Tag Archives: Eros Entertainment

Disappearing Bollywood

Bollywood movies are becoming harder to find in Chicago area theaters. The AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 — the only theater in the city of Chicago to periodically show Hindi movies — closes its doors for good tonight.

Further out in the suburbs, the Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville shuttered a dozen of its screens, rechristening itself the Regal Cantera Stadium 17 & RPX. The closure of 40% of its available screens doesn’t bode well for any foreign or independent movies at the Cantera.

Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove has historically programmed movies in Indian languages other than Hindi. But that theater hasn’t held a screening since April 24.

This leaves only two theaters in the Chicago area that regularly devote screen space to Indian cinema: Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. Neither is carrying any Hindi movies this weekend.

Part of the paucity of Bollywood movies in theaters in recent weeks is attributable to the Indian Premier League Cricket season, which began in April and ends this Saturday. The few Hindi movies that have released in May have been smaller films lacking star power. Most have exited theaters after only one week.

The release of Ready on June 3 should give an indication of whether Bollywood has a future in Chicago beyond the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30. Staff at the Cantera told me that the theater may still carry Bollywood movies, based on availability. Regal’s corporate website lists the Cantera of one of its thirteen theaters that show Hindi movies (though it still lists the theater as the Cantera 30). If Ready — a comedy featuring superstar Salman Khan — doesn’t make the cut at Cantera, I don’t know what will.

So, what are your options if theaters near you have stopped carrying Bollywood movies? Here are some ways to get your fix without resorting to Internet piracy:

  • Public libraries. Many public libraries throughout the Chicago region carry Indian DVDs in their movie sections. Minimal check-out fees ($1 for a week at the Naperville Public Library, for example) help the libraries expand their collections.
  • Netflix. The subscription service has a decent selection of Bollywood movies available via DVD and streaming, including two movies that came out in theaters earlier this year: No One Killed Jessica and 7 Khoon Maaf.
  • YouTube. The video service recently expanded its selection of Indian movies available for free or for rent (typically $3.99 or less). Turning 30, which came out in January, is available for free.
  • Amazon. In addition to selling DVDs, Amazon Instant Video offers a number of Bollywood movies for rent or purchase. However, the selection of Hindi movies is limited, and the site is hard to search.
  • Eros Entertainment. If you’d rather own the DVD, Eros is my go-to site. Their selection is limited, but their service is good and prices are reasonable. The DVD for Game, which released in theaters on April 1, sells for $16.99 at Amazon, but just $8.99 at Eros. (Access Bollywood reader Ron also recommends Nehaflix.)

Opening July 3: Kambakkht Ishq

This holiday weekend marks the long-awaited release of Kambakkht Ishq, a romantic comedy starring Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor. The pair play a bickering stuntman and supermodel who try to break up a wedding. As with most Akshay Kumar movies, expect slapstick wackiness.

Of interest to American audiences are cameo appearances by actors Sylvester Stallone, Denise Richards and Brandon Routh. The majority of the movie was shot at Universal Studios in Hollywood, a first for Indian cinema.

Kambakkht Ishq will open in the Chicago area at the AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago, the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and the AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville. The Cantera 30 is featuring a special midnight showing of Kambakkht Ishq on Thursday night (technically 12:01 a.m. Friday). Eros Entertainment’s website has a list of all theaters in the U.S. and Canada showing the movie, which has a listed runtime of 2 hrs 20 min.

Last week’s big Bollywood release, New York, made an impressive showing in U.S. theaters. It earned nearly $500,000, to finish in 16th place last weekend, with a better per-screen average than the debut of Cameron Diaz’s film My Sister’s Keeper.

New York is carrying over for a second week at the AMC Cantera 30, the AMC South Barrington 30, and the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5. It’s definitely worth checking out; I gave it 3.5/4 stars in my review.

The other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend are all in Telugu, including Oy! at the Golf Glen 5, and Kick and Evaraina Epudaina at the Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.