Tag Archives: Half Girlfriend

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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Streaming Video News: December 2, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with a number of new additions to the streaming catalog. The most high-profile titles are the 2017 theatrical releases Jab Harry Met Sejal and Half Girlfriend (although the story in JHMS lets Anushka Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan down, and Half Girlfriend is regressively sexist). Two other notable new Bollywood flicks are the absurd Ajay Devgn thriller Tezz and the disastrous horror movie Hisss, the making of which was such an ordeal that they made a documentary about it. Also new are the Hindi movies Bhouri and Prague and the Punjabi films Eh Janam Tumhare Lekhe and Sardaar Ji. For everything else new on Netflix — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

I’m compelled to point out that the superb Korean TV series Boys Over Flowers — a common entry point into the addicting world of K-dramas — expires from Netflix on December 23. It’s absolutely worth the investment of time, but fair warning: the soundtrack will be stuck in your head forever.

Bollywood Box Office: June 9-11, 2017

Raabta‘s release was greeted by crickets here in North America. During its opening weekend of June 9-11, 2017, it earned $76,244 from 82 theaters ($930 average; adjusted average of $1,059 from 72 theaters*). Raabta‘s earnings were well below those of other movies that opened in a similar number of North American theaters this year: movies like Phillauri ($259,250 from 87 theaters); The Ghazi Attack ($394,269 from 89 theaters); and Naam Shabana ($157,655 from 90 theaters). For Raabta to earn less than $100,000 and average under $1,000 per screen is hugely disappointing.

Other Hindi movies playing in North America:

  • Hindi Medium: Week 4; $39,782 from 25 theaters; $1,591 average; $716,503 total
  • Baahubali 2: Week 7; $35,657 from 34 theaters; $1,049 average; $20,753,072 total
  • Sachin — A Billion Dreams: Week 3; $14,823 from 24 theaters; $618 average; $599,593 total
  • Half Girlfriend: Week 4; $1,514 from three theaters; $505 average; $442,605 total
  • Jattu Engineer: Week 3; $1,435 from one theater; $17,652 total
  • Sarkar 3: Week 5; $232 from one theater; $244,456 total
  • Hanuman Da’ Damdaar: Week 2; $134 from one theater; $226 total
  • Dobaara — See Your Evil: $127 from two theaters; $64 average; $10,937 total

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice in 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.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: June 2-4, 2017

North America is an inhospitable territory for Hindi horror films. The latest casualty is Dobaara: See Your Evil, which had the advantages of being based on the 2013 Hollywood film Oculus and starring real-life siblings Huma Qureshi and Saqib Saleem. Still, in its opening weekend of June 2-4, 2017, it earned just $7,110 from 30 theaters ($237 average; adjusted average of $284 from 25 theaters). Even though the local audience for Bollywood horror flicks is small, these ultra-limited theatrical releases do the movies no favors. I would love to watch Dobaara, but not if it requires two hours of expensive tollway driving for me to do it. On the other hand, skip the theatrical release and charge $12 for a day-and-date North American streaming option, and I’m there.

One movie I skipped writing about last week because I didn’t even realize it was in Hindi is Jattu Engineer, the latest vanity project by Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan of MSG fame. After an unremarkable opening weekend ($2,691 from three theaters), its business made an inexplicable jump in its second weekend, earning $8,048 from four Canadian theaters ($2,012 average). It has earned a total of $12,082 so far, which is a lot better than the Saint’s March, 2017 release Hind Ka Napak Ko Jawab: MSG Lion Heart 2, which scraped together $6,243 over five weeks.

Hindi Medium is on a roll, posting consistently strong per-theater averages. In its third weekend, it earned another $72,210 from 34 theaters — an average of $2,124 per theater. Fewer than half of the 2017 films that lasted three weeks averaged more than $700 in their third weekend, with only four of those movies managing to average more than $1,500 per theater. Hindi Medium‘s total stands at $647,602, good enough for seventh place this year so far.

Other Hindi movies still showing in North America:

  • Baahubali 2: Week 6; $81,323 from 55 theaters; $1,479 average; $20,690,866 total
  • Sachin — A Billion Dreams: Week 2; $78,585 from 72 theaters; $1,091 average; $558,024 total
  • Half Girlfriend: Week 3; $5,996 from nine theaters; $666 average; $436,984 total
  • Sarkar 3: Week 4; $314 from two theaters; $157 average; $244,168 total
  • Meri Pyaari Bindu: Week 4; $50 from one theater; $174,955 total

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice in 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.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening June 2: Dobaara — See Your Evil

One new Bollywood movie hits Chicago area theaters — correction, theater — on June 2, 2017. Dobaara: See Your Evil is the official Hindi remake of Oculus. It stars real-life siblings Huma Qureshi and Saqib Saleem.

Dobaara: See Your Evil opens Friday at the AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington. It has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 46 min.

Sachin: A Billion Dreams gets a second week at the South Barrington 24, as well as the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

Both MovieMax and the South Barrington 24 give a third week to Half Girlfriend and Hindi Medium, which also carries over at the Cantera 17.

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion gets a sixth week at MovieMax (Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi), South Barrington 24 (Hindi), Cantera 17 (Hindi), and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge (Telugu).

Bollywood fans may also be interested in checking out 3 Idiotas — the Spanish-language remake (with English subtitles) of 3 Idiots — opening on Friday across the Chicago area.

Other Indian movies showing locally this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: May 26-28, 2017

Since I know nothing about cricket, please insert your own cricket pun here to reflect the fact that Sachin: A Billion Dreams had a good opening weekend at the North American box office. From May 26-28, 2017, Sachin earned $334,402 from 112 theaters ($2,986 average; adjusted average of $3,344 from 100 theaters*). Keep in mind that total doesn’t include returns from Monday’s Memorial Day holiday in the United States.

Sachin‘s solid performance was enough to finally dethrone Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which took in $274,803 from 119 theaters ($2,309 average). Its total after five weekends is an astounding $20,476,672.

Hindi Medium is proving to be 2017’s first sleeper hit, even adding a theater in its second weekend of release. (The only other film to add theaters this year was Badrinath Ki Dulhania.) Hindi Medium held on to 2/3s of its opening weekend business, putting it first in that category by almost 20% (ahead of Badrinath). In its second weekend, Hindi Medium earned $151,159 from 59 theaters for an average of $2,562 per theater. That’s the best second-weekend-average of the year for every Hindi film besides Baahubali 2. Hindi Medium‘s total stands at $485,804.

Half Girlfriend also held up well in its second weekend, even if its performance pales a bit compared to Hindi Medium. Half Girlfriend earned $50,650 from 51 theaters ($993 average), bringing its total to $401,306 — good enough to rank in the top half of Bollywood movies released in North America this year.

Other Bollywood movies still in US theaters:

  • Sarkar 3: Week 3; $803 from three theaters; $268 average; $243,495 total
  • Meri Pyaari Bindu: Week 3; $436 from one theater; $174,801 total

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice in 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.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening May 26, 2017: Sachin — A Billion Dreams

One new Hindi film opens in the Chicago area on May 26, 2017. The documentary/biographical drama Sachin: A Billion Dreams — about cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar — is the latest sports film from director James Erskine and features a soundtrack by A.R. Rahman.

Sachin: A Billion Dreams opens Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.

Half Girlfriend gets a second week at all of the above theaters, plus the AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, while Hindi Medium carries over at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17.

The number of local theaters carrying Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is dwindling. Ticket prices have finally dropped, so take advantage of those matinée specials to see it a second time (or a fourth time, if you’re my friend Melanie!). Here’s where you can still see Mahishmati in all its glory:

Telugu: MovieMax, South Barrington 24, AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville, and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge

Hindi: MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Cantera 17, Woodridge 18, and AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles

Tamil: Seven Bridges and MovieMax (which also carries Baahubali 2 in Malayalam)

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