Tag Archives: Dangal

In Theaters: January 20, 2017

With two big movies coming out January 25 — Raees and Kaabil — there are no new Hindi films opening in Chicago area theaters on Friday, January 20, 2017. At the time of this writing, the only theaters with confirmed Wednesday showtimes for Raees and Kaabil are MovieMax Cinemas in Niles and the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, though certainly that will change in the coming days.

Last weekend’s unpopular new release, OK Jaanu, sticks around at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Tuesday is the last day for OK Jaanu at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17, and it shifts to one showing per day — at 11:15 p.m. — at MovieMax starting Wednesday.

Dangal carries over for a fifth week at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: January 13-15, 2017

Let’s hope that the lackluster performance of Bollywood’s first 2017 release in North America isn’t an ill omen for the rest of the year. From January 13-15, OK Jaanu earned $211,660 from 136 theaters ($1,556 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. Box Office Mojo reports the number of theaters as 121, which only improves the per-theater average slightly to $1,749. Any opening weekend average of less than $2,000 is bad. Sure, OK Jaanu was up against several new South Indian releases, but Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday should’ve boosted overall theater attendance, especially on Sunday.

What compounds the heartache for OK Jaanu is that it earned less than Dangal, which is four weeks old! Over the weekend, Dangal added another $339,057 from 90 theaters ($3,767 average) to its astounding North American total of $11,736,636.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening January 13: OK Jaanu

The first Bollywood movie to release in Chicago area theaters in 2017 is OK Jaanu, a remake of the 2015 Tamil hit OK Kanmani (available on Netflix). The Hindi remake hits theaters on January 13 and stars Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor.

OK Jaanu opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 15 min.

Dangal carries over for a fourth week at the South Barrington 30, Cantera 17, Woodridge 18, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, and AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include:

Bollywood Box Office: January 6-8, 2017

Dangal passed PK to become the highest grossing Bollywood film in North America ever, taking just seventeen days to do so. During the weekend of January 6-8, 2017, Dangal earned another $770,084 from 226 theaters ($3,407 average), bringing its total earnings to $11,084,912.

Dangal‘s success in North America perfectly illustrates Canada’s theater dearth. The film opened in 26 theaters in Canada and 331 theaters in the United States for a total of 357 theaters, the film’s widest release. (The US figure may be in dispute, but I’m using it since it doesn’t significantly alter the point I’m trying to make). Based on those numbers, Canada accounts for 7.3% of the total theaters to ever carry Dangal in North America. Yet the film has earned $1,871,072 in Canada, accounting for 16.9% of the North American total. Dividing each country’s total earnings thus far by the highest number of theaters Dangal released in gives each of those 331 US theaters a lifetime average earnings of $27,836, versus a lifetime average of $71,964 for each of the 26 Canadian theaters!

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Dear Zindagi: Week 7; $720 from two theaters; $360 average; $2,453,270 total
  • Kahaani 2: Week 6; $348 from one theater; $489,873 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: December 30-January 1, 2017

In its second weekend in North American theaters, Dangal‘s business fell a mere 35% from its first weekend of release. From December 30, 2016-January 1, 2017, it earned another $2,014,225 from 331 theaters ($6,085 average) to bring its remarkable total to $9,126,258. PK‘s chart-topping $10.5 million total will soon be history.

Other Hindi films still in theaters:

  • Dear Zindagi: Week 6; $2,223 from three theaters; $741 average; $2,451,659 total
  • Befikre: Week 4; $174 from two theaters; $87 average; $811,916 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: December 23-25, 2016

Dangal closed out 2016 with the year’s biggest opening weekend in North America, on its way to being the year’s most successful Bollywood film. From December 23-25, 2016, Dangal earned $3,078,278 from 357 theaters* ($8,623 average). That was enough to rank it in 11th place among all movies at the North American box office for the holiday weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

After adding its weekend take to its earnings from Wednesday night previews and Thursday showings, Dangal‘s official total is $3,907,781. Early reports have the movie earning about another $1 million on Monday, putting its six-day total at about $5 million. It will be the highest-earning Hindi film of the year in North America by the end of the week. Sultan currently holds that title with $6,191,282.

*Although Bollywood Hungama reports Dangal as showing in 331 theaters in the United States and 26 theaters in Canada, I suspect that 331 is actually the total number of theaters for all of North America combined (which would make Dangal‘s per-theater average $9,300). However, without access to Rentrak’s raw data to confirm my suspicions, I am using 357 as the total number of theaters in my calculations.

Other Hindi movies still in theaters:

  • Dear Zindagi: Week 5; $4,908 from seven theaters; $701 average; $2,446,761 total
  • Befikre: Week 3; $3,974 from fourteen theaters; $284 average; $810,760 total
  • Kahaani 2: Week 4; $974 from three theaters; $325 average; $488,278 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Movie Review: Dangal (2016)

dangal3 Stars (out of 4)

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Walt Disney Pictures’ stamp is all over Dangal, the true story of a father’s quest to fulfill his own dreams of wrestling gold through his daughters. The movie is eminently watchable entertainment for the whole family.

Dangal is based on the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat, played in the film by Aamir Khan. The story begins in 1988, after Mahavir has shelved his own desire of parlaying his national wrestling title into success on the international stage. A recurring theme in the film is India’s failure to compensate or cultivate international-caliber athletic talent, forcing athletes like Mahavir to abandon their sports in favor of stable jobs.

Mahavir’s one hope is that his wife, Daya (Sakshi Tanwar), will give him a son he can raise to be an Olympic champion. When Daya births a girl, Geeta, Mahavir’s disappointment is so deep that the entire town becomes obsessed with folk remedies for begetting male children. When Daya births a second girl, Babita, it’s as though she’s let down all of Haryana, not just her husband. By the time Mahavir’s fourth consecutive daughter is born, he’s abandoned his dreams entirely and metamorphosed into a pot-bellied salaryman.

This obsession with a male heir is played for laughs, but it’s hard not to feel for Daya, Geeta, and Babita. Mahavir isn’t cruel to them, but his disappointment surrounds him like a cloud. It would be hard to live in a home with someone who only sees you as a reminder of what you’re not.

It’s clear that Mahavir doesn’t really see his girls for who they are, because only when they get in trouble for beating up some local boys does he realize that they could become Olympic wrestlers themselves. He immediately institutes a rigorous training program, drafting the girls’ cousin, Omkar — the movie’s narrator and comic relief — as their unwitting sparring partner.

Because Dangal is a Disney co-production, it’s guilty of glossing over issues that might bog down a family entertainer, as several of Disney’s American sports movies have been accused of doing in recent years. Mahavir — and, by extension, the film as a whole — has no regard for his daughters’ emotional welfare. Part of his training regimen requires Geeta (Zaira Wasim) and Babita (Suhani Bhatnagar) to cut their hair short and wear boys’ clothing, sublimating their femininity right as they become teenagers, as if adolescence isn’t already hard enough. The movie tries to absolve Mahavir of guilt with a scene of the girls’ 14-year-old friend being forced into an arranged marriage, as is that’s the only alternative.

Geeta shows real promise as a wrestler, making it to the national athletic academy as she hits adulthood. Her exposure to a world that doesn’t adhere to her father’s ascetic rules sets up an in-ring competition between the two that is the movie’s most powerful moment. Khan and Fatima Sana Sheikh — who plays Geeta as an adult — are tremendous in the scene.

Perhaps the best endorsement of Dangal is as a wrestling tutorial. A sequence of Mahavir explaining to his charges the way points are awarded in international competitions pays off later, as the final thirty minutes are just tournament footage.

The tournament footage is beautifully framed, showing the audience the points accrued or time remaining in the round at critical moments. The editing gives a clear sense of the stakes and allows the audience to apply the knowledge they’ve acquired throughout the film. It’s nice to come out of a movie feeling smarter than before.

Despite a failure to address certain troublesome issues, Dangal is ultimately a heartwarming story. It’s appropriate for all ages, and nicely paced to hold the attention of younger audience members. If nothing else, you’ll leave the theater with a new appreciation of the sport of wrestling.

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