Tag Archives: Fukrey Returns

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2017

As I mentioned in my Best Bollywood Movies of 2017 post, I liked many more 2017 releases than I disliked. That means that fewer of the movies on this year’s “Worst of” list are ones that I absolutely couldn’t stand, compared to previous years.

Take, for example, Noor, Naam Shabana, and Running Shaadi. I gave all of them 2-Star ratings, which means I only sort of didn’t like them. I just happened to like these three the least of all the movies I also rated 2 Stars. However, the seven other titles on the list did more than enough to earn their spots.

Several films had problems with the way they depicted their female characters, particularly in the way male characters controlled women’s bodies. Kriti Sanon’s character in Raabta was treated like an object, pushed and pulled at will by the men in her life. The title character in Badrinath Ki Dulhania tossed his girlfriend in the trunk of his car before choking her. Arjun Kapoor’s character in Half Girlfriend literally wouldn’t let go of Shraddha Kapoor’s character when she tried to get away from him.

Kaabil was the most egregiously sexist movie of this bunch, creating a capable, independent female lead — played by Yami Gautam — for the sole purpose of raping and killing her as motivation for Hrithik Roshan’s character to seek revenge. It’s a classic example of the “Women in Refrigerators” trope.

Other movies on the “Worst of” list were just poorly made. Like its 2013 predecessor, Fukrey, the comedy Fukrey Returns simply wasn’t funny. Baadshaho forgot what story it was telling along the way, resulting in an abrupt ending that leaves every important question unanswered.

My pick for the Worst Bollywood Movie of 2017 was the biggest offender in terms of bad filmmaking: Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai. The unfocused story tried to address every important contemporary social issue, reaching its ridiculous apex when Manjari Fadnis’ feminist activist journalist character is randomly tasked with coordinating refugee medical care in a Middle Eastern war zone. The film’s third act is supposed to take place in Manhattan but was clearly filmed in Maryland (part of it was shot in Top Chef season 6 runner-up Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurant in Frederick). There’s unintentionally hilarious dialog, as when Fadnis’ character responds to a heckler’s “Nice ass, honey,” with “Yes, we have a nice ass, and we are proud of it.

The pièce de résistance is a song number that features Manjari Fadnis dancing in outer space:

I fear that Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai will go the way of goofy 2014 Worst Movie runner-up Karle Pyaar Karle and disappear, never to be seen again either on DVD or streaming. It’s kind of a shame, since Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai is so damned wacky, one almost has to see it to believe it. Almost.

Check my Netflix and Amazon Prime pages to see which of these movies are available for streaming in the United States.

Kathy’s Ten Worst Bollywood Movies of 2017

  1. Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai
  2. Kaabil
  3. Half Girlfriend
  4. Baadshaho — Buy at Amazon
  5. Badrinath Ki Dulhania — Buy at Amazon
  6. Fukrey Returns
  7. Raabta — Buy at Amazon
  8. Running Shaadi — Buy at Amazon
  9. Naam Shabana — Buy at Amazon
  10. Noor — Buy at Amazon

Previous Worst Movies Lists

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Bollywood Box Office: January 19-21, 2018

The North American box office quietly chugged along without any new Hindi movies to lure patrons into theaters during the weekend of January 19-21, 2018. Tiger Zinda Hai closed its fifth weekend with $43,600 from 24 theaters ($1,817 average), bringing its total to $5,884,047. Given its decent per-screen average — and the fact that Padman shifted its release date from this coming Friday to February 9 — Tiger Zinda Hai should stick around in a handful of theaters for another weekend.

Mukkabaaz has earned a decent amount for a movie in really limited release: $72,427 so far following a weekend that brought in another $9,759 from seven theaters ($1,394 average). That total belies a comical disparity in the contributions from the United States and Canada, with Canada accounting for just $972 after two weekends of release.

1921 earned $838 from five US theaters, bringing its total to $7,850. Its performance so far is comparable to that of its predecessor, 2016’s 1920 London, which posted first- and second-weekend per-theater averages of $426 and $197, respectively. 1921 averaged $458 and $168 in its first two weeks in theaters.

Fukrey Returns earned $72 from one theater in its seventh weekend of release, bringing its total to $396,604.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: January 12-14, 2018

The first new Hindi releases of 2018 met very different fates in their opening weekend in North America. Mukkabaaz fared the better of the two from January 12-14, 2018, collecting $39,489 from 17 theaters ($2,323 average). Canada’s contribution to that total was $470 from a single theater, though to be fair, the film already played in the country last fall during the Toronto International Film Festival.

The weekend’s other new release, 1921 — the latest sequel in the 1920 horror franchise — only opened in the United States, where it took in $4,583 from ten theaters ($458 average). Eek!

Tiger Zinda Hai wrapped up its fourth weekend here with $94,725 from 49 theaters ($1,933 average), bringing its total to $5,775,529. Fukrey Returns got a sixth weekend at a single theater, earning $205 and raising its total North American earnings to $396,389.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: January 5-7, 2018

Tiger Zinda Hai is rolling right along in North America, earning another $337,474 from 165 theaters ($2,045 average) during the weekend of January 5-7, 2018, according to Bollywood Hungama. Box Office Mojo pegged Tiger Zinda Hai‘s earnings as of January 4 at $5,197,546, which fits with Hungama’s reported total of $5,536,542 after adding in the weekend’s collections.

Fukrey Returns got a fifth — and surely final — weekend at one US theater, earning $200 and bringing its total to $395,550.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: December 29-31, 2017

Tiger Zinda Hai closed out 2017 with another big weekend in North American theaters. Bollywood Hungama posted slightly lower figures for Tiger Zinda Hai during the December 29-31 weekend — $844,993 from 280 theaters ($3,018 average) — than those reported by Yash Raj Films to Gitesh Pandya and Box Office Mojo: $921,090 from 284 theaters ($3,243 average). Either way, Tiger Zinda Hai collected more money in its second weekend of release than 77% of the Hindi films released in North America in 2017 earned over the course of their entire theatrical runs! Yash Raj Films also reports New Years Day earnings of $306,315. The action sequel’s total presently stands at $4,878,546.

Other Hindi movies still showing in North American theaters:

Sources: Box Office Mojo, Gitesh Pandya, and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

In Theaters: December 29, 2017

Following a hot start in North America, Tiger Zinda Hai carries over for a second weekend in nine Chicago area theaters: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC Dine-In Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and AMC Loews Crestwood 18 in Crestwood.

Fukrey Returns gets a fourth week at the South Barrington 24.

Other Indian movies showing in Chicagoland this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: December 22-24, 2017

Tiger Zinda Hai debuted with the third best opening weekend of the year for a Hindi film in North America, trailing behind only Baahubali 2 and Raees. From December 22-24, 2017, Tiger Zinda Hai earned $1,658,514 from 328 theaters* ($5,056 average; adjusted average of $5,528 from 300 theaters). 143 Cinema reports that the Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif action sequel earned an additional $1,231,481 from Christmas Day and Boxing Day, pushing its total past $3 million in the US and Canada (based on 143 Cinema’s slightly higher reported weekend earnings for the film). It’s certainly already surpassed the lifetime total of 2012’s Ek Tha Tiger ($2,347,774). Within days, Tiger Zinda Hai will have passed Raees‘s total earnings of $3,631,911, claiming second place for the year overall and moving into first place for films released only in Hindi (as opposed to the multi-lingual Baahubali 2).

Other Hindi movies still showing in North American theaters:

  • Fukrey Returns: Week 3; $10,106 from nine theaters; $1,123 average; $381,522 total
  • Secret Superstar: Week 10; $404 from one theater; $2,155,001 total

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice when they report figures for a film’s first few weeks of release. When possible, I verify theater counts at Box Office Mojo, but I use Bollywood Hungama as my primary source because they provide a comprehensive and consistent — if flawed — data set.

Sources: 143 Cinema, Box Office Mojo, and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening December 22: Tiger Zinda Hai

Tiger Zinda Hai — the sequel to 2012’s spy thriller Ek Tha Tiger and the last big Bollywood release of the year — hits Chicago area theaters on December 22, 2017. It’s releasing in 300 theaters across North America.

Tiger Zinda Hai opens on Friday in nine local theaters: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC Dine-In Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and AMC Loews Crestwood 18 in Crestwood. The Marcus Addison wins the award for Earliest Showtime, with its first showing of Tiger Zinda Hai starting at 8:50 a.m.! The film has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 45 min.

Fukrey Returns gets a third week at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies showing in Chicagoland this weekend:

Movie Review: Fukrey Returns (2017)

1 Star (out of 4)

Buy the soundtrack on iTunes

Fukrey Returns is a stale bore, populated by characters the filmmakers seem determined not to give us any reasons to care about.

Familiarity with 2013’s Fukrey is essential. The only plot refresher regarding the original film is a sequence of video-only clips that run behind the opening credits of Fukrey Returns. If you haven’t seen Fukrey recently — or if it didn’t leave much of an impression — you’re going to miss some references (I know I did).

The main characters from the original are back, including: smug ladies man Hunny (Pulkit Samrat); his psychic toady Choocha (Varun Sharma); the guy who’s too smart to be hanging around with these idiots, Zafar (Ali Fazal); and the guy who doesn’t really have anything to do in the story, Lali (Manjot Singh). Also returning are the guys’ shady mentor, Pandit (Pankaj Tripathy), and their gangster nemesis, Bholi (Richa Chadda).

After a year in prison, Bholi is eager to take revenge on the four friends who sent her there. She owes a large sum of money to crooked politician Babulal (Rajiv Gupta) for arranging her release, so she needs to use Choocha’s prophetic dreams in order to raise a lot of money, fast. The plan is for the guys to collect wagers from the public, promising to double investors’ winnings when Choocha dreams of the winning lottery numbers. In fact, the lottery pays out at a rate of ten-to-one, leaving Bholi with eighty percent of the winnings. In return, the guys get to continue living.

When their scheme is thwarted, the guys are pilloried for having defrauded the public and are forced to run for their lives. Fortunately, Choocha manifests a new prophetic power he calls “deja Chu” — premonitions that offer their only hope for clearing their names, freeing Bholi from her debt to Babulal, and getting themselves off of her hit list.

The plot doesn’t unfold as neatly as I’ve described it. Establishing what the guys have been doing since the events of the original film takes up a lot of time, yet reveals surprisingly little about the characters. Subplots are introduced and then forgotten about until the end of the movie. Hunny’s girlfriend Priya (Priya Anand) and Zafar’s fiancée Neetu (Vishakha Singh) stage their own disappearing acts until their presence is required for the climax.

The quality of the cast is uneven. When characters played by Chadda, Fazal, and Tripathy interact with one another, the gulf between actors of their caliber and the rest of the cast feels as wide as the Grand Canyon, especially considering how little the script gives them to work with. It seems like Samrat and Sharma have plateaued as performers.

Of course, the most damning indictment is that Fukrey Returns just isn’t funny. Right away, we get a tired gag about Hunny being bitten in the rear by a venomous snake and Choocha having to suck out the venom, and the same gag repeats later. Director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba also doesn’t know when to end a joke, lingering on reaction shots of other characters well past the point when the audience is ready to move on the next gag. Hopefully Lamba and his co-writer Vipul Vig will accept that Fukrey‘s well has run dry and move on themselves.

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Bollywood Box Office: December 15-17, 2017

With minimal competition from other Hindi films, Fukrey Returns held up really well in its second weekend in North America. From December 15-17, 2017, Fukrey Returns earned $82,903 from 44 theaters ($1,884 average). That’s a weekend-to-weekend carry over of 47% (anything higher than 45% is in the top quartile for the year). Fukrey Returns‘ total so far stands at $325,724.

Other Hindi movies still showing in United States:

  • Tumhari Sulu: Week 5; $4,571 from seven theaters; $653 average; $512,480 total
  • Firangi: Week 3; $1,638 from five theaters; $328 average; $180,992 total
  • Secret Superstar: Week 9; $654 from two theaters; $327 average; $2,153,816 total
  • Qarib Qarib Singlle: Week 6; $484 from one theater; $236,331 total
  • Golmaal Again: Week 9; $244 from one theater; $2,360,089 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama