Tag Archives: Aiyaary

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2018

As with my Best Bollywood Movies post, I’m only including five titles in my Worst Bollywood Movies list for 2018. There simply weren’t enough Hindi films terrible enough to warrant such a dubious distinction. But believe me, those that did make the list earned their spots.

In fifth place is Fanney Khan, a dull but mostly harmless family film, except for one very troublesome subplot. The parents of aspiring teenage singer Lata (Pihu Sand) fret that their daughter will be pressured to trade sex for stardom. Yet her father Fanney (Anil Kapoor) has no problem trading another woman’s body in exchange for Lata’s success, kidnapping Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s pop star character to do so. That sound you hear is me smacking myself in the forehead.

Aiyaary makes the list due to its muddled writing. Filmmaker Neeraj Pandey belabors obvious points while glossing over complicated conspiracies in this bland, slow spy thriller, starring Sidharth Malhotra and Manoj Bajpayee.

Race 3 is another bloated narrative mess. I’m a fan of director Remo D’Souza’s movies ABCD and A Flying Jatt, but this franchise outing proves how hard it can be to include a superstar actor in an ensemble picture, while still allotting said superstar a disproportionately large portion of screentime. It also proves that Salman Khan’s star power doesn’t guarantee a movie’s box office success (more on that to come).

The two worst Hindi films of 2018 are bad for many of the same reasons. Both bungle their handling of traumatic injury and disability. Both feature loathsome male protagonists who depend on the suffering of women in order to grow emotionally — only the protagonists don’t actually undergo any emotional growth.

That’s how October wound up in second place for the year. Varun Dhawan plays the awful male lead in question. His character is obsessed with a comatose co-worker because he thinks she may have harbored feelings for him before the accident that injured her. The premise is plain gross, made all the worse by Varun’s character inserting himself into the finer details of her medical care (he LOVES checking her catheter bag). Even after the co-worker regains consciousness, her brain and body are so damaged that she can’t tell him to leave her alone if she wishes him to do so, let alone physically push him away. He takes advantage of her vulnerability, and he ends the movie no more morally improved than he was at the beginning.

As demoralizing as October is, first place goes to a movie that failed on a grander scale. Zero is my Worst Bollywood Movie of 2018. Granted, Shah Rukh Khan’s film wasn’t the biggest box office flop by one of the Three Khans for the year (in North America, that honor belongs to Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan). But Zero was easily the most offensive of the year’s disappointing films. Khan plays Bauua, a man with dwarfism —  his diminutive stature achieved using CGI and camera techniques — who falls in love with Aafia (Anushka Sharma), a woman with cerebral palsy. Writer Wendy Lu posted a piece on Huffington Post just yesterday explaining the problems with able-bodied actors playing disabled characters in Hollywood, and the same problems apply to the two lead actors in Zero. This is a movie that should never have gotten off the drawing board.

Yet Zero went ahead, and the resultant movie is even worse than feared. Not only is the movie out-of-step in the way it treats disability, it’s also sexist. Bauua thinks Aafia is his equal since they’re the same height when she’s in her wheelchair — never mind that she’s a rocket scientist and he’s an almost-40 high school dropout who’s never held a job. The rest of the story is utterly ridiculous. The only person who emerges from Zero with an unblemished reputation is Katrina Kaif, whose excellent performance stands to be overlooked, as everyone else tries to pretend that Zero never happened.

Kathy’s Worst Bollywood Movies of 2018

  1. Zero
  2. October — Buy at Amazon/watch on Prime
  3. Race 3 — watch on Prime
  4. Aiyaary — Buy at Amazon
  5. Fanney Khan — watch on Prime

Previous Worst Movies Lists

Bollywood Box Office: November 16-18, 2018

If you thought Thugs of Hindostan had a bad first weekend in North American theaters, then buckle up. Its second weekend was a lot worse. From November 16-18, 2018, Thugs of Hindostan earned $150,387 from 178 theaters ($845 average) in the United States and Canada, according to Bollywood Hungama. So far, it hasn’t even earned $2 million here, with a total stuck at $1,876,932. The figures were so bad that Yash Raj Films didn’t even bother to report its data to Box Office Mojo. In India, exhibitors are demanding compensation for their loses.

That second-weekend total represents an 87% drop from its first weekend, which almost never happens for Hindi movies that get wide releases in North America. A notable exception is 2018’s other major flop, Race 3, which ranks just ahead of Thugs on the 1st-to-2nd-weekend holdover list with a drop of 85%. The median 1st-to-2nd-weekend business drop for the year is 75%, but the movies that fall below that mark overwhelmingly release in fewer than 100 theaters. The only other exception this year is Aiyaary, which debuted in 152 theaters, but even it only saw its business fall by about 77% — a healthy number by comparison.

Cinemas fared much better with a pair of older Hindi titles. Five-week-old Badhaai Ho took in $81,850 from 33 theaters ($2,480 average), bringing its total to an amazing $3,122,493. Seven-week-old Andhadhun earned $19,686 from ten theaters ($1,969 average), for total earnings of $1,303,946.

Other Bollywood movies still showing in US theaters:

  • Baazaar: Week 4; $398 from two theaters; $199 average; $326,384 total
  • Namaste England: Week 5; $10 from one theater; $109,698

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

Streaming Video News: May 15, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with a few new additions to the catalog. The Malayalam film Aadu 2 and the Urdu movie Chalay Thay Saath are now available for streaming, as is the February Bollywood release Aiyaary. It’s not a great movie, but any Manoj Bajpayee is better than no Manoj Bajpayee.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with several 2018 releases, including Hate Story 4, the Telugu action drama Rangasthalam, the Bengali romcom Raja Rani Raji, and the Hindi kids film Chakarghinni, that I can’t seem to find any information about. I cleaned up the list a bit as well, removing titles that expired. Dil, Listen… Amaya, Mann, Shootout at Lokhandwala, and Shor in the City are all still available to watch with an Amazon Channels subscription to Eros Now (free 7-day trial), and Ocean of Pearls is available with a subscription to the Gaia channel (free 7-day trial).

For everything else new on Netflix and Prime — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

Bollywood Box Office: March 16-18, 2018

Raid got off to a great start in North America, earning $345,668 from 78 theaters ($4,431 average)* during the weekend of March 16-18, 2018, according to Bollywood Hungama. Box Office Mojo reported even higher earnings of $423,817 from 77 theaters ($5,504 average).

Other Hindi movies still in theaters in the United States and Canada:

  • Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety: Week 4; $65,647 from 32 theaters; $2,051 average; $910,572 total
  • Padmaavat: Week 8; $18,678 from 16 theaters; $1,167 average; $12,140,306 total
  • Pari: Week 3; $9,197 from nine theaters; $1,022 average; $320,641 total
  • Welcome to New York: Week 4; $2,417 from two theaters; $1,209 average; $225,366 total
  • Pad Man: Week 6; $716 from four theaters; $179 average; $1,667,233 total
  • Aiyaary: Week 5; $65 from one theater; $642,278 total

*Bollywood Hungama routinely counts Canadian theaters twice in its weekly reporting, at least for a movie’s first few weekends of release. When possible, I try to verify the correct theater count with other sources, like Box Office Mojo. The above figures represent what I believe to be the actual theater counts. Bollywood Hungama’s reporting technically puts Raid in 91 theaters (making for a $3,799 per-theater average).

Source: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: March 9-11, 2018

Even though no new Bollywood movies released in North America during the weekend of March 9-11, 2018, there’s still plenty to write about. Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety went gangbusters in its third weekend of release with earnings of $124,250 from 45 theaters ($2,761 average). Its business fell just 16% from its second weekend to its third, which is remarkable considering the 2nd-3rd weekend drops for other Bollywood releases this year: Padmaavat (-56%); Pad Man (-70%); Welcome to New York (-81%); Aiyaary (-86%); Mukkabaaz (-99%). Great word of mouth — including a 7.8 user rating at IMDb and an 84% “liked it” score at Rotten Tomatoes — continued to drive audiences to the theater for SKTKS, which has current total earnings of $781,009.

Pari likewise held up really well in its second weekend of release, dropping just 46% of its opening weekend business (second best for the year behind SKTKS‘s 38% drop). It earned $64,247 from 37 theaters ($1,736 average), bringing its total to $281,324 so far. I wish more theaters had taken a chance on this horror flick (and I suspect they do, too).

Even in its seventh weekend of release, Padmaavat was still the third highest earning Hindi film in North America, taking in $49,494 from 26 theaters ($1,904 average). It finally crossed the $12 million mark, with total earnings of $12,093,933.

Welcome to New York was vastly more popular in Canada than the United States, with three Canadian theaters earning $4,245 compared to $911 from three US theaters. Contributions to its $220,383 North American total are almost evenly divided between the two countries, with Canada taking a slight edge despite the standard US-heavy screen disparity.

Other Bollywood movies showing in US theaters:

  • Pad Man: Week 5; $4,409 from seven theaters; $630 average; $1,664,077 total
  • Aiyaary: Week 4; $2,205 from four theaters; $551 average; $641,064 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

In Theaters: March 9, 2018

Although trailers for 3 Storeys and Dil Juunglee ran before Welcome to New York locally, neither movie is releasing in Chicagoland. Here are the Bollywood movies carrying over in Chicago theaters the weekend beginning Friday, March 9, 2018:

The horror flick Pari gets a second week at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles and the AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington. Both theaters and the Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville hang on to Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and Padmaavat as well.

The South Barrington 24 gives Aiyaary a fourth weekend, and MovieMax carries over Welcome to New York and Pad Man.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: March 2-4, 2018

Pari‘s seemingly modest opening weekend numbers in North America are more impressive than they appear, given a few mitigating factors. From March 2-4, 2018, Pari earned $118,906 from 45 theaters ($2,642 average). A six-figure opening weekend for a Hindi horror movie is darned good here (more on that later this week). It also made several thousand more dollars than Welcome to New York did on twice as many theaters last weekend. Pari‘s performance cements Anushka Sharma as one of the few Bollywood actresses who can bring international moviegoers to the theater on her name alone, without an A-list male co-star.

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety posted a super second weekend, carrying over more than 60% of its opening weekend business. The romantic comedy earned $147,989 from 72 theaters ($2,055 average), bringing its total after ten days to $519,080.

Welcome to New York headed in the opposite direction, losing 75% of its opening weekend business. It took in $27,423 from 28 theaters ($989 average), pushing its total to $193,254.

Other Hindi movies still showing in North American theaters:

  • Padmaavat: Week 6; $72,310 from 63 theaters ($1,148 average); $11,978,304 total
  • Pad Man: Week 4; $19,179 from 25 theaters ($767 average); $1,642,915 total
  • Aiyaary: Week 3; $11,844 from 26 theaters ($456 average); $628,417 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening March 2: Pari

Anushka Sharma’s latest home production — the horror movie Pari — hits Chicago area theaters on March 2, 2018.

Pari opens on Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles and the AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 14 min.

Welcome to New York gets a second weekend at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. All three theaters also hold over Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, as does the AMC River East 21 in Chicago.

Pad Man carries over for a fourth week at MovieMax, Cantera 17, and AMC Dine-In Rosemont 18 in Rosemont. All three theaters hold on to Aiyaary for a third week, as does the South Barrington 24.

Padmaavat — which continues to perform well at the North American box office — sticks around for a sixth week at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Cantera 17, AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: February 23-25, 2018

After four weeks atop the North American box office, Padmaavat was finally unseated by Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. From February 23-25, 2018, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety earned $239,955 from 66 theaters ($3,636 average). That’s about $2,000 less than the lifetime North American earnings of Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, the last film by writer-director Luv Ranjan and his cast of regulars.

Padmaavat was still the second highest earning Hindi film in North America in its fifth weekend of release, taking in another $173,915 from 89 theaters ($1,954 average), bringing its total earnings to $11,833,407. Gitesh Pandya reports weekend earnings for Padmaavat of $187,949 from 91 theaters ($2,065 average), and a total of $11,846,060.

The weekend’s other new Bollywood release — Welcome to New York — only managed to land in third place, with $111,044 from 84 theaters ($1,322 average). That’s a somewhat disappointing total considering that it showed in both 2D and 3D, which inflates tickets prices.

Pad Man earned $95,877 from 95 theaters ($1,009 average) in its third weekend of release, bringing its total to $1,588,321. Last weekend’s new release, Aiyaary, lost over 3/4s of its opening weekend business, taking in $81,709 from 74 theaters ($1,104 average). Its total earnings stand at $587,041.

*Bollywood Hungama routinely counts Canadian theaters twice in its weekly reporting, at least for a movie’s first three weekends of release. When possible, I try to verify the correct theater count with other sources, like Box Office Mojo. The above figures represent what I believe to be the actual theater counts. Bollywood Hungama’s reporting puts Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety in 77 theaters (making for a $3,116 per-theater average), Welcome to New York in 99 theaters ($1,122 average), Aiyaary in 87 theaters ($939 average), and Pad Man in 102 theaters ($940 average).

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

Bollywood Box Office: February 16-18, 2018

Padmaavat can’t be stopped. Even in its fourth weekend of release, up against two newer Hindi films, Padmaavat remained the top-earning Bollywood movie in North America. During the weekend of February 16-18, 2018, the period drama earned $412,633 from 135 theaters ($3,057 average). Its $11,365,693 total is less than $1 million behind the current all-time highest-earning Bollywood movie in North America: Dangal, which earned $12,357,576 in 2016.

The weekend’s new release, Aiyaary, finished in second place, with earnings of $350,425 from 118 theaters ($2,970 average). It marks the lowest opening weekend for a film by director Neeraj Pandey, whose debut A Wednesday didn’t release in North America.

Pad Man closed out its second weekend with $318,001 from 131 theaters ($2,427 average), a 46% holdover from its opening weekend. It’s earned $1,313,120 so far.

*Bollywood Hungama routinely counts Canadian theaters twice in its weekly reporting, at least for a movie’s first two weekends of release. When possible, I try to verify the correct theater count with other sources, like Box Office Mojo. The above figures represent what I believe to be the actual theater counts. Bollywood Hungama’s reporting puts Aiyaary in 152 theaters (making for a $2,305 per-theater average) and Pad Man in 173 theaters (for a $1,838 per-theater average).

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama