Tag Archives: Hindi Movies on Hotstar

Hotstar Content Moves to Hulu and ESPN+ in US

Hotstar’s days as a standalone streaming service are numbered in the United States. Disney — who owns Hotstar — announced Tuesday, September 1 that Hotstar’s content would be incorporated into its other streaming services before shutting down for good late in 2022. Hulu will carry Hotstar’s movies and TV series, while ESPN+ will take over Hotstar’s sports programming.

The content shift is already underway. @parikhm on Twitter sent me this screenshot from Hulu on Wednesday, with a panel advertising Hotstar content under the “Hubs” link at the top of the page.

We got even more information today via an email sent to Hotstar subscribers. In addition to sending each subscriber an offer code to upgrade to the Disney bundle (more on that in a bit), the email linked to a page listing all of the movies in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu that are already available on Hulu — find them under the “A-Z” category at the bottom of this page — as well as those films that are “coming soon.” (There are specific pages for TV shows, sports tournaments, and Hotstar Specials as well.) While most movies will make the journey to Hulu, not all will. Notable titles absent from the list include Highway, Junglee, and my beloved Creature 3D.

The movies and shows that have already moved to Hulu are no longer available on Hotstar. Clicking on Bhuj: The Pride of India‘s Hotstar link returns a 404 error. I assume this means that Bhoot Police will release on Hulu and not Hotstar on September 17. When the Indian Premier League cricket season resumes on September 19, ESPN+ will carry the games, not Hotstar.

Considering that Hotstar subscribers would need both Hulu and ESPN+ to access all (well, most) of the content previously available on Hotstar, today’s email includes an offer code allowing users to access the Disney bundle — which includes ad-supported Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+ — for the remainder of their Hotstar subscription. Getting access to all of the other Hulu and ESPN+ content plus Disney+ is a nice bonus, especially if your Hotstar subscription renewed recently. A year’s subscription to Hotstar costs $49.99, while a year’s worth of the $13.99/month Disney bundle will set you back $167.88 in total.

There’s the rub. Splitting Hotstar’s content between Hulu and ESPN+ is ultimately going to cost customers a lot more: 3x as much for the lower-tier Disney Bundle, and almost 5x as much if you want the $19.99/month Disney bundle that includes the ad-free version of Hulu ($239.88 annually).

The forced price increase is unfortunate, but par for the course for Disney in recent weeks. From charging visitors to Disney theme parks to skip the standby line at attractions (a formerly free perk) to jacking up the prices of annual passes while stripping benefits, Disney is doing all it can to squeeze every penny out of its customers.

So what are the alternatives? If you only subscribed to Hotstar for the movies and shows, a standalone Hulu subscription with ads costs $5.99/month or $59.99/year, or $11.99/month without ads ($143.88 total for one year, with no annual subscription option). [Update: on October 8, 2021, the price of ad-supported Hulu will increase to $6.99/month or $69.99/year, and ad-free Hulu increases to $12.99/month.] If you’re only interested in cricket, ESPN+ costs $6.99/month or $69.99/year. You’re still going to pay more that you have been with Hotstar, unfortunately. If you wanted to recreate Hotstar by getting annual subscriptions to both EPSN+ and (ad-supported) Hulu, it’ll run you $129.98 — almost $40 cheaper than the Disney Bundle.

For now, this merger only applies to the US. Canada doesn’t even have access to Hulu, so Hotstar lives on north of the border for the time being. In the meantime, I’m gonna rewatch Creature 3D for the millionth time while I still can.

Streaming Video News: July 29, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the early addition of Kriti Sanon’s film Mimi, which was supposed to make its global debut tomorrow. When a copy of the movie leaked online earlier this week, Netflix made it available for streaming immediately. According to Bollywood Hungama, the snafu has made Netflix reevaluate their deal with Mimi‘s producers, Maddock Films and Jio Studios.

Netflix also dropped the trailer for their new Indian Original sketch comedy competition Comedy Premium League, episodes of which debut on August 20. The show format sounds a lot like South Korea’s Comedy Big League, which also features teams of comedians competing for audience votes. One recurring segment on CBL is “Psychorus,” in which a pair of ridiculously dressed comics say nonsensical things to try and mess up a singers while they perform. Here’s Psychorus screwing with Taemin from Shinee as he sings his hit “Move“:

Hotstar also dropped a video this week announcing its slate of upcoming movies and shows, headlined by Ajay Devgn’s war drama Bhuj: The Pride of India (debuting August 13) and Saif Ali Khan’s supernatural comedy Bhoot Police (coming September 17). Variety has descriptions of all of the titles in the lineup, which includes a few returning series. Here’s Hotstar’s promo video:

Streaming Video News: June 11, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s additions of the Tamil comedy Sarbath and the Hindi/English coming-of-age film Skater Girl. The skatepark that was constructed in Rajasthan for the filming of Skater Girl was left up and is free for public use.

This month’s paucity of new Indian releases got me wondering about the fate of the titles from Netflix’s big March 3 announcement of their slate of upcoming projects. The announcement included 13 feature films, 15 new and returning series, and 13 unscripted movies, series, and comedy specials.

Five of the films — Ajeeb Daastaans, The Disciple, Milestone, Pagglait, and Sardar Ka Grandson — have released so far, with Jagame Thandhiram and Haseen Dillruba set to join them in the coming weeks. Bombay Begums and Ray (coming out later this month) are the only series to be added. Two unscripted titles have been released as well: Searching for Sheela and The Big Day, Collection 2. In all, that’s only 11 of 41 titles accounted for.

Even though fiction series made up the bulk of the titles announced, only two have gotten release dates. I’m not sure if this was always the plan or if this is a result of pandemic-related production delays. It could be the former — a series starring Mike Myers just started filming, two years after it was announced — but recent COVID-19 shutdowns had to affect at least some of the shows (not to mention the five stand-up comedy specials that were announced).

Despite a whole lineup of series and shows, could this month’s anemic offerings be the start of an Indian content drought at Netflix? The answer is… maybe? Most of 2021’s few theatrical releases — like Roohi and Madam Chief Minister — are already on Netflix or another streaming service. But maybe the titles from the March 3 announcement are further along in production than I assume. Still, I won’t be surprised if Netflix starts throwing cash at distributors to acquire some of the titles that have been waiting for a theatrical release since last spring. The theatrical release calendar is awfully crowded, and several movies have been postponed more than once. Might be time for distributors to cash in and help bulk up Netflix’s catalog.

Hotstar has today’s other new Hindi feature release: the road trip musical Shaadisthan.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with a handful of Indian titles that have been added in the last week. I’m undertaking a massive weeding effort on the Amazon page, pulling entries that are no longer available free with a Prime membership. By the time I’m done, the page will be less than half the length of its peak several months ago.

Have a nice weekend!

Streaming Video News: June 4, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with yesterday’s premiere of the second season the Manoj Bajpayee spy series The Family Man. I recently returned from vacation, and I’m finally caught up listing all of the Indian content added to Prime over the last few weeks. Phew!

Amazon released the trailer for the Vidya Balan film Sherni, which makes its global debut on Prime on June 18.

I also updated my list Netflix of Bollywood movies on Netflix with expiration dates for two dozen Indian films and Pakistani series that are leaving the streaming service in the next month, including a quarter of the Malayalam titles currently available. Netflix hasn’t added any Indian content in June so far, but new stuff is on the way. The Hindi-English film Skater Girl (formerly Desert Dolphin) premieres June 11, followed by Dhanush’s Tamil movie Jagame Thandhiram on June 18, and the anthology series Ray on June 25. And you can always check my monthly “New Hindi & Indian Movies & Shows” post for What’s On Netflix to make sure there was nothing you missed in May.

Hotstar dropped the trailer for the road trip movie Shaadisthan starring Kirti Kulhari today. It debuts globally on Hotstar on June 11.

Streaming Video News: April 9, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with today’s debut of the new Hindi comedy Hello Charlie, starring Jackie Shroff and a gorilla. The Kannada film Yuvarathnaa landed on Prime yesterday, even though it’s still playing in theaters in the United States and India. Another film that recently ended its theatrical run — Jathi Ratnalu — joins Prime on April 11, followed by the Malayalam movie The Priest on April 14.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with yesterday’s surprise addition of the horror comedy Roohi, starring Janhvi Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao. Earlier this week, Netflix added a second collection of episodes of the wedding reality series The Big Day and the 2021 Tamil film Mandela. New Indian titles coming to Netflix next week include a bunch of cartoons for kids on April 12, the Telugu movie Uppena on April 13, and the premiere of the Netflix Original Hindi film Ajeeb Daastaans on April 16.

Last but not least, yesterday Hotstar debuted Abhishek Bachchan’s semi-biographical stock market drama The Big Bull. With Hindi theatrical releases on hold for the time being, it’s nice to have a weekend with multiple new Bollywood movies to choose from!

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Worst Bollywood Movies of 2020

When compiling my list of the Best Bollywood Movies of 2020, I was surprised to find that all five were Netflix Original productions or titles acquired by Netflix. Turns out the titles from my Worst Bollywood Movies of 2020 list have some commonalities, too. The two lowest ranked films on the list are both streaming on Hotstar, and the other three are on Amazon Prime. Let’s see which turkeys are my Worst Bollywood Movies of 2020.

Street Dancer 3D is one of two films on this list that I actually got to watch in a theater in 2020. I loved Street Dancer‘s progenitor ABCD and found ABCD 2 entertaining enough, but Street Dancer is just silly. The dancing in any Remo D’Souza-directed movie is as good as you’d expect it to be, but the plot is tiresome.

Durgamati: The Myth is one of the three straight-to-digital releases to make the list. The supernatural thriller is full of twists that could only work if characters behave in very specific ways that the protagonists couldn’t have predicted. Pass.

Varun Dhawan’s Coolie No. 1 reboot had high expectations placed upon it even before it became Amazon Prime’s big Christmas Day release. Still, it turned out to be an unfunny slog that felt dated and out-of-touch.

Baaghi 3 was the other film on this list that I got to watch in the theater. You’d think a big-budget action spectacle like Baaghi 3 would be improved by watching it on a huge cinema screen, but you’d be wrong. The whole movie is dumb and shouty, and even the action sequences are poorly choreographed. I hope I never have to hear Riteish Deshmukh yell “Ronnie!” ever again.

My Worst Bollywood Movie of 2020 — Laxmii — earned its spot for several reasons. The supernatural comedy in which Akshay Kumar plays a man possessed by the ghost of a transgender woman is just as problematic as one would expect it to be given that setup. The casting is bizarre, with one actor nine months older than the actor playing his father. The story is tedious. Finally, Laxmii commits the greatest sin a comedy film can commit: it’s not funny. That’s why Laxmii deserves its place as my Worst Bollywood Movie of 2020.

Kathy’s Worst Bollywood Movies of 2020

  1. Laxmii — stream on Hotstar
  2. Baaghi 3 — stream on Hotstar
  3. Coolie No. 1 — Buy or rent on iTunes/stream on Amazon Prime
  4. Durgamati — stream on Amazon Prime
  5. Street Dancer 3D — stream on Amazon Prime

Previous Worst Movies Lists

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Streaming Video News: November 12, 2020

Bollywood fans have two brand new movies to choose from today — both starring Rajkummar Rao. On Netflix, Rao featuresΒ in the dark comedy Ludo as part of an ensemble that includes Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Pankaj Tripathi. On Amazon Prime, Rao and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub play rival gym teachers in director Hansal Mehta’s comedy Chhalaang (also available in 4K UHD).

Today’s new releases cap off a busy holiday week on streaming that started with Laxmii‘s Hotstar premiere on Monday. Yesterday, Soorarai Pottru debuted on Prime in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Telugu (under the title Aakaasam Nee Haddhu Ra).

Lots of other Indian titles have been added to Amazon Prime in the last few days, so head over to my Prime list to see what’s new. And don’t forget to check my Netflix list to see what’s new and what titles are expiring soon. Have a wonderful Diwali!

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Streaming Video News: November 9, 2020

A week of new releases to celebrate Diwali kicked off with today’s premiere of the Akshay Kumar horror comedy Laxmii on Hotstar. Thursday, November 12 sees the debut of the ensemble dark comedy Ludo on Netflix and the Tamil film Soorari Pottru on Amazon Prime. Finally, the social comedy Chhalaang premieres on Amazon Prime on Friday, November 13.

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the new release Gatham, which is available in Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu. There’s been a ton of upheaval on Prime in the last week, with hundreds of titles disappearing — some for several days — only for most of them to reappear on the service. The listings at my page are now up-to-date, but it did mean hours of ultimately pointless work for me. πŸ™ I wish Amazon handled its contract renewals and expirations as seamlessly as Netflix does.

Speaking of which, 21 Indian shows and movies are set to expire from Netflix on November 15. The full list is available on my Netflix page under the “Expiring Soon” section near the top of the page. Of the expiring films, these are the ones that I’ve reviewed:

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Streaming Video News: October 30, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s release of the Original Hindi horror film Kaali Khuhi. Netflix also launched the trailer for the Telugu movie Miss India, which debuts on November 3.

The following titles expire from Netflix on November 1:

I also updated my list of Bollywood titles on Amazon Prime with lots of Indian and Pakistani titles added this week, including the premiere of the new Kannada film Bheemasena Nalamaharaja.

In other streaming video news, pressure from Karni Sena forced the producers of Laxmmi Bomb to change the title of their forthcoming film to Laxmii. The Akshay Kumar horror-comedy releases on Hotstar on November 9.

Streaming Video News: September 16, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with an October 2 release date for the Netflix Original movie Serious Men, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

I also updated my Upcoming Bollywood Release Dates page (where I keep track of Hotstar news) with a newly announced November 9 release date for Akshay Kumar’s Laxxmi Bomb. The announcement follows a Bollywood Hungama report yesterday that Hotstar planned to hold the release of its three remaining “Multiplex” titles — Laxxmi Bomb, Bhuj, and The Big Bull — until after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League cricket season in early November. While it’s common practice for major movies to avoid releasing theatrically during cricket tournaments, I suspect the fact that all three movies are still finishing filming and post-production influenced the decision as well.

So what does that mean for streaming releases in the near term? Netflix seems content to debut one or two new films or series per month. Amazon Prime quietly launched a few new Indian series in recent weeks but hasn’t made any major movie announcements. I suspect Laxxmi Bomb‘s release date indicates that things will be relatively quiet until around Diwali in mid-November. Last month, Bollywood Hungama scooped a potential Diwali release for Varun Dhawan’s Coolie No. 1 on Amazon Prime, so we’ll see if that comes true.

On a related note, even if theaters in India reopen next month, don’t expect any major flicks to be first out of the gate (especially after the tepid response to Tenet). Kiara Advani-starrer Indoo Ki Jawani purportedly wants to be first in theaters.

Finally, I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with a bunch of older Hindi titles added in the last two days. Check ’em out:

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]