Tag Archives: Bang Bang

Interview with the Pizza Hut Guy from Bang Bang

The Bollywood action movie Bang Bang is pretty cheesy, full of over-the-top acting and transparent product placement. When I reviewed it in 2014, I wrote this:

A pivotal scene is set in a Pizza Hut located on the top of a mountain, on the edge of a cliff, with no place for a parking lot. Nevertheless, the restaurant is crowded. Not so crowded that Rajveer and Harleen can’t ponder the merits of thin versus stuffed crust, mind you. The kid behind the counter suggests a pan pizza as a compromise. The kid is the best actor in the film.

Here’s who I’m talking about:

bang

Imagine my delight when I received this email in my inbox:

pizzahutguy

“The Pizza Hut Guy” is Aditya Prakash, an actor working in India. Aditya was kind enough to answer a few questions about his career and his experience working on Bang Bang.

Me: What’s your background, Aditya?
Aditya: I am an actor by profession. Before Bang Bang, I have done numerous ads — the one which is on air right now is for PepsiCo — then I did some serials. Every one in my family was sure that I would pursue science as my career.

Me: What inspired you to take up acting?
Aditya: It all started when I fell in love with the Harry Potter movies. I am a die-hard fan of the franchise. I literally cried a whole day in 2007 and 2011 when Rowling released The Deathly Hallows and when Part 2 of the movie released, respectively.

Me: Where was your scene in Bang Bang filmed?
Aditya: The scene was filmed in Film City in Mumbai. [Author’s note: I am deeply disappointed that they didn’t build an actual cliff-top Pizza Hut for the scene.]

Me: Did you get to chat off-camera with Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan?
Aditya: Katrina is reserved. But I now know Hrithik personally!

Me: How different is the experience for an actor with a speaking part versus the extras in the background of the scene?
Aditya: Bollywood differs from Hollywood in some aspects. One among them is that junior artists or background artists who stand or dance in the background don’t get paid very well. I do feel for them.

Me: Please, please tell me they served you pizza on set.
Aditya: Yeah, it’s ironic but I do hate eating Pizza Hut and soft drinks (too much carbs and fats), but yeah, on the shoot day we did eat a hell of a lot of those. As a matter of fact, there were 250 pizzas delivered on the sets!

Me: What are your plans for the future?
Aditya: Currently I am doing a lead role in an upcoming movie, releasing Diwali, 2016. I am also the co-writer for the movie. I do plan to try my best in Hollywood as well. I have always believed in the fact that the harder you work towards your passion, at some point in life HE senses your hard work and helps out.

Thanks, Aditya! Keep up to date with Aditya on Facebook and IMDb.

And if you want to catch up on my Bang Bang coverage, here are links to my review and to the episode of the Split Screen Podcast in which Shah Shahid and I compare the movie to its Hollywood original, Knight and Day.

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The Split Screen Podcast Debuts

Big news! Shah Shahid — the man behind the multimedia review site Blank Page Beatdown — just debuted the Split Screen Podcast. Shah’s guest on the first three episodes of the podcast is none other than… ME!

SplitScreenPodcast

Here’s how Shah sums up the goal of the podcast:

The Split Screen Podcast will compare and analyze movies that are adaptations of other works, directly with the source material that they were inspired by. The goal is to essentially determine how good or bad the adaptations were and, most excitingly, going off on long winded, expletive laced rants when they’re bad.

Bollywood flicks are perfectly suited to such a podcast, given how many Hindi films are remakes of other movies. Shah is a lifelong Bollywood fan with a wide-ranging field of interests — including Hollywood films, comic books, and superhero TV shows — and he reviews them all at Blank Page Beatdown. Check the time stamp on his tweets, and you’ll notice that he stays up well into the night ranting about Dune or the latest episode of Quantico.

Though future episodes will cover films in other genres, the first three episodes are all about Bollywood (my realm of expertise). The initial episode is an intro to the podcast — labeled Episode 00 accordingly — in which we discuss Bollywood remakes in general. Episode 01 compares the Hindi film Ghajini to its far, far, far superior inspiration, Memento. In Episode 02, we rail against the horrible changes made to the female protagonist when Knight and Day was remade as Bang Bang!.

The podcasts are full of spoilers and some swear words, so be forewarned. Please check out the Split Screen Podcast and let me know what you think! Enjoy!

To keep up to date with new episodes of the podcast, follow Split Screen Podcast on Twitter or visit Shah’s website, Blank Page Beatdown.

Streaming Video News: November 6, 2015

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with one new addition to the catalog. The 2014 action flick Bang Bang! — starring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif — is now available for streaming. Bang Bang! is an okay movie on its own, but this remake is a pale imitation of its inspiration: Knight and Day, starring Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise.

Bollywood Box Office: October 31-November 2

October 31 through November 2, 2014, proved to be a dud of a weekend for new Bollywood releases in the United States and Canada. According to Bollywood Hungama, Rekha’s big-screen return, Super Nani, pulled in just $26,746 from 44 theaters ($608 average per screen).

Super Nani‘s performance is nowhere near as embarrassing as that of Roar: Tigers of the Sundarbans, which grossed $4,927 from 50 theaters ($99 average). As awful at that opening weekend is, it’s still better than those of six other Hindi films that opened in North America this year: Siddharth ($4,564), Gang of Ghosts ($4,509), Karle Pyaar Karle ($3,110), Koyelaanchal ($1,762), Ya Rab ($1,404), and the big loser, Miss Lovely ($558). However, Roar opened on 28 more screens than the next biggest release in that list, Karle Pyaar Karle.

Happy New Year continued its strong performance through its second weekend, adding $693,696 from 239 theaters ($2,735 average) to bring its total to $3,184,576. It probably won’t have enough juice to bypass The Lunchbox‘s $4,050,393 total, but Happy New Year should finish its run in second place for the year by a wide margin.

In its fifth weekend of release, Bang Bang added another $3,002 from five Canadian theaters ($600 average), bringing its North American total to $2,586,394.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: October 24-26

Happy New Year got off to a roaring start in its first weekend in North American theaters. From October 24-26, 2014 — plus some Thursday night preview showings — Happy New Year earned $2,076,873 from 280 theaters ($7,417 average per screen). That’s the biggest opening weekend performance of the year by a wide margin over second place Bang Bang, which earned $1,410,383 from 292 theaters.

However, Happy New Year‘s opening weekend earnings fall short of Shahrukh Khan’s biggest ever opening weekend in the United States and Canada. That honor goes to last year’s Chennai Express — also co-starring Deepika Padukone — which earned $2,416,213 from 196 theaters.

Among the three films Khan and Padukone have starred in together, Happy New Year ranks third in terms of per-screen average in North America. Its $7,417 ranks behind Chennai Express ($12,328) which ranks behind 2007’s Om Shanti Om ($15,474). Yet Happy New Year‘s average is still high enough to rank third for this year, behind only The Lunchbox and 2 States.

Other Hindi movies showing in North American theaters over the weekend include:

  • Bang Bang: Week 4; $19,536 from 20 theaters; $977 average; $2,578,746 total
  • Haider: Week 4; $3,326 from six theaters; $554 average; $1,036,098 total
  • The Lunchbox: Week 35; $160 from one theater; $4,050,393

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening October 24: Happy New Year

One of the most hotly anticipated Bollywood movies of the year hits theaters on October 24, 2014. Happy New Year — starring Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Boman Irani, Abhishek Bachchan, Sonu Sood, and Vivaan Shah — gets a wide release in the Chicago area.

Several local theaters are offering preview showings of Happy New Year on Thursday night: MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, Marcus Addison in Addison, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. On Friday, Happy New Year gets its official release in these additional theaters: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, AMC Loews Crestwood 18 in Crestwood, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. The movie has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 45 min.

The South Barrington 30 and MovieMax are both giving a fourth week to Haider and Bang Bang, which also carries over at the Cantera 17.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Kaththi (Tamil with English subtitles) at the Rosemont 18, Marcus Addison, Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge, and MovieMax, which is also carrying Pyaar Vali Love Story (Marathi), Poojai (Tamil), Oka Laila Kosam (Telugu), Vellimoonga (Malayalam), and Dikkulu Choodaku Ramayya (Telugu).

Bollywood Box Office: October 17-19

Bang Bang and Haider continued their strong box office performances in their last uncontested weekend before Shahrukh Khan’s Happy New Year hits theaters. In its third weekend in North America, Bang Bang earned an additional $138,308 from 128 theaters ($1,081 average per screen), bringing its total earnings to $2,523,614. That makes it the second highest earning Hindi film in North America in 2014, behind The Lunchbox.

Haider added $62,361 from 49 theaters ($1,273 average) to its coffers, bringing its total earnings in the United States and Canada to $1,022,727. That total puts it in eighth place in North America for the year.

Other Hindi movies showing in U.S. and Canadian theaters during the weekend of October 17-19, 2014:

  • Khoobsurat: Week 5; $2,296 from three theaters; $765 average; $725,610 total
  • The Lunchbox: Week 34; $370 from one theater; $4,050,233 total
  • Daawat-e-Ishq: Week 5; $229 from one theater; $385,415 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

In Theaters: October 17, 2014

For a second week in a row, there are no new Hindi movies opening in the Chicago area. We’ll have to wait until October 24 for Happy New Year.

When the theater schedules turn over on Friday, October 17, 2014, four local theaters will continue to carry Bang Bang: Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

Haider continues its run at MovieMax, Cantera, and South Barrington, which also holds over Khoobsurat for a fifth week.

Other Indian movies showing at MovieMax this weekend include the Malayalam films Vellimoonga and Money Ratnam and the Telugu movies Oka Laila Kosam, Dikkulu Choodaku Ramayya, Govindudu Andarivadele, and Loukyam.

Bollywood Box Office: October 10-12

With no new Bollywood films for competition, Bang Bang and Haider continued to dominate the North American box office during the weekend of October 10-12, 2014. According to Bollywood Hungama, Bang Bang held the lead, earning $482,043 from 257 theaters ($1,876 average). That brings Bang Bang‘s total earnings to $2,214,333, putting it in third place for the year among Hindi films released in the United States and Canada. Advantages like a holiday (Columbus Day) across much of the U.S. today and another weekend without new competition in theaters should provide enough of a boost to push Bang Bang into second place for the year, ahead of Kick ($2,403,553).

Haider continued its strong performance as well, earning another $218,287 from 104 theaters ($2,099 average). With total earnings of $891,734 so far, it should easily pass Shaadi Ki Side Effects ($947,787) to finish its run in eight place for the year.

[Box Office Mojo lists slightly higher weekend and overall totals for Bang Bang ($499,182/$2,248,354) and Haider ($226,840/$901,610).]

Other Hindi movies still in theaters:

  • Khoobsurat: Week 4; $4,419 from five theaters ($884 average); $721,451 total
  • Daawat-e-Ishq: Week 4; $734 from one theater; $384,848 total
  • The Lunchbox: Week 33: $96 from one theater; $4,049,709 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

In Theaters: October 10, 2014

After two titanic releases last weekend, no new Hindi movies are opening in the Chicago area on Friday, October 10, 2014. On the heels of a successful opening weekend, Bang Bang carries over for a second week in ten local theaters:

Haider — the better of last weekend’s new releases — carries over at the River East 21, Gardens 1-6, MovieMax, Showplace Niles 12, South Barrington 30, and Regal 17.

The cute romantic comedy Khoobsurat sticks around for fourth week at MovieMax and the South Barrington 30.

The Telugu movie Govindudu Andarivadele holds over at Seven Bridges and MovieMax, which is also carrying Drishya (Kannada), Money Ratnam (Malayalam), Yaan (Tamil), Madras (Tamil), and the Telugu films Romeo, Dikkulu Choodaku Ramayya, Paathshaala, and Loukyam.