Even with so many good titles now on Netflix — Shanghai, Company, and the underrated comedy The Shaukeens among them — the new addition I am most excited about is the batshit crazy 2003 crime caper Boom. Katrina Kaif’s film debut costars Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, a Bo Derek-obsessed Amitabh Bachchan, and Jackie Shroff, whose character has a secretary that lives under his desk. You have to see Boom to believe it, it’s just that insane.
For everything else new on Netflix — Bollywood or not — check out Instant Watcher.
Golmaal Again extended its lead on Secret Superstar in the films’ second weekend in North American theaters, thanks to its popularity in Canada. From October 27-29, 2017, Golmaal Again earned $499,717 from 230 theaters ($2,173 average), bringing its total earnings to $1,858,958. During the same weekend, Secret Superstar earned $445,789 from 162 theaters ($2,752 average), raising its total to $1,536,637.
A little digging reveals the huge boost Canada is giving to Golmaal Again. Based on the weekend’s earnings above, Golmaal Again out-earned Secret Superstar by a total of $53,928. However, Golmaal Again‘s advantage in the United States was just $3,427, even though it played in 67 more theaters than Secret Superstar. In Canada — where Golmaal Again showed in just one more theater than Secret Superstar — the comedy sequel earned $50,501 more than the coming-of-age musical drama! The overall advantage Golmaal Again has over Secret Superstar is virtually the same in both countries: $165,418 in the US and $156,900 in Canada.
TLDR: Canadians like Golmaal Again a lot more than Secret Superstar.
Judwaa 2 earned $245 over the weekend from one Canadian theater, per Bollywood Hungama, which didn’t report any US earnings for the film for a second weekend in a row. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan took in $150 from one US theater in its ninth weekend of release.
Both of the Hindi movies released in time for Diwali did very well in North America over the weekend of October 20-22, 2017. Not surprisingly, the film showing in more theaters — Golmaal Again — fared the better of the two, earning $1,003,569 from 288 theaters ($3,485 average; adjusted average of $3,787 from 265 theaters*). Using the 265 theater count that Box Office Mojo reports for the film, Golmaal Again did vastly better in Canada than the United States, averaging $9,233 in 23 Canadian theaters versus $3,269 in 242 US theaters. Golmaal Again improved on Golmaal 3‘s North American opening weekend haul of $626,432 from 86 theaters in 2010, made possible by tripling the number of theaters. (Update: Per Gitesh Pandya, Reliance reports weekend earnings for Golmaal Again of $1,013,893 from 267 theaters).
Secret Superstar also turned in a good performance over the weekend, earning $754,185 from 207 theaters ($3,643 average; adjusted average of $4,121 from 183 theaters). The difference in per-theater averages between Canada and the US was less stark for Secret Superstar: $5,281 at 24 Canadian theaters versus $3,946 at 159 US theaters. Secret Superstar got a jump on Golmaal Again by releasing on Thursday, October 19, and the $60,632 it earned on Thursday brings its total earnings thus far to $814,817.
Among North American cinema owners, none can be happier than the owners of the four Canadian theaters that showed the Tamil movie Mersal over the weekend, averaging earnings of $36,735 per theater. The film’s total earnings across the US and Canada stand at $1,347,387 since its Tuesday, October 17 release.
Bollywood Hungama failed to report US earnings for Judwaa 2, which took in $5,715 from three Canadian theaters over the weekend. Box Office Mojo reports total earnings of $1,431,255 for Judwaa 2 thus far.
Other Bollywood movies still showing in US theaters:
Chef: Week 3; $114 from one theater; $94,085 total
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan: Week 8; $110 from one theater; $689,874 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.
Two new Hindi films open in the Chicago area for Diwali weekend. Secret Superstar — featuring Aamir Khan opposite his Dangal daughter, Zaira Wasim — gets a head start, hitting theaters on Thursday, October 19, 2017.
Then on Friday, October 20, Golmaal Again joins the festivities. The fourth film in the franchise adds Tabu and Parineeti Chopra to a large returning cast, led by Ajay Devgn and Arshad Warsi. I watched the second film, Golmaal Returns, and that was enough for me.
Golmaal Again opens Friday at the Round Lake Beach 18, MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Cantera 17, Woodridge 18, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, and AMC Dine-In Rosemont 18 in Rosemont. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 40 min.
Judwaa 2 gets a fourth week at the South Barrington 24.
Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:
Absent competition from any new Bollywood releases, Judwaa 2 led the North American box office for a third straight weekend. From October 13-15, 2017, the comedy reboot earned $101,341 from 125 theaters ($811 average), becoming just the fifth Hindi film of the year to earn more than $100,000 in its third weekend of release. Its current total of $1,392,946 ranks Judwaa 2 in ninth place for the year.
Another bit of happy news (on a much more modest scale) is that Bareilly Ki Barfi posted the highest ninth-weekend earnings of the year, by a long shot. The $1,409 the romantic comedy earned from two theaters ($705 average) beat out Baahubali 2‘s Weekend 9 earnings of $726 from three theaters and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha‘s $120 from one theater — quite the feat for a movie whose widest release was 44 theaters! Bareilly Ki Barfi‘s total stands at $572,298.
Chef fared poorly in its second weekend in North America, earning $10,920 from 23 theaters ($475 average), bringing its total to $91,878.
Other Hindi movies still showing in the United States:
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan: Week 7; $819 from one theater; $629,427 total
Simran: Week 5; $505 from one theater; $405,394 total
Tu Hai Mera Sunday: Week 2; $441 from five theaters; $88 average; $4,694 total
Bhoomi: Week 4; $374 from two theaters; $187 average; $72,297 total
Toilet — Ek Prem Katha: Week 10; $53 from one theater; $1872,300 total
Also new this weekend is the football comedy Tu Hai Mera Sunday (“You Are My Sunday“), featuring Shahana Goswami. The movie opens Friday at all three of the above listed theaters. It has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 59 min.
Judwaa 2 is less of a true sequel to 1997’s Judwaa than a reboot, switching out Salman Khan in the lead role for Varun Dhawan (son of the director of both films, David Dhawan). Unlike a lore-heavy fantasy or superhero flick, watching the original Judwaa isn’t a prerequisite for watching Judwaa 2.
The reboot opens with Mr. Malhotra (Sachin Khedekar) flying home for the birth of his twin sons. A seemingly friendly fellow passenger named Charles (Zakir Hussain) slips some contraband into Malhotra’s bag, but Malhotra has already alerted the police, who attempt to apprehend Charles when he shows up at the hospital to collect his goods.
Charles escapes with one of the newborn baby boys as a hostage, accidentally dropping him on some train tracks. Charles blows up a building, lying that the boy was inside and vowing to come back some day for Malhotra’s other son. This seems like a disproportionate revenge response given that the police were already on to Charles and Malhotra just made their job a little easier.
As the cops haul Charles away and Malhotra grieves for the son he believes to be dead, a train bears down on the dropped baby. The boy — who will shortly be named Raja by the lady who discovers him — gets a metaphysical assist from his brother, Prem. The doctor who delivered the boys explained to the Malhotras that, because the boys were born attached at the arm (separated by a surgery that doesn’t even leave a scar, LOL), they share a connection that occurs “one in eight million” times. When the boys are within even a few miles of one another, they will feel each other’s emotions and physical sensations.
Sensing Raja’s fear at the oncoming train, Prem — displaying remarkable muscle control for a newborn — rolls to his side in his crib, causing Raja to roll safely off the tracks as the train passes by. The sequence is exactly as stupid as it sounds, made stupider by cheap-looking CGI.
The Malhotras flee to safety in London, where Prem grows up to be a wimpy nerd who is nevertheless built like a Mr. Universe contestant. Raja is a brash street urchin with a heart of gold who gets into trouble when he beats up rich guy Alex (Vivan Bhatena) for being a jerk. Raja and his adopted brother Nandu (Rajpal Yadav) flee to London to escape Alex’s wrath. Nandu is excited at the opportunity to sexually harass the air hostesses on the flight, and Raja hits on Alishka (Jacqueline Fernandez), the beautiful woman sitting next to him.
With the long-lost brothers finally in the same city, their metaphysical link reactivates. Raja feels the pain when a bully grabs Prem’s junk, and Prem slaps people when Raja gets into a fight. Prem also kisses his cute classmate Samaira (Taapsee Pannu) and her mother (Upasana Singh) when Raja smooches Alishka in an attempt to hide his face from the police.
While multiple Baahubali references root the story in the modern day, elements such as lazy plotting and the normalization of sexual harassment make Judwaa 2 feel out-of-date. There’s no reason why the gags involving the female love interests couldn’t have been updated to reflect the progressive direction many Hindi films have adopted regarding gender politics.
It’s a missed opportunity, considering the caliber of Judwaa 2‘s two leading ladies. Jacqueline Fernandez is perhaps Bollywood’s best female physical comedian. She sells every scene she’s in, no matter how silly she’s asked to be. If you can take your eyes off of her impressive dance moves, watch her expressive face during her song performances. She’s a total pro.
Taapsee Pannu’s performance is a reminder of her incredible versatility. She proved her dramatic chops in Pink and her action skills in Baby and its follow-up Naam Shabana, a spin-off created just for her. Judwaa 2 is a return to her roots in Hindi cinema; her debut film was the 2013 comedy Chashme Baddoor, also directed by David Dhawan. Judwaa 2 not only finds Pannu playing for laughs again, but dancing up a storm and flaunting a physique as impressive as any of her Bollywood contemporaries.
Varun Dhawan is charismatic in his double role, but there’s not much that we haven’t seen from him before. His resume is already heavy on comedies, and this isn’t one of the better ones. It’s not just the poor treatment of the female leads at his characters’ hands that makes Judwaa 2 feel like a throwback. There’s an offensive fight sequence involving a group of black men whom Raja refers to as “the West Indies team.” Raja repeatedly taunts them, ending his sentences with a Caribbean-accented “mon,” even though the men themselves say the word “man” with British accents.
Other than those issues, Judwaa 2 isn’t as morally problematic as it could have been (faint praise, indeed). The dance numbers are fun, and Fernandez and Pannu make more out of their roles than they’re given to work with. Judwaa 2 is a watchable movie, but not a memorable one.
Judwaa 2 led among the Hindi films showing in North America during the weekend of September 29-October 1, 2017. According to Rentrak figures supplied to Bollywood Hungama, Judwaa 2 opened in 213 theaters, earning $630,015 ($2,958 average). Box Office Mojo reports the movie as opening 192 theaters, improving Judwaa 2‘s per-theater average to $3,281.
Though Judwaa 2 posted the ninth best opening weekend gross of 2017, it opened in the sixth highest number of theaters and only had the thirteenth best opening weekend average for the year. Judwaa 2 also earned $200,000 less than star Varun Dhawan’s Badrinath Ki Dulhania did earlier this year, despite the fact that BKD opened in 20% fewer theaters (156, according to Box Office Mojo).
Another interesting aspect of Judwaa 2‘s performance over the weekend is its disproportionate popularity in Canada versus the United States. A full 20% of the film’s gross earnings ($127,042) came from Canada, which accounted for just 11% of the total number of theaters. But this isn’t the only recent release faring much better north of the border than south. Bhoomi earned a total of $5,597 from 14 theaters ($400 average) in its second weekend of release — $4,776 from Canada’s seven theaters and $821 from the US’s seven theaters. The total contributions from each country to date are roughly equal — $36,463 from the US and $33,906 from Canada — despite the fact that the movie opened in nearly three times as many theaters in the US (32) than Canada (11).
Like Bhoomi, all of the other Hindi titles still showing in North America posted weekend earnings of less than $10,000. Here’s how they fared:
Simran: Week 3; $7,431 from ten theaters; $743 average; $401,626 total