Tag Archives: Jai Gangaajal

Bollywood Box Office: September 2-4, 2016

The action flick Naam Hai Akira posted opening weekend numbers that were okay, but a bit on the low side. During the weekend of September 2-4, 2016, the movie earned $131,735 from 87 North American theaters ($1,514 average). Including Monday’s Labor Day holiday, which is celebrated in both the United States and Canada (I had to look that up), Box Office Mojo reports total earnings for Naam Hai Akira of $166,658.

The reason why Naam Hai Akira‘s numbers are slightly disappointing is that it opened in more than the median number of theaters for the year (85) but earned less than the median opening weekend gross (around $145,000). While that’s less than a $15,000 difference, Naam Hai Akira was way off when it came to the median opening weekend per-theater average of more than $2,000 per theater. Basically, the film didn’t warrant such a wide release. Somewhere in the 70-75 theater range would’ve been more appropriate.

Here’s where things get interesting. The four movies that have the 15th-18th (out of 34) widest opening weekend releases of 2016 in North America are Jai Gangaajal, Neerja, Naam Hai Akira, and Sarbjit — all movies marketed on the strength of their female lead character or actress. They all released within a range of 83-93 theaters. Neerja had a huge opening weekend and expanded into a total of 135 theaters the following week. However, the other three grossed less than the median in their opening weekends with underwhelming per-theater averages ($1,569 for Sarbjit and $1,277 for Jai Gangaajal). The sad fact is that most female-led Bollywood movies aren’t big enough draws here to justify the theatrical footprint they currently receive.

In cheerier news, Rustom has by now overtaken Airlift as the fourth highest earning Hindi film of 2016 in North America. 3-day weekend earnings of $68,932 from 33 theaters ($2,089 average) brought its total to $1,853,818 — less than $5,000 behind Airlift‘s total earnings.

Over the weekend, Happy Bhag Jayegi accomplished a feat I wrote about last week, becoming the eighth Bollywood movie of the year to double its opening weekend earnings over the course of its theatrical run. It earned another $25,775 from twelve theaters ($2,148 average), bringing its three-weekend total to $333,938.

In its second weekend, A Flying Jatt‘s business fell by more than 80% from its opening weekend. It earned $19,867 from 27 theaters ($736 average), bringing its total to $174,055.

Mohenjo Daro stuck around for a fourth weekend in eight theaters, earning $5,625 ($703 average). Its total stands at $1,237,504, surpassing Udta Punjab for eighth place for the year.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: March 18-20

Kapoor & Sons just posted the biggest opening weekend of the year for a Bollywood movie in North America. From March 18-20, 2016, Kapoor & Sons earned $974,134 from 162 theaters ($6,013 average). It should hold up very well given its great word of mouth and relatively little competition in the coming weeks. March 25th’s action-packed Rocky Handsome caters to a different audience, while April 1st’s Ki & Ka doesn’t look particularly appealing. Barring a catastrophe, Kapoor & Sons will be the first Hindi film of 2016 to earn $2 million in North America.

Other Hindi movies showing in the United States and Canada:

  • Neerja: Week 5; $21,169 from 22 theaters; $962 average; $1,695,634 total
  • Jai Gangaajal: Week 3; $1,666 from seven theaters; $238 average; $190,146 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening March 18: Kapoor & Sons

One new Bollywood movie opens in Chicago area theaters on March 18, 2016. The Karan Johar production Kapoor & Sons stars Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra, and Fawad Khan.

Kapoor & Sons opens on Friday in eight local theaters: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 12 min.

Jai Gangaajal gets a third week at MovieMax and the South Barrington 30. Both theaters also carry over Neerja, as does the Wilmette Theatre in Wilmette.

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

Bollywood Box Office: March 11-13

With no new Hindi films playing in North American theaters during the weekend of March 11-13, 2016, Neerja topped the box office for the fourth weekend in a row. It earned $69,001 from 45 theaters ($1,533 average), bringing its total earnings in the United States and Canada to $1,647,316.

Jai Gangaajal‘s business fell by more than 75% from its first weekend to its second, taking in $27,497 from 38 theaters ($724 average). Its North American total stands at $183,739.

Airlift hung on for an eighth weekend in one theater, adding another $578 to bring its total to $1,858,243.

The weekend’s highest earning Indian movie was the Punjabi film Love Punjab, which took in a total of $426,179. What’s interesting is where those earnings came from. Love Punjab earned $174,468 from 36 US theaters for a very good average of $4,846 per screen. Canada only carried the movie in 13 theaters but earned a total of $251,711, making for an incredible average of $19,362 per screen! If I had the money, I’d build a theater in Canada toot sweet.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

In Theaters: March 11, 2016

No new Hindi movies are opening in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016, and limited options remain in theaters. Jai Gangaajal carries over for a second week at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. All three theaters also hold over Neerja, which opens on Friday at the Wilmette Theatre in Wilmette.

Other Indian movies showing in Chicago area theaters include Kalyana Vaibhogame (Telugu) at the Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge and MovieMax, which also carries Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum (Tamil), Aviyal (Tamil), Tuntari (Telugu), Vettah (Malayalam), Pichaikkaran (Tamil), Pokkiri Raja (Tamil), Kshanam (Telugu), Maheshinte Prathikaaram (Malayalam), and Action Hero Biju (Malayalam).

Bollywood Box Office: March 4-6

Jai Gangaajal failed to light up the North American box office in its opening weekend. From March 4-6, 2016, it earned $118,758 from 93 theaters ($1,277 average). Jai Gangaajal‘s earnings were by no means terrible, just lower than one expects from a movie featuring Priyanka Chopra, Bollywood’s most recognizable star in the United States.

Also keep in mind that Jai Gangaajal was only the second highest-earning Hindi film of the weekend in the U.S. and Canada, finishing behind Neerja in its third week of release. Neerja earned $167,727 from 113 theaters ($1,484 average), bringing its total to $1,526,679.

Other Hindi movies showing in North America include:

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Movie Review: Jai Gangaajal (2016)

JaiGangaajal2 Stars (out of 4)

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Who exactly is the protagonist in Jai Gangaajal (“Hail Holy Waters“)? International superstar Priyanka Chopra features on the poster, but her position as the clear hero is usurped by Prakash Jha, the film’s writer and director.

Jha himself plays Deputy BN Singh, a crooked cop in the crime-ridden hamlet of Bankipur. The town’s corruption is laid out in the movie’s protracted opening sequence. Power-mad politician Babloo Pandey (Manav Kaul) and his cartoonishly villainous brother, Dabloo (Ninad Kamat), operate with impunity under the protection of cops like Singh, who lives in a mansion more lavish than any public servant could afford on his salary alone.

When the police chief tries to clean up the force, Singh arranges his superior’s transfer. Little does Singh know that the new sheriff is no one to trifle with. Enter Police Chief Abha Mathur (Chopra), more than twenty minutes into the story, long after we’ve been bored by the usual scenes of goons strong-arming poor villagers into giving up their land to make way for some corporate building project.

Mathur’s devotion to law and order inspires a magical transformation within the police force. After watching Mathur — a woman! — beat the hell out of the Pandeys’ thugs with a stick, one awed officer tells her in all seriousness, “Sir, today I’ve found my self-respect.” Even Singh chaffs at Dabloo’s threat to damage his police uniform.

Yet there’s little else to Mathur’s character besides her belief in the rule of law, which never wavers no matter the circumstances. Her backstory is boiled down to a couple of lines of dialogue. We only see her out of her police uniform three times, and twice in the same all-black outfit. She’s like a justice robot who switches off when not on duty.

Singh, on the other hand, is a well-developed character who grows morally and emotionally throughout the film. Singh gets the better story arc and about the same amount of screentime as Mathur, so why isn’t Jha on the poster with — or instead of — Chopra?

The bait-and-switch of selling Jai Gangaajal as a Priyanka Chopra picture isn’t as bothersome as the fact that Jha the filmmaker had a chance to make a more interesting movie than the one he did. Imagine Chopra as the female version of the Bollywood supercop regularly played by men like Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn, and Akshay Kumar. Not a gritty, realistic cop like Rani Mukerji in Mardaani, but a full-on desi action hero divinely imbued with superhuman strength.

Chopra is tremendous in the action scenes in Jai Gangaajal, and she looks badass in her police uniform. She has a broad enough acting range to pull off bombastic dialogue without sounding silly. A female twist on the supercop would allow for exploration of the relationship between women and the justice system. One brief shot in Jai Gangaajal of Mathur hugging a girl she’s saved from kidnappers seemed positioned to lead the story in that direction, but Jha’s movie doesn’t follow that path.

Instead, Jha views all his female characters through the prism of sexual violence. When Dabloo gets in a physical altercation with a young woman he’s threatened to kill, he pauses to rape her first. Though Mathur is never directly threatened with rape, Dabloo make vulgar gestures and comments in regard to her appearance.

There have already been so many Bollywood made about corruption in small town India, and Jha’s boring, disorganized story doesn’t break any new ground.


Opening March 4: Jai Gangaajal

Quantico‘s Priyanka Chopra plays a different kind of law enforcement officer in Jai Gangaajal, opening in Chicago area theaters on March 4, 2016.

Jai Gangaajal opens on Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 25 min.

Neerja carries over for a third week at all three of the above theaters, plus the AMC Showplace Village Crossing 18 in Skokie. MovieMax also holds over Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive for a second week.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Kalyana Vaibhogame (Telugu) at the Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, plus seven other films at MovieMax: Monsoon Mangoes (Malayalam), Pokkiri Raja (Tamil), Kshanam (Telugu), Maheshinte Prathikaaram (Malayalam), Puthiya Niyamam (Malayalam), Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha (Telugu w/no subtitles), and Action Hero Biju (Malayalam).