Tag Archives: Dabangg 2

Bollywood Box Office: May 2-4

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:

[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)

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Box Office: January 31-February 2, 2014

Following a less-than-stellar opening weekend performance in American theaters, Jai Ho‘s earnings cratered in its second weekend. According to Box Office Mojo, Jai Ho‘s earnings fell nearly eighty percent in its second weekend, earning just $176,214 in the U.S. and Canada.

For comparison’s sake, theaters that carried 11-week-old films like Philomena or The Hunger Games: Catching Fire earned more per screen ($1,702 and $1,144 respectively) than did theaters that gave Jai Ho a second week ($904).

Jai Ho‘s total U.S./Canada earnings of $1,187,266 so far put it well off the pace of recent Salman Khan films like Dabangg 2 ($2,519,190), Ek Tha Tiger ($2,347,774), and Bodyguard ($1,834,384).

Opening June 28: Ghanchakkar

The crime caper Ghanchakkar — starring Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi — opens in the Chicago area on June 28, 2013. I am really, really excited to see this.

Ghanchakkar opens on Friday in five area theaters: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.

After earning $414,211 in its first weekend in the U.S., Raanjhanaa carries over for a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17. With total earnings of $3,637,806 so far, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani gets a fifth week at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17.

Other Indian movies showing locally this weekend include the Telugu film Balupu at the Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge and the Golf Glen 5, which is also carrying 3 Dots (Malayalam), Annakodi (Tamil), and Jatt & Juliet 2 (Punjabi).

Bonus Streaming Video News: Dabangg 2 is now available on Netflix.

Streaming Video News: April 10, 2013

Today marks the Netflix streaming debut of Race 2, which opened in theaters on January 25, 2013. It’s a follow-up to 2008’s Race, which is also available for streaming on Netflix. A familiarity with the first film helps to explain some of the relationships in the second, but it’s not essential to understanding the plot of Race 2. I wasn’t a fan of either movie, but if you’re in the mood for mindless action, Race and Race 2 might fit the bill.

Also on April 10, the bizarre Hindi monster movie Hisss exits the Netflix streaming catalog. The film was plagued with problems throughout the production, and they are obvious in the final product. It will not be missed.

In other video news, Dabangg 2 makes its streaming debut on Eros Now on Friday, April 12 (though not in India). Dabangg 2 is available free to subscribers or as a premium rental for $1.99. 2010’s Dabangg is already available for streaming on the service.

Opening January 4: Table No. 21

The first Bollywood film to open in the Chicago area in 2013 is Table No. 21, a thriller starring Paresh Rawal and Tena Desae from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Because of its relative lack of star power, Table No. 21 is only opening on Friday, January 4, 2013, at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. The film has a mercifully short runtime of 1 hr. 48 min.

The only other big-screen Bollywood option playing locally is Dabangg 2, which carries over at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include My Boss (Malayalam) and the Telugu movies Ko Antey Koti and Midhunam.

Movie Review: Dabangg 2 (2012)

DABANGG_2_Poster2.5 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

2010’s Dabangg was such a good time that it set a high bar for its sequel. Dabangg 2 is almost as much fun, but it inadvertently raises some ethical questions about heroism and modern systems of justice.

Salman Khan returns as Chulbul Pandey, a charming, unstoppable supercop. Having cleared his small hometown of criminals in the first movie, Pandey requests a transfer to the larger city of Kanpur. Almost immediately, he becomes a hero to the citizens of Kanpur and the nemesis of a local gangster and aspiring politician named Baccha (Prakash Raj).

The opening twenty minutes of the movie are amazing. Scenes from the original Dabangg play during the opening credits to bring the audience up to speed. Then Pandey beats up a warehouse full of goons before abruptly breaking into song. It’s an obvious rehash of the best sequence from the original film, but it’s just as enjoyable the second time.

Chulbul Pandey is far an away Salman Khan’s best character of recent years. Unlike many of his other action roles that take themselves deathly seriously, Khan gets to have fun with Pandey. He plays pranks on his father (played by Vinod Khanna), flirts with his wife, Rajjo (Sonakshi Sinha), and is adored by his fellow police officers, with whom he’s willing to share credit for his good deeds. In this role, Khan is — dare I say — kind of cute.

Sinha, reprising her role from the first film, is a drag. Though Pandey dotes on Rajjo like the newlywed he is, she spends the whole film either annoyed or depressed. She perks up for a few dance numbers, but that’s it.

Similarly useless is Pandey’s younger brother, Makhi, played by Khan’s younger brother (and the film’s director), Arbaaz. The younger Khan delivers his lines flatly, and a long-running gag about Makhi trying to solve a riddle doesn’t survive the translation from Hindi to English. I appreciate Arbaaz Khan’s contributions behind the camera more than his contributions in front of it.

The story is slow to get going. It’s obvious that there will eventually be a showdown between Pandey and Baccha, but Baccha doesn’t make any real threats against Pandey or his family until the mid-point of the movie. The climactic showdown is worth the wait.

The impetus for Baccha to act comes when Pandey brutally murders one of the bad guys in front of a crowd of people that includes his fellow police officers, rather than take the bad guy into custody. The story proceeds as though this is acceptable, and the morality of Pandey’s act is never discussed.

This is a problem because, until this point, Pandey is unquestionably virtuous. (I’m choosing to ignore his habitual thievery since he rarely steals from working-class people.) One of the gun-toting bad guys declares himself judge, jury, and executioner right before Pandey kills him, even though Pandey’s life isn’t in immediate danger. By ignoring the rules of democracy and bypassing the judicial system, how is Pandey any different from the man he kills?

Perhaps these are deeper questions than are supposed to be posed to a film about a guy who makes his entrance by driving a Jeep through a brick wall. Though the film is light on gore and skin, it’s not completely family friendly. In addition to Pandey’s morally troubling act, some of the brutality inflicted on his family is especially grim. After watching Dabangg 2, kids may have more questions for their parents than, “Did you see Salman hit that guy in the nuts with a pole?”

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In Theaters December 14, 2012

Salman Khan films seem to generate a kind of force field. They pull in such a large share of the available audience that there are never any releases of note within a couple of weeks of the release of anything starring Salman Khan. The pattern holds true again for Dabangg 2, which opens on December 21. No new Hindi films are opening in the Chicago area on Friday, December 14, 2012, and there likely won’t be anything new besides Dabangg 2 in area theaters until Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola debuts on January 11, 2013.

In the meantime, there are still a few Bollywood options in local theaters. Based on its impressive U.S. earnings of $2,398,000 so far, Talaash retains the largest share of screenspace, carrying over 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.

Khiladi 786 gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5, Cantera 17 and South Barrington 30, which is also holds over Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum (Telugu), Kumki (Tamil), Neethaane En Ponvasantham (Tamil), and Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu (Telugu).