives me a complete and consistent data set, enabling me to compare movies fairly. This is my long way of saying that Badrinath Ki Dulhania‘s true theater count is 152, making for a per-theater average of $5,649.

Only one of last weekend’s two new releases stuck around for a second weekend (and it wasn’t Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai). Commando 2 earned $4,172 from 13 theaters ($321 average), bringing its total North American earnings to $75,355. Despite Commando 2‘s business dropping about 90% from its first weekend to its second, its total earnings are close to double the amount it earned is its opening weekend, meaning that the film fared really well from Monday, March 6 – Thursday, March 9. That’s not reason enough to keep it around for a third weekend, mind you, so see it while you can, if you’re interested. The same can be said for the other Hindi films showing in North America:

  • Rangoon: Week 3; $5,815 from 15 theaters; $388 average; $502,014 total
  • The Ghazi Attack (all languages): Week 4; $4,836 from 11 theaters; $440 average: $762,917 total
  • Hind Ka Napak Ko Jawab — MSG Lion Heart 2: Week 1; $1,862 from one theater; $1,862 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening March 10: Badrinath Ki Dulhania

One big new Hindi release opens in Chicago area theaters on March 10, 2017. Badrinath Ki Dulhania reunites Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt for the second film in the franchise that began with 2014’s Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. (Are we calling it the Dulhania franchise?)

Badrinath Ki Dulhania opens Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 24* 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. 18 min.

Commando 2 gets a second week at the MovieMax and South Barrington 24. The Hindi and Telugu versions of The Ghazi Attack carry over at MovieMax, while the Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge holds over just the Telugu version.

Other Indian movies showing at MovieMax this weekend include Aby (Malayalam), Nagaram (Telugu), Chitrangada (Telugu), Maanagaram (Malayalam), Baashha (Tamil), Kittu Unnadu Jagratha (Telugu), Kuttram 23 (Tamil), and Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol (Malayalam).

*Note that South Barrington AMC downsized to 24 screens from 30 as part of its recent upgrades. I haven’t been to the theater to see how that changes the physical layout of the theater, or if those decommissioned screens have been re-purposed for something else. South Barrington used to hang on to marginally successful Bollywood films for many weeks, but the lost screens could lead to shorter theatrical runs if space is at a premium.

Bollywood Box Office: March 3-5, 2017

The weekend of March 3-5, 2017, provided two more cautionary tales of the difficult path to North American box office success for Bollywood movies without A-list stars. The action sequel Commando 2 fared the better of the new releases, earning $40,611 from 49 theaters ($829 average). The romantic drama Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai had the worst opening weekend of the year so far for a Hindi film in North America, earning just $6,539 from 42 theaters ($156 average).

These lackluster performances come two weeks after both Irada and Running Shaadi failed to earn $15,000 in their opening weekend in the United States and Canada. Given that JIKNH had the least star-power of the four films, its position at the bottom of the heap makes sense. Still, it speaks to the star-driven nature of movie attendance here that Commando 2 wasn’t able to earn more than it did. As a sequel, it had a preexisting fanbase that — while not huge — was enthusiastic for its release. With forty theaters in the US and nine in Canada, access to the film wasn’t a problem. Yet those factors weren’t enough to earn the six figures that would’ve marked the film a success. Commando 2‘s returns help to define the earning potential for Bollywood movies without A-list stars here, and that potential isn’t very high.

In its second weekend in theaters, business for Rangoon dropped nearly 80% from its opening weekend. That’s not as catastrophic as it might sound, but it’s not good, either. Rangoon earned $64,047 from 68 theaters ($942 average), bringing its total to $471,186. A few more days will push that total past $500,000, making it director Vishal Bhardwaj’s most successful film in North America to feature a female lead.

Other Bollywood movies showing in North American theaters:

  • The Ghazi Attack (all languages): Week 3; $30,118 from seventeen theaters; $1,772 average; $749,957 total
  • Raees: Week 6; $273 from one theater; $3,631,911 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama