Tag Archives: Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Bollywood Box Office: May 2-4

With no new Hindi movies opening in the U.S. or Canada on Friday, May 2, 2014, old favorites continued to pull in crowds at the North American box office. The Lunchbox — now in its tenth week — earned $255,736 from 141 screens ($1,814 average), bringing its total earnings to $2,968,497 so far.

2 States also held up well in its third week. It earned $167,377 from ninety-one screens ($1,839 average) to bring its total North American earnings to $1,978,594.

With The Lunchbox set to pass $3 million in North American earnings this week and 2 States about to the clear the $2 million mark, it’s worth noting the significance of these achievements. Both movies are romantic dramas, as opposed to action-packed spectacles. Neither film features A-list superstars (industry and audience respect for Irrfan Khan notwithstanding).

A look at the last five years of box office receipts reveals similarities among the sixteen Hindi films that managed to earn more than $2 million in North America during that period (five in 2013, five in 2012, two in 2011, one in 2010, and two in 2009). Four films are action sequels: Dhoom 3, Krrish 3, Dabangg 2, and Don 2. A small list of actors show up in multiple movies on the list:

[Somebody in Bollywood needs to cash in by bringing back Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan for Ra.Two, featuring Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif as the villains.]

The Lunchbox continues to earn big, thanks to its partnership with a Hollywood distributor — Sony Pictures Classics — which has dramatically expanded its potential audience compared to a typical Hindi film. Though movie adaptations of popular books are far rarer in India than in Hollywood, the success of 2 States should start to change that.

The only other Hindi movie showing in the U.S. the weekend of May 2-4 was Queen. Now in its ninth week, it earned $190 from one theater, bringing its total earnings to $1,417,405.

Source: Bollywood Hungama (figures supplied by Rentrak)

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Streaming Video News: May 21, 2013

This is pretty cool. Just two weeks after its theatrical release, the zombie comedy Go Goa Gone debuts on the streaming service Eros Now on Friday, May 24, 2013. While I didn’t love the movie, it is totally unlike anything else coming out of Bollywood right now. For a rental fee of just $1.99 (free with the monthly subscription), it’s worth checking out if you’re in the mood for some adult humor.

Update: Jab Tak Hai Jaan is now available on Netflix.

In Theaters December 14, 2012

Salman Khan films seem to generate a kind of force field. They pull in such a large share of the available audience that there are never any releases of note within a couple of weeks of the release of anything starring Salman Khan. The pattern holds true again for Dabangg 2, which opens on December 21. No new Hindi films are opening in the Chicago area on Friday, December 14, 2012, and there likely won’t be anything new besides Dabangg 2 in area theaters until Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola debuts on January 11, 2013.

In the meantime, there are still a few Bollywood options in local theaters. Based on its impressive U.S. earnings of $2,398,000 so far, Talaash retains the largest share of screenspace, carrying over at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

Khiladi 786 gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5, Cantera 17 and South Barrington 30, which is also holds over Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum (Telugu), Kumki (Tamil), Neethaane En Ponvasantham (Tamil), and Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu (Telugu).

Opening December 7: Khiladi 786

Akshay Kumar’s latest action comedy, Khiladi 786, hits Chicago theaters on December 7, 2012.

Khiladi 786 opens on Friday in four area theaters: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 21 min.

After earning an impressive $1,638,706 in its opening weekend in U.S. theaters, Talaash carries over at all of the above theaters, plus the Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie. Meanwhile, Jab Tak Hai Jaan continues its run at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17.

Opening November 30: Talaash

Excel Entertainment’s Talaash: The Answer Lies Within — starring Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, and Kareena Kapoor — opens in five Chicago area theaters on Friday, November 30: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 18 min.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan — which has earned $3.047,539 in the U.S. so far — carries over at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17. Son of Sardaar gets a third week at the South Barrington 30, with U.S. earnings of $713,754.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Damarukam (Telugu) and Thuppakki (Tamil).

In Theaters November 21, 2012

Most Chicago area theaters have rearranged their schedules to accommodate new releases debuting on Wednesday, November 21, to take advantage of Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday crowds. That’s bad news for one of last week’s new Hindi releases.

Son of Sardaar is dropping out of some area theaters and seeing its daily showings cut back at others. Come Wednesday, Son of Sardaar will only be playing at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

Last week’s other big Diwali release, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, is unaffected by the mid-week schedule update. Having earned a total of $1,941,805 in the U.S. so far, JTHJ carries over at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, Cantera 17, AMC River East 21 in Chicago, and Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie.

Two of Wednesday’s new releases — though not Hindi movies themselves — feature popular Bollywood actors in prominent roles. Anupam Kher stars in The Silver Linings Playbook, while Life of Pi stars Bollywood veterans like Irrfan Khan, Tabu, and Adil Hussain. Both of these English-language films open on November 21 at all five of the theaters mentioned above, as well as many other theaters in the Chicago area.

Movie Review: Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)

2 Stars (out of 4)

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For the first ninety minutes or so, Jab Tak Hai Jaan is vintage Yash Chopra: catchy songs, glamorous locations, and Shahrukh Khan executing another smoldering performance. Things fall apart after the intermission break, and the film spirals into absurdity for its final ninety minutes. It’s hard to imagine being more disappointed.

The story begins as ultra-cool soldier Samar Anand (Khan) diffuses a bomb in a Ladakh market before saving a bikini-clad young woman (Anushka Sharma) from an icy lake, leaving his jacket with her. The woman, Akira, finds Samar’s journal in the jacket pocket. Reading it, she discovers that Samar wasn’t always the gruff soldier he is today.

A prolonged flashback to ten years earlier shows Samar working odd jobs in London, supplementing his income busking on the streets. He becomes smitten with a beautiful Indian woman (Katrina Kaif) he overhears praying to Jesus to bless her with a handsome Anglo husband, and not a boring Indian one. Samar and the woman, Meera, form a bond as he teaches her to sing in Punjabi and she teaches him to speak English.

Since Jab Tak Hai Jaan is nearly three hours long, Samar and Meera can’t get their happily-ever-after so early in the movie. Meera makes another promise to Jesus that hinges on her never seeing Samar again. That’s where Samar’s journal ends.

The unfolding of Samar’s and Meera’s doomed romance is the best part of the story. Khan is so handsome and suave, it’s possible to believe he really could charm all of London with his singing and intermittent guitar strumming. Yash Chopra gives Kaif a solo dance number that allows her to have the spotlight to herself, and she shines during the opportunity. Also, her body is amazing.

When events in the story return to the present, the whole film goes south. Akira, an aspiring documentary filmmaker, returns Samar’s journal and finagles her way into being embedded with his army unit on an assignment for the Discovery Channel. Her motive is allegedly to understand how Samar’s past influenced his refusal to wear protective gear when disarming bombs, but she really wants to make him forget about Meera and fall in love with her.

Sharma is as winsome and adorable as ever, but her character is an idiot. In addition to her moronic romantic plot, her lack of professionalism nearly gets her killed while following the bomb squad around, for whom she serves as a hybrid kid sister/sex object.

Things only get stupider from here. Writer Aditya Chopra resorts to the laziest of all possible storytelling clichés: amnesia. Aditya doubles down on the stupidity by alleging that retrograde amnesia can be cured by allowing the friends and family of the amnesiac to invent and play out a fictitious alternative life story for the patient to fill in the lost years, rather than just telling the patient the truth.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan‘s dumbest moment comes when the London police department allows Samar to disarm a bomb because “this guy just might know what he’s talking about.” Next time I’m in London, I’ll be sure to ask the cops what other dangerous matters of national security they farm out to random foreign civilians. Sounds like fun!

I’m not sure how the plot got so out of hand. Aditya Chopra is a better writer than this, and it’s unfortunate that this is Yash Chopra’s last film. The candid behind-the-scenes shots of the director that accompany the closing credits are the real highlights of Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

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Opening November 13: Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardaar

Hoping to take advantage of Diwali holiday crowds, two of the biggest films of 2012 open in Chicago area theaters on Tuesday, November 13. Due to the recent death of director Yash Chopra, his final film — Jab Tak Hai Jaan — is obviously generating the most buzz. The romantic drama stars Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, and Anushka Sharma.

Also debuting on Tuesday is the action comedy Son of Sardaar, which stars Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, and Sanjay Dutt.

Both Jab Tak Hai Jaan (runtime 2 hrs. 56 min.) and Son of Sardaar (runtime 2 hrs. 25 min.) open on Tuesday, November 13, at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

In addition to the two new Hindi movies, Tuesday also marks the debut of the Tamil action film Thuppakki at the Golf Glen 5.