Tag Archives: Raees

Streaming Video News: May 2, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with two new additions to the catalog. Amitabh & Rekha’s 1977 film Alaap is now available for streaming, as is Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. Prime now has two 2018 theatrical releases — SKTKS and Padmaavat — in its catalog, while Netflix has none (although it is the exclusive home of Love Per Square Foot). Oh, and Eros Now has Mukkabaaz.

We’re approaching the time of year when we can expect to see 2018 theatrical releases show up on streaming services more regularly. On May 26 of last year, Netflix added Raees, and Amazon’s Heera (R.I.P.) added Commando 2. Two more 2017 titles showed up in June before things really picked up in July. If there’s a movie you missed seeing in the theater earlier this year, you may not have to wait much longer before you can watch it from the comfort of home.

For everything else new on Amazon Prime — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

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Streaming Video News: May 26, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with a major new addition to the catalog. Shah Rukh Khan’s 2017 gangster drama Raees is now available for streaming. It’s not my favorite SRK film, but it has its moments. For everything else new on Netflix (Bollywood or not), check Instant Watcher.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Heera with two new additions, including another 2017 theatrical release — Commando 2! The plot is crazy, but Vidyut Jammwal action movies are always fun. The second new addition to Heera is 2016’s Dev Bhoomi: Land of the Gods. I’m not sure if Amazon’s deal with Cinestaan applies to the US as well as India, but the addition of Dev Bhoomi could presage the eventual addition of Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut A Death in the Gunj to Heera. We’ll have to wait and see.

I made one addition to my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime as well. The documentary Faith Connections — which director Pan Nalin made before Angry Indian Goddesses — is now available for streaming.

Bollywood Box Office: March 3-5, 2017

The weekend of March 3-5, 2017, provided two more cautionary tales of the difficult path to North American box office success for Bollywood movies without A-list stars. The action sequel Commando 2 fared the better of the new releases, earning $40,611 from 49 theaters ($829 average). The romantic drama Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai had the worst opening weekend of the year so far for a Hindi film in North America, earning just $6,539 from 42 theaters ($156 average).

These lackluster performances come two weeks after both Irada and Running Shaadi failed to earn $15,000 in their opening weekend in the United States and Canada. Given that JIKNH had the least star-power of the four films, its position at the bottom of the heap makes sense. Still, it speaks to the star-driven nature of movie attendance here that Commando 2 wasn’t able to earn more than it did. As a sequel, it had a preexisting fanbase that — while not huge — was enthusiastic for its release. With forty theaters in the US and nine in Canada, access to the film wasn’t a problem. Yet those factors weren’t enough to earn the six figures that would’ve marked the film a success. Commando 2‘s returns help to define the earning potential for Bollywood movies without A-list stars here, and that potential isn’t very high.

In its second weekend in theaters, business for Rangoon dropped nearly 80% from its opening weekend. That’s not as catastrophic as it might sound, but it’s not good, either. Rangoon earned $64,047 from 68 theaters ($942 average), bringing its total to $471,186. A few more days will push that total past $500,000, making it director Vishal Bhardwaj’s most successful film in North America to feature a female lead.

Other Bollywood movies showing in North American theaters:

  • The Ghazi Attack (all languages): Week 3; $30,118 from seventeen theaters; $1,772 average; $749,957 total
  • Raees: Week 6; $273 from one theater; $3,631,911 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: February 24-26, 2017

Rangoon opened to okay numbers in North America. During the weekend of February 24-26, 2017, the World War II drama earned $310,077 from 114 theaters, average earnings of $2,720 per theater. This is not an atypical performance for a film by director Vishal Bhardwaj here, especially when his movies center upon a female lead character as opposed to a male lead character. His two other female-led movies — 2011’s 7 Khoon Maaf and 2013’s Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola — posted opening weekend earnings of $164,153 and $338,726, respectively, and both finished with total earnings of less than $500,000. By contrast, Bhardwaj’s films about male lead characters — 2006’s Omkara, 2009’s Kaminey, and 2014’s Haider — all opened better ($427,400; $726,834; and $538,999, respectively) and all finished their North American runs with earnings in excess of $1 million.

The Ghazi Attack turned in the second best performance for an Indian film in North America over the weekend. In its second weekend of release, it earned $109,045 from 74 theaters ($1,474 average), bringing its total earnings to $678,013. I suspect most theaters have stopped carrying the Hindi version of the film, and that the weekend’s earnings are attributable almost exclusively to the Telugu version.

The two other Hindi films in their second weekend of release did god-awful business here. Irada earned $147 from three theaters ($49 average), bringing its total to $19,112, while Running Shaadi took in $110 from two theaters ($55 average), bringing its total to $15,428. Jeepers.

Other Bollywood movies still in North American theaters:

  • Jolly LLB 2: Week 3; $75,423 from 57 theaters; $1,323 average; $1,630,972 total
  • Raees: Week 5; $7,837 from eight theaters; $980 average; $3,629,128 total
  • Dangal: Week 10; $2,575 from two theaters; $1,288 average; $12,357,576 total
  • Kaabil: Week 5; $259 from two theaters; $130 average; $1,412,501 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: February 17-19, 2017

Hindi films without A-list stars always face challenges at the North American box office, but February 17-19, 2017, seemed to be an especially difficult weekend for smaller titles. Here’s how the three new releases fared during the weekend in the United States and Canada:

  • The Ghazi Attack [combined earnings for Hindi, Telugu, & Tamil-dubbed versions]: $394,269 from 89 theaters* ($4,430 average); total including Thursday previews = $439,772
  • Irada: $13,134 from 31 theaters ($424 average)
  • Running Shaadi: $10,260 from 58 theaters ($177 average)

*Here’s my weekly caveat that my main source, Bollywood Hungama, often counts the Canadian theaters twice in their opening weekend totals. The correct theater counts as confirmed by Sumit Chadha (and the adjusted averages) are as follows: The Ghazi Attack — 90 theaters, $4,381 avg.; Irada — 27 theaters, $486 avg.; Running Shaadi — 51 theaters, $201 avg.

Though The Ghazi Attack fared well, the figures for Irada and Running Shaadi are unmistakably bad. However, it’s worth pointing out a couple of mitigating factors at work this weekend. First, there are presently seven Hindi films showing in the US. Here’s how the older releases fared at the box office over the weekend:

  • Jolly LLB 2: Week 2; $345,480 from 190 theaters; $1,818 average; (*166 theaters, $2,081 avg.); $1,408,472 total
  • Raees: Week 4; $38,169 from 18 theaters; $2,121 average; $3,595,707 total
  • Kaabil: Week 4; $10,185 from ten theaters; $1,019 average; $1,409,691 total
  • Dangal: Week 9; $4,840 from four theaters; $1,210 average; $12,340,930 total

Not only did the new releases face stiff competition from Jolly LLB 2 — which held on to almost half of its opening weekend earnings in its second weekend — the three oldest releases also had better per-theater average earnings than either Irada or Running Shaadi.

However, competition isn’t the whole story. According to Box Office Mojo, business at the overall North American box office was down over 20% from the previous weekend, and the share of business for Indian and Pakistani films in North America dropped by roughly the same percentage. Whether due to a hangover following high-profile Hollywood and Bollywood releases last weekend or unseasonably warm weather in big markets like New York and Chicago drawing people outdoors, this was a tough weekend for new releases across the board.

Sources: Sumit Chadha, Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening February 17: Running Shaadi, Irada, and The Ghazi Attack

Three(!) new Hindi films open in Chicago area theaters on February 17, 2017. The new movie getting the widest local release is the romantic-comedy Running Shaadi, starring Amit Sadh and the omnipresent Taapsee Pannu.

Running Shaadi opens Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 55 min.

Also new this weekend is the eco-thriller Irada, starring Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah. It opens Friday at MovieMax and the South Barrington 30 and has a runtime of 1 hr. 49 min.

The third new film of the weekend is the submarine drama The Ghazi Attack, which stars Taapsee Pannu (again) opposite Rana Daggubati, Kay Kay Menon, and Atul Kulkarni. The film — alternatively titled Ghazi — was shot simultaneously in both Hindi and Telugu, and both (English subtitled) versions are showing at Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge and MovieMax, which also carries the Tamil-dubbed version of the film. The Ghazi Attack has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 3 min.

Last weekend’s big new release, Jolly LLB 2, gets a second week at all four of the theaters carrying Running Shaadi, plus the Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Raees gets a fourth week at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17.

Other Indian movies showing at MovieMax this weekend include Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol (Malayalam), Om Namo Venkatesaya (Telugu w/English subtitles), Singam 3 (Tamil w/English subtitles), Yamudu 3 (Telugu w/no subtitles), Nenu Local (Telugu w/English subtitles), Kirik Party (Kannada), and  Jomonte Suvisheshangal (Malayalam).

Bollywood Box Office: February 10-12, 2017

There’s something fascinating going on with Akshay Kumar’s box office returns in North America, and I’m not sure how to make sense of it. His latest film — Jolly LLB 2 — earned $743,719 from 197 theaters ($3,775 average) in the United States and Canada during its opening weekend of February 10-12, 2017. (Box Office Mojo lists the film as opening in 173 total theaters, making for an average of $4,299 per theater.) This total is consistent with the opening weekend returns of Kumar’s three 2016 releases — Airlift, Housefull 3, and Rustom — which ranged from $674,890 for Housefull 3 on the low-end and $815,933 for Airlift on the high-end. The only difference is that Jolly LLB 2 opened in sixty more theaters than Housefull 3, Kumar’s biggest release of last year, so one would’ve expected larger returns with Jolly LLB 2‘s wider release.

Here’s where things get weird. Kumar released four films in 2015: Baby, Gabbar is Back, Brothers, and Singh Is Bliing. Those four films opened in an average of 140 theaters — ranging from 99 for Baby to 181 for Brothers — so their opening weekend theatrical footprint was slightly larger than the average opening weekend theater count of 122 for his three 2016 releases (though still smaller than Jolly LLB 2‘s 197 theaters). The average total earnings for Kumar’s four 2015 releases was $721,024. Yet, Kumar’s three 2016 releases plus Jolly LLB 2 earned an average of $747,887 in their opening weekends! In the span of a year, Kumar became popular enough in North America than his films now earn the same amount in one weekend as they earned over their entire theatrical lifespan in 2015! How the heck does that happen?!

Those earnings aren’t just front-loaded, either. Kumar’s films have seen their box office longevity increase as well. In 2015, the average Kumar movie finished its theatrical run with a total that was 1.91 times the amount it earned in its opening weekend. In 2016, that average multiplier jumped to 2.26.

The other impressive anomaly at the North American box office this weekend is Dangal‘s performance in its eighth weekend in theaters. It earned $11,441 from six theaters ($1,907 average), bringing its total to $12,329,706. This is notable because Bollywood movies don’t earn more than $10,000 in a weekend by this point in their life-cycles. Even though Kapoor & Sons hung around theaters for ten weeks last spring, it stopped earning five figures after its sixth weekend.

Other Hindi movies showing in US and Canadian theaters:

  • Raees: Week 3; $105,069 from 63 theaters; $1,668 average; $3,508,519 total
  • Kaabil: Week 3; $40,343 from 34 theaters; $1,187 average; $1,373,722 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening February 10: Jolly LLB 2

Akshay Kumar takes over the lead role from Arshad Warsi in the comedy sequel Jolly LLB 2, which opens in Chicago area theaters on February 10, 2017. Inconsistent subtitles made the original Jolly LLB incomprehensible for the Hindi illiterate (like me), but I’m confident that won’t be an issue in the followup, which co-stars my girl Huma Qureshi.

Jolly LLB 2 opens Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 16 min.

Raees carries over for a third week at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, Woodridge 18, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Kaabil gets a third week at MovieMax and South Barrington 30, which also holds over Growing Up Smith.

The English-subtitled Pakistani romantic-comedy Balu Mahi debuts Friday at the South Barrington 30 and Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: February 3-5, 2017

2017 is just over a month old, and two Hindi films have already earned more than $1 million in the United States and Canada! Here’s how Bollywood movies fared in North American theaters during the weekend of February 3-5, 2017:

  • Raees: Week 2; $510,661 from 226 theaters; $2,260 average; $3,269,479 total
  • Kaabil: Week 2; $221,814 from 142 theaters; $1,562 average; $1,256,860 total
  • Dangal: Week 7; $35,899 from 15 theaters; $2,393 average; $12,312,239 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: January 27-29, 2017

There was a decisive winner in the first Bollywood box office battle of 2017. Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees bested the collections of Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil in North America by a factor of 3:1. During the weekend of January 27-29, 2017, Raees earned $1,742,565 from 289 theaters* ($6,030 average). Including collections from Wednesday and Thursday — both films opened on January 25 — Raees‘s total stands at $2,313,656.

Kaabil‘s total earnings since Wednesday are $781,064, with $631,923 of that coming from 253 theaters ($2,498 average) over the weekend.

The problem for Roshan isn’t that Kaabil failed to match Raees‘s earnings. It’s that this is the second consecutive box office showdown he’s lost. Last year, Roshan’s Mohenjo Daro finished second to Akshay Kumar’s Rustom despite opening in over 100 more theaters than Kumar’s film. In fact, Kaabil‘s opening weekend per-theater average of $2,498 is worse than Mohenjo Daro‘s $3,073 average. Even including earnings from Wednesday and Thursday, Kaabil‘s 5-day per-theater average is just $3,087. Given that Mohenjo Daro was widely derided as a flop, what does that make Kaabil?

Kaabil is going to earn more than $1 million here in the United States and Canada, which is good, but each battle lost diminishes Roshan’s perceived star-power. He’s not on the same level as the Three Khans, and last year’s battle shows him to be less popular here than Kumar at the moment. Even though Kaabil fared better in India relative to Raees, it still finished second. The scheduled Christmas, 2018 box office rematch between Roshan and Khan seems like another battle Roshan is destined to lose.

Other Hindi films still in North American theaters:

  • Dangal: Week 6; $77,817 from 30 theaters; $2,594 average; $12,255,617 total
  • OK Jaanu: Week 3; $131 from one theater; $351,054 total

*In the event that Bollywood Hungama’s North American theater figure actually counts Canadian theaters twice (as has happened in the past), the revised averages are $6,576 at 265 theaters for Raees and $2,772 at 228 theaters for Kaabil.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama