I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the additions of 2015’s Charlie Kay Chakkar Mein, the Telugu film Shankar Dada M.B.B.S., the Tamil movies Billa and Rowdy Kottai, and the Hindi comedy specials Best of K Se Comedy and Best of Waiting Lounge. For everything else new on Netflix and Amazon Prime — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.
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
With no new Hindi movies opening in the U.S. or Canada on Friday, May 2, 2014, old favorites continued to pull in crowds at the North American box office. The Lunchbox — now in its tenth week — earned $255,736 from 141 screens ($1,814 average), bringing its total earnings to $2,968,497 so far.
2 States also held up well in its third week. It earned $167,377 from ninety-one screens ($1,839 average) to bring its total North American earnings to $1,978,594.
With The Lunchbox set to pass $3 million in North American earnings this week and 2 States about to the clear the $2 million mark, it’s worth noting the significance of these achievements. Both movies are romantic dramas, as opposed to action-packed spectacles. Neither film features A-list superstars (industry and audience respect for Irrfan Khan notwithstanding).
A look at the last five years of box office receipts reveals similarities among the sixteen Hindi films that managed to earn more than $2 million in North America during that period (five in 2013, five in 2012, two in 2011, one in 2010, and two in 2009). Four films are action sequels: Dhoom 3, Krrish 3, Dabangg 2, and Don 2. A small list of actors show up in multiple movies on the list:
- Shahrukh Khan: Chennai Express, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Don 2, Ra.One, and My Name Is Khan
- Deepika Padukone: Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Chennai Express, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, and Love Aaj Kal
- Katrina Kaif: Dhoom 3, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Ek Tha Tiger, and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
- Aamir Khan: Dhoom 3, Talaash, and 3 Idiots
- Kareena Kapoor Khan: Talaash, Ra.One, and 3 Idiots
- Priyanka Chopra: Krrish 3, Barfi!, and Don 2
- Salman Khan: Dabangg 2 and Ek Tha Tiger
- Ranbir Kapoor: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Barfi!
- Hrithik Roshan: Krrish 3 and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
[Somebody in Bollywood needs to cash in by bringing back Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan for Ra.Two, featuring Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif as the villains.]
The Lunchbox continues to earn big, thanks to its partnership with a Hollywood distributor — Sony Pictures Classics — which has dramatically expanded its potential audience compared to a typical Hindi film. Though movie adaptations of popular books are far rarer in India than in Hollywood, the success of 2 States should start to change that.
The only other Hindi movie showing in the U.S. the weekend of May 2-4 was Queen. Now in its ninth week, it earned $190 from one theater, bringing its total earnings to $1,417,405.
Source: Bollywood Hungama (figures supplied by Rentrak)
Chennai Express is now available for streaming on Netflix! I wasn’t that crazy about the movie, but it is really cool that it’s already on Netflix less than three months after its theatrical release. It’s a good business plan for Indian distributors in that it gives international fans who don’t live near Bollywood theaters access to their films without resorting to piracy.
The odds seemed infinitesimal, yet the Bollywood 3D shark attack film Warning opens in the Chicago area on September 27, 2013. Sometimes dreams do come true. Check out the gloriously tawdry trailer:
Warning opens on Friday in 3D at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 45 min.
After posting modest opening weekend earnings of $260,188 in U.S. theaters, Phata Poster Nikla Hero carries over for a second week at the South Barrington 30, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. All three theaters also carry over Grand Masti for a third weekend. Its total U.S. earnings stand at $362,560.
Both the South Barrington 30 and Golf Glen 5 carry Chennai Express ($5,294,853) this weekend. South Barrington also holds on to Satyagraha ($736,826), while the Golf Glen 5 is showing Shuddh Desi Romance. As if to underscore what a lousy weekend this is for new Hindi films — no offense, Warning — Golf Glen is even bringing back the July release Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include: Ya Ya (Tamil) at the Golf Glen 5; Atharintiki Daaredi (Telugu w/English subtitles) at Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge; and Raja Rani (Tamil) at the Cinemark at Seven Bridges and AMC Loews Streets of Woodfield in Schaumburg. If necessary, call ahead for information on the availability of English subtitles.
The action-comedy Phata Poster Nikla Hero opens in Chicago area theaters on September 20, 2013. I’m not impressed with Shahid Kapoor’s acting in the trailer, but the bit with Sanjai Mishra as a fraudulent screenwriter is hilarious. Check it out:
Phata Poster Nikla Hero opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.
The terrific romcom Shuddh Desi Romance gets a third week at the Golf Glen 5, Cantera 17, and South Barrington 30, which is also holding over Satyagraha ($724,088 in the U.S.) and Chennai Express ($5,266,322 in the U.S.).
The Golf Glen 5 is carrying over the Tamil film Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam.
Only one new Hindi movie is set to open in Chicago area theaters on September 13, 2013, and it looks painful. The bawdy comedy Grand Masti stars Ritesh Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi, and Aftab Shivdasani as three guys trying to cheat on their wives. If you have to include this many exclamation points in your official plot synopsis, your movie probably isn’t that funny.
Grand Masti opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. (Note: At the showing I attended at the Cantera this morning, the film had no English subtitles.) If you just can’t wait until tomorrow to see Grand Masti, the River East 21 has a pair of showings tonight. The movie has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 15 min.
Sadly, John Day isn’t opening in the Chicago area.
Last weekend’s other new release, Zanjeer, carries over at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17. The Golf Glen 5 is holding over the film’s Telugu version, Thoofan, for a second week, but not the Hindi version.
Satyagraha gets a third week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17, having earned $672,951 in the U.S. so far. With total U.S. earnings of $5,220,926, Chennai Express chugs along for a sixth week at the Cantera 17 and South Barrington 30, which also holds over Madras Cafe for fourth week.
The Golf Glen 5 is also carrying over the Tamil film Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam.
Two new Hindi flicks hit Chicago area screens on September 6, 2013. Shuddh Desi Romance (listed at some theaters as “Random Desi Romance“) features rising stars Parineeti Chopra and Sushant Singh Rajput alongside newcomer Vaani Kapoor in a romcom love triangle.
Shuddh Desi Romance opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 5 min.
Zanjeer opens on Friday at the River East 21, Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17. Its runtime is listed at IMDb as 2 hrs. 17 min. The Golf Glen 5 is also carrying the Telugu version of Zanjeer, Thoofan.
Madras Cafe gets a third weekend at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17.
Chennai Express is still going strong with earnings of $5,122,240 in the U.S. so far. It gets a fifth weekend at the South Barrington 30, Woodridge 18, and Cantera 17.
The teaser trailer from Dhoom 3 just released today, and it features some great footage shot in downtown Chicago. The movie releases on December 20, 2013.
Director Prakash Jha’s latest star-studded political thriller, Satyagraha, opens in Chicago area theaters on August 30, 2013.
Satyagraha opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 26 min.
Last weekend’s new release, Madras Cafe, carries over at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17. Chennai Express — which has earned $4,687,752 in the U.S. so far — gets a fourth week at all of the theaters carrying Madras Cafe, plus the AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.
The Golf Glen 5 is also carrying the Malayalam film Memories this weekend.
The John Abraham spy thriller Madras Cafe opens in Chicago area theaters on August 23, 2013.
Madras Cafe opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.
The Shahrukh Khan-Deepika Padukone romantic comedy Chennai Express — which has earned an incredible $4,014,657 in the U.S. so far — gets a third week at all four of the above theaters, plus the AMC River East 21 in Chicago and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge as well.
The Golf Glen 5 is also carrying over the Tamil movie Thalaivaa this weekend.