Tag Archives: Jab Harry Met Sejal

Bollywood Box Office: August 25-27, 2017

A Gentleman got drubbed during what was a historically terrible weekend at the North American box office. From August 25-27, 2017, A Gentleman earned $191,530 from 135 theaters ($1,419 average), according to Box Office Mojo. That’s a grim opening weekend average for a movie that released in more than 100 theaters. It’s also less than 15% of what Bang Bang — an earlier Fox Star Studios action comedy — earned during its opening weekend in 2014. If the studio was hoping that the genre would bring in the crowds irrespective of the film’s star power, they miscalculated. Too bad, because A Gentleman is a fun movie.

Bareilly Ki Barfi, on the other hand, held up very well in its second weekend of release, holding onto 51% of its opening weekend business, according to Rentrak figures supplied to Bollywood Hungama. A 25% holdover is the median for Hindi films in North America this year, and anything better than 40% is great. In its second weekend, Bareilly Ki Barfi earned $95,503 from 37 theaters ($2,581 average). I was a little surprised to see it lose seven theaters after such a good opening weekend. Still, its total presently stands at $352,935, which is a lot of money for a movie that only opened in 44 theaters.

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha continued its superb run as well. It took just three weeks to earn what Jolly LLB 2 earned in six weeks of release in North America. Toilet‘s total stands at $1,659,253, after third weekend earnings of $127,584 from 83 theaters ($1,537 average).

Jab Harry Met Sejal squeaked past Badrinath Ki Dulhania into third place for the year. JHMS‘s fourth weekend earnings of $6,350 from ten theaters ($635 average) brought its total to $2,003,665 — just $3,382 ahead of BKD.

Mubarakan stuck around for a fifth weekend at two theaters, earning $616 ($308 average) and bringing its total to $736,070.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

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Opening August 25: A Gentleman

The new Hindi action comedy A Gentleman opens in Chicago area theaters on August 25, 2017. Originally envisioned as part of a franchise based on Bang Bang!, A Gentleman is a officially stand-alone film starring Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez.

A Gentleman opens Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, 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. 25 min.

After a great opening weekend in a handful of North American theaters, Bareilly Ki Barfi gets a second week at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17. All three theaters hold over Toilet: Ek Prem Katha as well, which also carries over at the River East 21. Jab Harry Met Sejal sticks around for a fourth week at the South Barrington 24.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: August 18-20, 2017

Bareilly Ki Barfi got off to a flying start in North America, despite opening in a tiny number of theaters. From August 18-20, 2017, the romantic comedy earned $185,699 from 44 theaters. Its opening weekend per-theater average of $4,220 is sixth best for the year, just ahead of Hindi Medium‘s $3,892 average. In its second weekend of release, sleeper hit Hindi Medium added a theater and retained two-thirds of its opening weekend business. Its total earnings were ultimately 3.5 times its opening weekend total. If Bareilly Ki Barfi follows Hindi Medium‘s path, that would mean a second weekend total of around $125,000 and an ultimate total of $650,000. I hope Bareilly Ki Barfi can pull off that feat, because it’s really, really good.

Bareilly Ki Barfi wasn’t the only Hindi film to have a good weekend in North America. In its second weekend, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha held on to nearly 60% of its opening weekend returns, posting earnings of $398,182 from 143 theaters ($2,757 average). Its total earnings of $1,381,754 are already double the amount it earned last weekend. Akshay Kumar’s other headlining release of 2017 — Jolly LLB 2 — had a better opening weekend, whereas Toilet had the better second weekend, holding on to a greater share of its first weekend business. Let’s see how close Toilet can come to Jolly LLB 2‘s $1,641,082 total.

Other Hindi films still in North American theaters:

  • Jab Harry Met Sejal: Week 3; $31,337 from 40 theaters; $783 average; $1,981,227 total
  • Mubarakan: Week 4; $4,829 from eight theaters; $604 average; $733,800 total

Sources: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening August 18: Bareilly Ki Barfi

New Bollywood romantic comedy Bareilly Ki Barfi — starring Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana, and Rajkummar Rao — opens in Chicago area theaters on August 18, 2017. This is the second Hindi feature by director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, who made a strong debut with Nil Battey Sannata.

Bareilly Ki Barfi opens Friday at 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. 3 min.

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha carries over for a second week at all of the above theaters, plus the AMC River East 21 in Chicago and Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison.

After a disappointing second weekend in North American theaters, Jab Harry Met Sejal only carries over at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24, which also holds on to Mubarakan.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: August 11-13, 2017

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha‘s opening weekend returns in North America were consistent with the kinds of numbers its star, Akshay Kumar, has been putting up here since early 2016. From August 11-13, 2017, Toilet earned $670,447 from 198 theaters ($3,386 average; adjusted average of $3,788 from 177 theaters*). That total is less than $5,000 off from the $674,890 Housefull 3 earned in the United States and Canada last summer in its opening weekend. Kumar’s last five releases (including Toilet) have averaged opening weekend earnings of $732,399.

Jab Harry Met Sejal‘s business in North America took a nosedive during its second weekend in theaters, falling by 85% from its first weekend. That’s a worse week-to-week holdover than Tubelight‘s 83% drop. JHMS earned $195,158 from 204 theaters — a per-theater average of just  $957. Its total earnings stand at $1,862,066.

From an exhibitor’s perspective, Mubarakan was the better bet, averaging $1,177 from 21 theaters with third-weekend earnings of $24,708. Mubarakan‘s total stands at $721,984.

*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.

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

Opening August 11: Toilet — Ek Prem Katha

Akshay Kumar’s Independence Day release for 2017 is Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (“Toilet: A Love Story“). The social issue-focused romantic comedy opens in the Chicago area on August 11 and co-stars Dum Laga Ke Haisha‘s Bhumi Pednekar.

Toilet opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min.

Following a good opening weekend in North American theaters, Jab Harry Met Sejal carries over for a second week at all of the above theaters, plus the AMC Dine-In Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Mubarakan gets a third week at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Cantera 17, and Woodridge 18.

Starting Friday, the South Barrington 24 and Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale carry the (English subtitled) Pakistani movie Chain Aye Na, which has the best LOL trailer of the year, surpassing the awful Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai trailer. Oh, the poorly edited background music!

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Movie Review: Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017)

2 Stars (out of 4)

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Jab Harry Met Sejal (“When Harry Met Sejal“) feels like a movie constructed in reverse, only concerned with where the characters wind up, but not how or why they reach their destination. A lack of motivating factors makes it hard to invest in the characters, regardless of our affection for the actors playing them.

Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) finances his itinerant womanizing as a tour guide in Europe, bouncing from city to city on the run from memories that ultimately aren’t traumatic enough to warrant their blue-filtered flashbacks.

Before Harry can leave the airport after waving farewell to his latest batch of tourists, one member of the group flags him down, in need of help. Sejal (Anushka Sharma) lost her engagement ring, and she won’t return to India until she finds it. She’s sure she lost it in Amsterdam. Or was it Prague?

The first red flag in Jab Harry Met Sejal is that, despite having spent the last month leading Sejal, her fiance, and their families across Europe, Harry has to ask her name. Did he not learn it during the previous thirty days they spent in each other’s proximity? Not even by accident?

It’s suspicious that Sejal appears to have made no impression whatsoever on Harry, in spite of her undeniable beauty and his reputation as a guy who notices beautiful women. There is an uncomfortable subplot about Sejal’s insecurity about her sex appeal and her specific desire for Harry to find her sexy — a desire that manifests early in their ring-hunting adventure, well before Sejal develops any attraction to Harry (who evidently made as little an impression on her during her family vacation as she did on him).

If the point of Sejal’s engagement-ring-wild-goose-chase isn’t for her to create an opportunity to act upon a preexisting attraction to Harry, then what the hell is she doing? She blackmails Harry into working for her, threatening to falsely report him for sexual misconduct if he doesn’t. Sejal is sort of trying to live it up before her marriage to a guy named Rupen, but we don’t know enough about Sejal, Rupen, or their relationship to understand what’s really driving her actions.

During the course of her journey with Harry, Sejal declares herself his temporary girlfriend, complete with spooning benefits — but only until she finds her ring, she warns, cautioning him not to fall for her. The fake molestation threat plus her (kind of) leading him on gives the whole story an icky Men’s Rights vibe, made worse by Sejal’s classist assumption that she can buy an infinite amount of Harry’s time for the right price.

The temporary girlfriend idea is too stupid a conceit for people of the characters’ ages and intelligence levels — Sejal is a lawyer, for Pete’s sake — to concoct on their own. Writer-director Imtiaz Ali doesn’t seem to care why the characters get together, just that they do. He trusts that the audience’s desire to see characters played by Khan and Sharma get together — as they did in the delightful Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi — will trump their desire for narrative authenticity.

Khan looks amazing, smouldering and magnetic as ever. Sharma is goofy and adorable, especially during an awkward dance scene in a night club. Their performances are darned good, even while playing characters who don’t feel like real people. Ali is a much more talented filmmaker than this. Relying on his actors to shoulder the weight of an entire movie without a solid story to support them isn’t fair.

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