Tag Archives: Mission Mangal

Bollywood Box Office: September 13-15, 2019

Dream Girl had a great opening weekend in North America, especially considering its modest theater count. From September 13-16, 2019, Ayushmann Khurrana’s latest comedy earned $717,458 from 116 theaters ($6,185 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. That average ranks fourth best for the year among opening weekend per-screen averages.

At the other end of the spectrum, Section 375 opened with less-than-stellar results. The courtroom drama took in $52,610 from 50 theaters ($1,052 average). That’s the ninth worst opening weekend per-screen average among the 38 Hindi films to release here this year.

Chhichhore had a terrific first-to-second weekend holdover of 73%, earning $449,240 from 195 theaters ($2,304 average), according to Box Office Mojo. Its total stands at $1,347,815.

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Mission Mangal: Week 5; $41,381 from 43 theaters; $962 average; $3,644,155 total
  • Saaho: Week 3; $31,534 from 45 theaters; $701 average; $3,215,975 total
  • Batla House: Week 5; $251 from one theater; $543,207 total

Sources: 143 Cinema, Bollywood Hungama, and Box Office Mojo

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Opening September 13: Dream Girl and Section 375

Two new Hindi films hit Chicago area theaters September 13, 2019, including Ayushmann Khurrana’s latest comedy — Dream Girl.

Dream Girl opens Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 17 min. Dream Girl‘s streaming partner is Zee5, which is not available in the United States, so catch it in the theater while you can.

Also new is the courtroom drama Section 375, named for the portion of the Indian Penal Code that governs rape. It stars Richa Chadda and Akshaye Khanna.

Section 375 opens Friday at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 4 min. Section 375 is scheduled to join Amazon Prime in November.

Chhichhore carries over for a second week at the River East 21, MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Cantera, CMX Old Orchard Market in Skokie, AMC Niles 12 in Niles, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, and AMC Naperville 16 in Naperville.

Saaho holds over in Hindi at the Niles 12, South Barrington 24, and Cantera, and in Telugu at the South Barrington 24, Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge.

Mission Mangal gets a fifth week at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Cantera, and AMC Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend (all films have English subtitles):

Bollywood Box Office: September 6-8, 2019

Chhichhore had a nice opening weekend in North America. From September 6-8, 2019, the comedy-drama earned $614,335 from 195 theaters ($3,150 average), according to Box Office Mojo. Such a wide opening-weekend release — the eighth highest theater count for the year so far — may have been a touch ambitious, given that it posted the sixteenth highest opening weekend average. Still, it should clear $1 million here, no problem.

Saaho fell off dramatically in its second weekend, pulling in less than 15% of what it made in its opening weekend. The action flick earned $216,800 from 225 theaters — an average of just $964 per theater, according to Bollywood Hungama. Its total stands at $3,090,643, slotting it in at fourth place for the year so far among Hindi films and multilingual releases.

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Mission Mangal: Week 4; $111,158 from 94 theaters; $1,183 average; $3,570,506 total
  • Batla House: Week 4; $4,047 from six theaters; $675 average; $542,042 total

Sources: 143 Cinema, Bollywood Hungama, and Box Office Mojo

Opening September 6: Chhichhore

The decade-spanning Hindi drama Chhichhore opens in Chicago area theaters on September 6, 2019.

Chhichhore opens Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC Niles 12 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Regal Cantera in Warrenville, and AMC Naperville 16 in Naperville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 23 min. Chhichhore‘s streaming video partner is Hotstar.

Saaho carries over for a second week at the following theaters in two languages:

Telugu — MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Marcus Addison, Naperville 16, Century 12 Evanston in Evanston, Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, Cinemark Tinseltown USA in North Aurora, and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge

Hindi — River East 21, MovieMax, Niles 12, Cantera, and AMC Woodridge 18 in Woodridge

Mission Mangal gets a fourth week at the River East 21, MovieMax, Cantera, Naperville 16, Woodridge 18, Regal Round Lake Beach in Round Lake Beach, and South Barrington 24, which also holds over Balta House.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend (all films have English subtitles):

Bollywood Box Office: August 30-September 1, 2019

Prabhas’s multilingual action thriller Saaho earned a lot of money in its opening weekend in North America: $1,447,349 from 381 theaters ($3,799 average) across all language versions of the film, according to Box Office Mojo. Thursday preview showings accounted for another $923,677, and Monday’s Labor Day holiday earnings of $255,258 brought its five-day total to $2,626,284. 35% of its total earnings came from its Thursday showings, which didn’t start until the afternoon (4:30 p.m. here in Chicago).

Mission Mangal closed out its third weekend with $375,143 from 151 theaters ($2,484 average), bringing its total to $3,316,146.

Also in its third week, Batla House earned $29,882 from 22 theaters ($1,358 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. That brings its total to $523,112.

Sources: 143 Cinema, Bollywood Hungama, and Box Office Mojo

Opening August 30: Saaho

The multilingual thriller Saaho — starring Baahubali‘s Prabhas opposite Shraddha Kapoor — hits Chicago area theaters on Friday, August 30, with preview shows starting on Thursday, August 29 at 4:30 p.m. The action film was shot simultaneously in Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil.

I’ve listed the various formats and what Chicago area theaters are carrying them below:

IMAX: AMC Niles 12 in Niles (Hindi), AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington (Telugu and Hindi), AMC Naperville 16 in Naperville (Hindi), and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge (Telugu)

Hindi: Niles 12, South Barrington 24, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, Regal Cantera in Warrenville, and AMC Woodridge 18 in Woodridge

Telugu: MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Seven Bridges, Century 12 Evanston in Evanston, Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, and Cinemark Tinseltown USA in North Aurora

Tamil: Century 12 Evanston, MovieMax, Tinseltown USA, and Seven Bridges

The movie is also showing at the Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, but they haven’t listed the language. The employee I talked to at the theater didn’t know either. Saaho is coming to Netflix in November (probably, dependent upon regional streaming rights).

Mission Mangal carries over for a third week at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Cantera, Naperville 16, Woodridge 18, AMC River East 21 in Chicago, and Regal Round Lake Beach in Round Lake Beach.

Batla House also holds over at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend (all films have English subtitles):

Bollywood Box Office: August 23-25, 2019

Mission Mangal had a good second weekend in North America, earning $655,056 from 263 theaters ($2,491 average), according to Box Office Mojo. It closed out the weekend with $2,713,267 in total earnings, good enough for fifth place among Hindi films in North America this year. Monday earnings from the United States alone pushed it past Kalank into fourth place. It needs another $181,000 to overtake Bharat for third place.

Batla House also held up very well, with $102,989 from 62 theaters ($1,661 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. It has total earnings of $446,385 so far.

Other Hindi movies still playing in US theaters:

  • Super 30: Week 7; $413 from one theater; $2,322,834 total
  • Jabariya Jodi: Week 3; $296 from one theater; $109,809 total

Sources: Bollywood Hungama and Box Office Mojo

Movie Review: Mission Mangal (2019)

1.5 Stars (out of 4)

Mission Mangal (“Mission Mars“) got worse the more I thought about it. While in the theater, I rolled my eyes at the film’s outdated takes on gender roles, but I found it generally enjoyable. Upon further reflection, the enormity of the opportunity missed to present an inspirational, empowering story feels too big to ignore.

In 2014, India became the fourth country to reach Mars, and the only one to do so on its first try. Photos of sari-clad women engineers in the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) gained global attention, forcing people around the world to challenge their preconceptions of what a scientist is supposed to look like.

A fictional story inspired by that real-life feat, Mission Mangal feels less revolutionary that the actual event. The contributions of women engineers are viewed through a patriarchal lens that insists on centering male characters. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise, since the man playing the film’s main male protagonist — Akshay Kumar — is also one of the movie’s producers.

Kumar’s female co-lead is Vidya Balan, whose character Tara is introduced first. She bustles about the house on the morning of a rocket launch, praying for success, cooking breakfast, and trying to rouse her teenage children. Her husband Sunil (Sanjay Kapoor) asks her to bring him a cup of tea instead of getting up to get it himself, despite knowing how pressed she is for time.

The launch goes awry, due to Tara’s misjudgement in her role as Project Manager. Her boss Rakesh (Kumar) takes the blame and is reassigned to a project considered doomed from the start: getting an Indian satellite into orbit around Mars. Rakesh tells the head of ISRO (played by Vikram Gokhale) that he suspects it’s his superior’s way of telling him to finally retire, marry, and start a family, but Rakesh loves India and science too damned much to do that. The conversation is a message to the audience that Rakesh will undergo zero character development during the course of the film.

Eager to make up for her mistake, Tara joins Rakesh’s Mars team. Their first problem is how to get the satellite out of Earth’s gravitational pull using a minimal amount of fuel. Tara cracks it by equating it to cooking: oil stays hot enough to fry food even after the gas is turned off, meaning their rocket need only burn fuel in intervals, not continuously. The ISRO board approves, and suddenly the project doesn’t seem doomed after all.

Rakesh and Tara round out their team with various specialists, including four women who each fill a spot on the film’s limited spectrum of possible female life options. Eka (Sonakshi Sinha) is single and eager to move to the United States. Kritika (Taapsee Pannu) is married to a soldier. Varsha (Nithya Menen) is married and pregnant. Neha (Kirti Kulhari) is initially described by Rakesh as attractive — gross, he’s her boss — but she is de-sexualized as soon as her colleagues learn that she is Muslim and divorced. She becomes a surrogate daughter to one of the two men on the team, Ananth (H. G. Dattatreya), whose own adult son lives abroad. There’s also Parmeshwar (Sharman Joshi), a superstitious virgin who gets too much screentime.

As the team’s timeline and budget shrink, they must innovate ways to get their satellite to Mars cheaper, lighter, and faster than any space organization has done before. We see how their careers and personal lives intersect — except for Rakesh, who only exists when in the presence of his colleagues.

Tara’s work-life balance subplot is the most developed and the most frustrating. Tara is responsible for managing her household by herself. Her husband Sunil is emotionally disconnected from his children. He refuses to do tasks he considers beneath him, such as waiting in line to pay an electricity bill. The film doesn’t challenge his behavior, instead presenting it as just another problem for Tara to work around. His position as head of the family is unquestioned, despite his unfitness for the role and his disinterest in it.

Sunil’s behavior fits with an overall viewpoint on gender parity that — despite its progressive veneer — makes Mission Mangal feel as though it was written by a Tim Allen sitcom character. Sunil doesn’t pay the electric bill and the family loses power, and it’s treated as a joke, instead of either a failing that jeopardizes the family’s quality of life or a deliberate act of negligence to get him out of having to do it in the future. He’s gotta be a good guy at heart since he lets his wife work, right?

This attitude infects the workplace as well. Rakesh views Tara’s ingenuity as cute, making her demonstrate their propulsion idea by frying bread in the boardroom. When she suggests using parts from an abandoned ISRO project as a way to save money, Rakesh grins to his boss and says, “Women, sir. They don’t waste anything.” There’s a needless fight sequence in which the women engineers hit some goons with their purses that is not as funny as the filmmakers think it is.

Kritika’s and Varsha’s husbands are supportive of their wives’ careers, but they appear only in cameos (by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Purab Kohli, respectively). They aren’t in the movie long enough to balance out the more regressive characters — which includes Parmeshwar, who spends the whole time hitting on his colleague, Eka.

Maybe things would’ve felt more balanced if there had been more than one woman (Nidhi Singh Dharma) on the writing or directing staff. The story moves along at a decent clip, and the characters are well-acted. The space travel elements are explained in novel ways for a general audience, and Mission Mangal‘s computer-generated effects are decent. Still, the source material is too good to result in a film this mediocre.

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In Theaters: August 23, 2019

After a terrific opening weekend, the drama Mission Mangal carries over at the following Chicago area theaters the weekend beginning Friday, August 23, 2019: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Round Lake Beach in Round Lake Beach, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Regal Cantera in Warrenville, AMC Naperville 16 in Naperville, and AMC Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. Mission Mangal is slated to join the streaming service Hotstar in October.

Balta House also gets a second week at the River East 21, MovieMax, and South Barrington 24. It makes its streaming debut on Amazon Prime in October.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend (all films have English subtitles):

Bollywood Box Office: August 16-18, 2019

Mission Mangal had the second best opening weekend for a Bollywood movie in North America this year. From August 16-18, 2019, the space drama earned $1,365,006 from 263 theaters ($5,190 average), according to Box Office Mojo. Adding in the film’s Thursday earnings brings Mission Mangal‘s 4-day total to $1,522,399.

Batla House fared pretty well in its opening weekend as well, especially considering the strength of its competition. The John Abraham thriller earned $208,671 from 80 theaters ($2,608 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. Batla House‘s Thursday earnings bring its 4-day total to $223,018.

The two new films crushed every other Hindi movie playing in the United States over the weekend. Jabariya Jodi‘s business cratered in its second weekend, falling by 95%. The romantic comedy earned just $3,919 from 13 theaters ($301 average), bringing its total to $107,645.

Other Hindi movies still in US theaters:

  • Super 30: Week 6; $1,211 from three theaters; $404 average; $2,322,115 total
  • Judgementall Hai Kya: Week 4; $105 from two theaters; $53 average; $529,689 total

Sources: 143 Cinema, Bollywood Hungama, and Box Office Mojo