Tag Archives: BellBottom

Late 2021/Early 2022 Release Calendar Update

Almost as soon as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra announced that cinema halls will reopen on October 22, studios set about claiming prime weekends, filling up the release calendar through April 2022 in no time. This meant shifting around some titles that haven’t completed production yet, including Aamir Khan’s Forrest Gump remake Laal Singh Chaddha, which abandoned Christmas 2021 and moved back to Valentine’s Day 2022. Ranveer Singh’s cricket biopic 83 quickly took its place, locking this Christmas Eve for its cinematic debut.

Of course, the current release schedule could be moot if a COVID resurgence forces Mumbai theaters to close again. Akshay Kumar noted that the biggest risk when BellBottom released on August 19 — while theaters in Mumbai were closed — is that 30% of most Hindi films’ revenue comes from theaters in Maharashtra state. Many production houses have shown themselves willing to wait for favorable theatrical conditions to release their movies rather than take quick money for a streaming service debut.

Check out my full release calendar for all of the newly announced dates for the Hindi movies that I believe are likely to open in theaters in the United States. While you’re there, scroll down to see all of the movies that had previously announced theatrical release dates but have not yet rescheduled. Right now, Nikamma is the Bollywood movie that’s been waiting the longest for a release. It was originally supposed to hit theaters on June 5, 2020! I’ll update the page as more titles from the “Postponed” section announce their new dates.

Streaming Video News: September 17, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s addition of the Netflix Original film Ankahi Kahaniya, an anthology of three shorts directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Abhishek Chaubey, and Saket Chaudhury. This week also saw the return of the series Dharmakshetra, Raja Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyan, and Stories by Rabindranath Tagore.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime because Akshay Kumar’s August theatrical release BellBottom is now available for streaming.

Finally, I finished adding all of the Hotstar content currently available on Hulu in all languages to my new list of Bollywood movies on Hulu. For now, the only sizable movie catalogs are in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, with the Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, and Marathi catalogs consisting almost entirely of “Hotstar Specials” releases. It’s worth noting that dozens of the movies listed as currently streaming in the United States on this list from Hotstar aren’t actually available. We’ll see if they’re added over time.

Today’s new additions to Hulu/Hotstar are the new Telugu movie Maestro and the Tamil film Annabelle Sethupathi, which is also available in dubbed versions in Kannada, Telugu, and Hindi (under the title Annabelle Rathore).

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Bollywood Box Office: August 19-22, 2021

Akshay Kumar’s period drama BellBottom released into theaters in India and abroad on August 19, 2021, heralding what could be the resumption of regular Hindi theatrical releases (fingers crossed). While cinema restrictions still in place in India limited the film’s earnings potential there, BellBottom‘s North American collections provide some insight into conditions here as well.

According to Bollywood Hungama, BellBottom earned a total of $274,753 from 100 theaters ($2,748 average) in North America in its opening four days. Here’s how those numbers break down by country:

USA – $148,074 from 74 screens = $2,001 average per screen
Canada – $126,679 from 26 screens = $4,872 average per screen

What immediately jumps out is Canada’s contribution of 46% of the total earnings. That’s a really high percentage. But what should we expect from a typical Akshay Kumar movie in North America?

Looking back at Kumar’s four 2019 releases — Kesari, Mission Mangal, Housefull 4, and Good Newwz — here’s what an average opening weekend looked like:

  • 240 theaters — 30 theaters in Canada and 210 in the US
  • $1.1 million total earnings
  • 24% of the earnings from Canada

The amazing thing to me is that the number of theaters showing BellBottom in Canada is about what you’d expect it to be in non-COVID times. (Mission Mangal also opened in 26 theaters.) Compare that to BellBottom opening in about 1/3 of the theaters it would have in the United States, and you can see two very different theatrical landscapes at present.

So what does this mean for other Bollywood movies on the release calendar? Temper your expectations for what you can earn in North America. While earnings in Canada are well below what one would expect under pre-COVID conditions, the country’s theater landscape is downright robust compared to the anemic earnings and small footprint available to Hindi films in the US. BellBottom‘s $2,748 per-screen average is respectable compared to Hollywood theatrical releases right now, but that’s for a highly anticipated film from a marquee star. A smaller movie like Chehre will earn much, much less. I suspect it’s going to be a while before the US is again a big contributor to a Hindi film’s box office haul.