Tag Archives: Bareilly Ki Barfi

Best Bollywood Movies of 2017

Looking back at all of the 2017 releases that I reviewed, there were more movies that I liked than those I didn’t. Here are my ten favorites from a sizable group of contenders.

I love a well-made action movie, and 2017 had two that stood out. Commando 2 took full advantage of Vidyut Jammwal’s impressive physical skills in a solid followup to 2013’s terrific Commando: A One Man Army. The slick action comedy A Gentleman had cool stunts, abundant laughs, and the perfect leading duo for such a film: Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez.

Malhotra made another appearance in the Top Ten with his murder mystery remake Ittefaq, featuring a great performance by Akshaye Khanna as a detective. The other thriller on the list, Trapped, found Rajkummar Rao carrying the weight of an entire movie by himself as his character sought to escape a locked apartment.

Secret Superstar was a touching family drama with surprising emotional depth, especially since its marketing focused heavily on Aamir Khan’s wacky (and very funny) cameo performance. Though Hindi Medium was more deliberately comedic, it likewise packed an unexpected punch, effectively illustrating the negative effects of income inequality on quality public education.

Three wonderful romantic comedies made my Top Ten list. Ayushmann Khurrana lamented the one who (he thinks) got away in the delightful Meri Pyaari Bindu, and he starred in the clever update of Cyrano de BergeracBareilly Ki Barfi — opposite Rajkummar Rao (again) and Kriti Sanon, in her best performance to date. Anushka Sharma showcased her skills as both a producer and an actress in the beautiful tearjerker Phillauri.

While I normally restrict my yearly Top Ten list to just Bollywood movies, I have to make an exception for the multi-lingual film that raised the bar for all Indian cinema on the international stage. My favorite movie of 2017 was Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. Everything about Baahubali 2 was epic: battles, choreography, story, sets, costumes, performances. It’s the kind of movie that reminded me why I enjoy movies in the first place. Writer-director S.S. Rajamouli deserves all the accolades he received for making a truly magnificent film.

Check my Netflix and Amazon Prime pages to see which of these movies are available for streaming in the United States.

Kathy’s Best Bollywood Movies of 2017

  1. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  2. Phillauri — Buy at Amazon
  3. Bareilly Ki Barfi — Buy at Amazon
  4. Hindi Medium — Buy at Amazon
  5. Secret Superstar
  6. A Gentleman — Buy at Amazon
  7. Meri Pyaari Bindu — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  8. Trapped
  9. Ittefaq — Buy/rent at iTunes
  10. Commando 2 — Buy at Amazon

Previous Best Movies Lists

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Bollywood Box Office: October 20-22, 2017

Both of the Hindi movies released in time for Diwali did very well in North America over the weekend of October 20-22, 2017. Not surprisingly, the film showing in more theaters — Golmaal Again — fared the better of the two, earning $1,003,569 from 288 theaters ($3,485 average; adjusted average of $3,787 from 265 theaters*). Using the 265 theater count that Box Office Mojo reports for the film, Golmaal Again did vastly better in Canada than the United States, averaging $9,233 in 23 Canadian theaters versus $3,269 in 242 US theaters. Golmaal Again improved on Golmaal 3‘s North American opening weekend haul of $626,432 from 86 theaters in 2010, made possible by tripling the number of theaters. (Update: Per Gitesh Pandya, Reliance reports weekend earnings for Golmaal Again of $1,013,893 from 267 theaters).

Secret Superstar also turned in a good performance over the weekend, earning $754,185 from 207 theaters ($3,643 average; adjusted average of $4,121 from 183 theaters). The difference in per-theater averages between Canada and the US was less stark for Secret Superstar: $5,281 at 24 Canadian theaters versus $3,946 at 159 US theaters. Secret Superstar got a jump on Golmaal Again by releasing on Thursday, October 19, and the $60,632 it earned on Thursday brings its total earnings thus far to $814,817.

Among North American cinema owners, none can be happier than the owners of the four Canadian theaters that showed the Tamil movie Mersal over the weekend, averaging earnings of $36,735 per theater. The film’s total earnings across the US and Canada stand at $1,347,387 since its Tuesday, October 17 release.

Bollywood Hungama failed to report US earnings for Judwaa 2, which took in $5,715 from three Canadian theaters over the weekend. Box Office Mojo reports total earnings of $1,431,255 for Judwaa 2 thus far.

Other Bollywood movies still showing in US theaters:

  • Bareilly Ki Barfi: Week 10; $256 from one theater; $572,764 total
  • Chef: Week 3; $114 from one theater; $94,085 total
  • Shubh Mangal Saavdhan: Week 8; $110 from one theater; $689,874 total

*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, Gitesh Pandya, and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: October 13-15, 2017

Absent competition from any new Bollywood releases, Judwaa 2 led the North American box office for a third straight weekend. From October 13-15, 2017, the comedy reboot earned $101,341 from 125 theaters ($811 average), becoming just the fifth Hindi film of the year to earn more than $100,000 in its third weekend of release. Its current total of $1,392,946 ranks Judwaa 2 in ninth place for the year.

Another bit of happy news (on a much more modest scale) is that Bareilly Ki Barfi posted the highest ninth-weekend earnings of the year, by a long shot. The $1,409 the romantic comedy earned from two theaters ($705 average) beat out Baahubali 2‘s Weekend 9 earnings of $726 from three theaters and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha‘s $120 from one theater — quite the feat for a movie whose widest release was 44 theaters! Bareilly Ki Barfi‘s total stands at $572,298.

Chef fared poorly in its second weekend in North America, earning $10,920 from 23 theaters ($475 average), bringing its total to $91,878.

Other Hindi movies still showing in the United States:

  • Shubh Mangal Saavdhan: Week 7; $819 from one theater; $629,427 total
  • Simran: Week 5; $505 from one theater; $405,394 total
  • Tu Hai Mera Sunday: Week 2; $441 from five theaters; $88 average; $4,694 total
  • Bhoomi: Week 4; $374 from two theaters; $187 average; $72,297 total
  • Toilet — Ek Prem Katha: Week 10; $53 from one theater; $1872,300 total

Sources: Sumit Chadha and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: October 6-8, 2017

Two new Hindi films had disastrous opening weekends in North America from October 6-8, 2017. The higher-profile release — Saif Ali Khan’s Chef — took in $57,179 from 64 theaters ($893 average; adjusted average of $1,059 from 54 theaters*), according to Bollywood Hungama. Even with a modest theater count, one would expect better from a remake of an American film with a big star opening on Columbus Day weekend.

The weekend’s other new release — Tu Hai Mera Sunday — tanked, predictably. The movie had a mostly unrecognizable cast, and there was no advanced publicity for its international release. It was no surprise, then, that Tu Hai Mera Sunday made just $4,253 from 20 theaters ($213 average) over the weekend, according to Sumit Chadha.

The recent lousy debuts of movies like Tu Hai Mera Sunday and Haseena Parkar have me scratching my head as to why many low-budget Hindi movies still opt for theatrical releases in the United States and Canada, especially with so much competition among streaming services for new Bollywood content. To date, 48 Hindi movies — including multilingual movies like Baahubali 2 and The Ghazi Attack and special engagement releases like the movies of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh — have opened in North American theaters this year. If the eight Hindi movies that I suspect will open here before the end of the year actually do so, that would make 56 Bollywood movies released in North America in 2017 — four more titles than the previous record release year of 2014. What can be gained when a movie earns less than $10,000 in its opening weekend here, as is the case for six titles already this year? Eleven films haven’t even made $50,000 over the courses of their theatrical runs. It’s perplexing.

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Bareilly Ki Barfi: Week 8; $3,980 from three theaters; $1,327 average; $569,635 total
  • Shubh Mangal Saavdhan: Week 6; $2,418 from two theaters; $1,209 average; $629,427 total
  • Simran: Week 4; $1,350 from three theaters; $450 average; $404,301 total
  • Bhoomi: Week 3; $258 from three theaters; $86 average; $71,803 total
  • Toilet — Ek Prem Katha: Week 9; $120 from one theater; $1,872,211 total

*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, Sumit Chadha, and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: September 29-October 1, 2017

Judwaa 2 led among the Hindi films showing in North America during the weekend of September 29-October 1, 2017. According to Rentrak figures supplied to Bollywood Hungama, Judwaa 2 opened in 213 theaters, earning $630,015 ($2,958 average). Box Office Mojo reports the movie as opening 192 theaters, improving Judwaa 2‘s per-theater average to $3,281.

Though Judwaa 2 posted the ninth best opening weekend gross of 2017, it opened in the sixth highest number of theaters and only had the thirteenth best opening weekend average for the year. Judwaa 2 also earned $200,000 less than star Varun Dhawan’s Badrinath Ki Dulhania did earlier this year, despite the fact that BKD opened in 20% fewer theaters (156, according to Box Office Mojo).

Another interesting aspect of Judwaa 2‘s performance over the weekend is its disproportionate popularity in Canada versus the United States. A full 20% of the film’s gross earnings ($127,042) came from Canada, which accounted for just 11% of the total number of theaters. But this isn’t the only recent release faring much better north of the border than south. Bhoomi earned a total of $5,597 from 14 theaters ($400 average) in its second weekend of release — $4,776 from Canada’s seven theaters and $821 from the US’s seven theaters. The total contributions from each country to date are roughly equal — $36,463 from the US and $33,906 from Canada — despite the fact that the movie opened in nearly three times as many theaters in the US (32) than Canada (11).

Like Bhoomi, all of the other Hindi titles still showing in North America posted weekend earnings of less than $10,000. Here’s how they fared:

  • Simran: Week 3; $7,431 from ten theaters; $743 average; $401,626 total
  • Bareilly Ki Barfi: Week 7; $5,279 from four theaters; $1,320 average; $564,291 total
  • Shubh Mangal Saavdhan: Week 5; $4,610 from six theaters; $768 average; $629,427 total
  • Lipstick Under My Burkha: Week 4; $1,526 from one theater; $46,948 total
  • Haseena Parkar: Week 2; $254 from three theaters; $85 average; $2,305 total
  • Toilet — Ek Prem Katha: Week 8; $220 from two theaters; $110 average; $1,907,300 total
  • Lucknow Central: Week 3; $148 from two theaters; $74 average; $144,874 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: September 22-24, 2017

Neither of the new Hindi films to open in North America made a mark at the box office during the weekend of September 22-24, 2017. The Sanjay Dutt-Aditi Rao Hydari thriller Bhoomi fared the better of the two, earning $48,122 from 43 theaters ($1,119 average) — a low-key performance typical of a movie released in so few theaters.

The weekend’s other new release — Haseena Parkar — is an absolute mystery to me. Why in the world would you open a Hindi film with a recognizable star like Shraddha Kapoor in just five North American theaters? It’s like someone wanted the film to flop, and flop it did. It earned $587 from two theaters in the United States and $714 from three Canadian theaters. That’s a grand total of $1,301 and an average of $260 per theater. Regardless of the actual quality of the movie, it’s going to be remembered as a disaster, ranking at the bottom of the year-end box office list below even MSG Lion Heart 2.

What sucks is that Haseena Parkar is Shraddha Kapoor’s first solo star vehicle, and its failure here will affect how her future projects are perceived by potential producers and investors. They can point to Haseena Parkar as evidence that she’s not bankable internationally, lowering her market value. I’m not even a huge Shraddha Kapoor fan, but actresses in India get so few chances to shine outside of the reflected glow of male stars, and this totally predictable tank job will only further limit her opportunities (and reinforce the stereotype that actresses aren’t moneymakers, thus potentially hurting the prospects of her female peers).

In other news, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan continues to perform well, from what I can tell. Distributor Eros stopped reporting numbers to Box Office Mojo, and Bollywood Hungama’s Rentrak data is still missing information from Canada. Bollywood Hungama reports earnings of $21,229 from 20 US theaters ($1,061 average). I’m not sure what the movie’s real total is, but at a minimum Shubh Mangal Saavdhan has earned around $650,656 ($21,229 plus last weekend‘s total of $629,427).

Fun fact: Poster Boys has earned more in Canada ($50,469) than the US ($44,232), despite having opened three weeks ago in 18 theaters in Canada versus 32 theater in the US. Over the weekend, it added another $245 from two theaters ($123 average), bringing its combined total to $94,701.

Other Hindi movies still showing in North American theaters:

  • Simran: Week 2; $72,249 from 74 theaters; $976 average; $372,328 total
  • Lucknow Central: Week 2; $19,503 from 28 theaters; $697 average; $141,604 total
  • Bareilly Ki Barfi: Week 6; $7,607 from five theaters; $1,521 average; $556,982 total
  • Lipstick Under My Burkha: Week 3; $3,130 from four theaters; $783 average; $44,431 total
  • Toilet — Ek Prem Katha: Week 7; $1,027 from two theaters; $514 average; $1,869,724 total
  • Daddy: Week 3; $84 from one theater; $31,784 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: September 15-17, 2017

Simran bested Lucknow Central in the battle for North America box office supremacy for the weekend of September 15-17, 2017, earning $226,853 from 98 theaters ($2,315 average). Lucknow Central brought in a more modest $92,392 from 61 theaters ($1,515 average).

Last weekend‘s new releases failed to sustain much interest, getting beaten by a number of older films. Here’s how the other seven Hindi movies still showing in North America stacked up:

  • Shubh Mangal Saavdhan: Week 3; $75,080 from 80 theaters; $939 average; $629,427 total
  • Baadshaho: Week 3; $17,158 from 39 theaters; $440 average; $493,572 total
  • Bareilly Ki Barfi: Week 5; $16,586 from nine theaters; $1,843 average; $544,703 total
  • Poster Boys: Week 2; $15,175 from 67 theaters; $226 average; $87,265 total
  • Toilet — Ek Prem Katha: Week 6; $6,792 from 11 theaters; $617 average; $1,866,731 total
  • Lipstick Under My Burkha: Week 2; $4,578 from five theaters; $916 average; $39,855 total
  • Daddy: Week 2; $1,664 from eight theaters; $208 average; $31,045 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening September 15: Simran and Lucknow Central

Two more Hindi films join the already crowded Chicago theatrical market on September 15, 2017. Kangana Ranaut’s Simran — which was filmed in Atlanta — gets the wider release.

Simran opens Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 6 min.

Also new this weekend is the prison break thriller Lucknow Central, starring Farhan Akhtar.

Lucknow Central opens Friday at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 13 min.

Baadshaho gets a third weekend at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17. Poster Boys gets a second week at the South Barrington 24 and MovieMax, which also holds over Daddy. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and Bareilly Ki Barfi carry over at the Cantera 17 and South Barrington 24, which also holds over Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.

Viceroy’s House makes its suburban debut on Friday at the Glen Art Theatre in Glen Ellyn.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: September 8-10, 2017

September 8-10, 2017 was a slow weekend for all three newly released Hindi films in North America. According to Rentrak figures supplied to Bollywood Hungama, Poster Boys made the biggest impact here, earning $50,282 from 68 theaters ($739 average). Distributor Sony/Columbia reported figures of $51,289 from 50 theaters ($1,026 average) to Box Office Mojo, and I’m inclined to trust Mojo’s theater count. Poster Boys fared best in Canada, earning virtually the same amount — $25,097 versus $25,203 in the United States — from 18 theaters, versus 32 theaters in the US. Canadian theaters averaged earnings of $1,393, while US theaters averaged $788.

The weekend’s two other new films only opened in the US. Lipstick Under My Burkha took in $21,793 from 21 theaters ($1,038 average). Daddy earned $19,652 from 50 theaters ($393 average), though I’m dubious about that high theater count.

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan performed the best of all the Hindi films showing in North America, taking in $128,442 from 80 theaters ($1,605 average) in its second weekend of release, according to Box Office Mojo. Its 49% holdover is fifth best for the year, right behind that of Bareilly Ki Barfi, another romantic comedy starring Ayushmann Khurrana. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan‘s total after two weekends stands at $511,875.

That’s better than the $451,068 that Baadshaho has earned in its two weekends of release. The heist movie saw its business drop by about 80%, earning $55,192 from 71 theaters ($777 average) over the weekend, according to Bollywood Hungama.

Other Hindi movies showing in North America:

  • Bareilly Ki Barfi: Week 4; $26,518 from 21 theaters; $1,263 average; $518,086 total
  • Toilet — Ek Prem Katha: Week 5; $23,360 from 27 theaters; $865 average; $1,848,096 total
  • A Gentleman: Week 3; $5,918 from 15 theaters; $395 average; $406,345 total
  • Mubarakan: Week 7; $552 from one theater; $736,862 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening September 8: Poster Boys, Daddy, and Lipstick Under My Burkha

Three new Hindi movies join a crowded field of Indian movies in Chicago area theaters the weekend beginning September 8, 2017. First up is the vasectomy-themed comedy Poster Boys, starring Bobby & Sunny Deol and Shreyas Talpade, who directed the film.

Poster Boys opens Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It is rated PG-13 and has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 9 min.

New on Friday at MovieMax and South Barrington 24 is the crime drama Daddy, starring Arjun Rampal, who also co-wrote and produced the movie. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 3 min.

Also new on Friday at the South Barrington 24 is the black comedy Lipstick Under My Burkha, famously branded as too “lady oriented” by India’s conservative censor board. It has a runtime of 1 hr. 56 min.

MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17 all carry over Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, and Baadshaho, which also gets a second week at the AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. MovieMax holds over A Gentleman, but only on weekdays.

Director Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House debuts locally on Friday at the Century Centre Cinema in Chicago and Renaissance Place Cinema in Highland Park.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend: