Tag Archives: Secret Superstar

Opening November 17: Tumhari Sulu

Vidya Balan plays a housewife-turned-radio-host in the comedy Tumhari Sulu, hitting Chicago area theaters November 17, 2017.

Tumhari Sulu opens Friday at the AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

Ittefaq carries over for a third week at the Cantera 17, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, and South Barrington 24, which also holds over Qarib Qarib Singlle. Secret Superstar gets a fifth week at the South Barrington 24, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and MovieMax, which gives a fifth week to Golmaal Again as well.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

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Bollywood Box Office: November 10-12, 2017

Qarib Qarib Singlle had a good opening weekend for a movie in somewhat limited release, but it wasn’t able to fend off a strong second weekend by Ittefaq. From November 10-12, 2017, Qarib Qarib Singlle earned $126,268 from 61 North American theaters ($2,070 average; adjusted average of $2,428 from 52 theaters*). Ittefaq bested that total with $152,956 from 66 theaters ($2,318 average; adjusted average of $3,122 from 49 theaters), bringing its total earnings after ten days to $563,374. Ittefaq‘s Weekend-1-to-Weekend-2 retention rate of 53% is fifth best for the year.

Secret Superstar finished third among Hindi films in North America for the weekend, earning $105,179 from 73 theaters ($1,441 average), enough to nudge its overall total across the $2 million mark to $2,051,162. Golmaal Again was next, with $66,612 from 58 theaters ($1,148 average). Golmaal Again has a comfortable lock on third place for the year so far — trailed by Secret Superstar in fourth — with total earnings of $2,292,508.

One theater in the United States carried Chefnow available on Heera! — earning $207 and bringing the movie’s North American total to $94,374.

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice 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.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening November 10: Qarib Qarib Singlle

One new Hindi film opens in the Chicago area on November 10, 2017, and no, I didn’t make a typo in the title. Irrfan Khan and Parvathy explore their past loves in Qarib Qarib Singlle (“Almost Single“).

Qarib Qarib Singlle opens Friday at the AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 5 min.

Secret Superstar gets a fourth week at all of the above theaters, plus the AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Ittefaq and Golmaal Again carry over at the South Barrington 24 and Cantera 17.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: November 3-5, 2017

Ittefaq faced stiff competition from Secret Superstar and Golmaal Again but still came out on top in North America during the weekend of November 3-5, 2017. According to Bollywood Hungama, the murder mystery earned $286,401 from 84 theaters ($3,410 average). As usual, that theater number counts Canadian theaters twice, putting the actual theater count at 67, thus making the average $4,275 (thanks to Gitesh Pandya from Box Office Guru for confirming the theater count). Box Office Mojo reports a slightly higher total of $298,032. It’s the 17th best opening weekend performance of the year, even though Ittefaq only ranks 26th in terms of opening weekend theater counts (using Bollywood Hungama’s figures).

Secret Superstar finished in second place among Hindi films in North America over the weekend, earning $214,141 from 112 theaters ($1,912 average). That’s the second-best third-weekend total for the year, behind only Baahubali 2. Secret Superstar‘s total earnings of $1,870,880 rank it in seventh place for the year, but by the time of this post’s publication, Secret Superstar will have already pushed past Toilet: Ek Prem Katha into sixth place. It’d be fun to see this earn enough to become the sixth Hindi/multi-lingual Indian film of 2017 to earn more than $2 million in North America.

Speaking of $2 million movies, Golmaal Again just became one. Weekend earnings of $178,191 from 130 theaters ($1,371 average) helped Golmaal Again lock up third place for the year with a total of $2,162,962.

The only other Hindi film showing in the United States over the weekend was Ribbon, which debuted with the worst opening-weekend average of the year so far, worse even than Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai‘s $156 per-theater average. According to Sumit Chadha, Ribbon earned $1,585 from 12 theaters for an average of $132 per theater. Yikes. Just…yikes. Update: Ribbon‘s total was revised upward to $1,639, raising its average to $137.

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

Opening November 3, 2017: Ittefaq and Ribbon

Two smaller releases throw their hats into the ring following two weeks of Diwali blockbuster dominance. The multiple-perspective murder mystery Ittefaq — starring Sonakshi Sinha, Sidharth Malhotra, and Akshaye Khanna — opens in 67 North American theaters on November 3, 2017, including three theaters in the Chicago area.

Ittefaq opens Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a tantalizingly brief runtime of 1 hr. 40 min.

Also new at MovieMax this Friday is the romantic drama Ribbon, starring Kalki Koechlin and Sumeet Vyas. It has a similarly short runtime of 1 hr. 46 min.

Secret Superstar gets a third week at all three of the above theaters, plus the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Golmaal Again also holds over for a third week at the River East 21, MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Cantera 17, and Woodridge 18.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Movie Review: Secret Superstar (2017)

3.5 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the soundtrack at iTunes

Uplifting songs and a goofy cameo by Aamir Khan cushion the hard-hitting elements of Secret Superstar, which carefully addresses domestic abuse in a film meant for families. It’s an impressive debut by writer-director Advait Chandan.

Right away, we sense that 15-year-old Insia (Zaira Wasim) has bigger problems than her upcoming music competition and her nosy little brother, Guddu (Kabir Sajid Shaikh). Insia’s mother Najma (Meher Vij) is the only person on the train platform wearing sunglasses when she arrives to pick her daughter up from a class trip. As Insia suspects, Najma is concealing a black eye, courtesy of Insia’s father, Farookh (Raj Arjun).

Though Farookh primarily reserves physical violence for his wife, his anger controls every member of the household. Insia is a talented singer and songwriter, but Farookh considers music frivolous. He’d rather she not even enter a singing contest she’d likely win, if it means having to travel to Mumbai for the final round.

Farookh’s job interview in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, provides Najma, Insia, and Guddu with a brief respite from his wrath. They use the opportunity to set up an online identity for Insia using a covertly purchased laptop. Insia’s songs become a sensation on YouTube, in part because she records them while concealing her identity under a niqab and posting under the intriguing moniker: Secret Superstar.

As fame and fortune become a real possibility for Insia, the unfairness of her reality intrudes. She’s her little brother’s protector, and her mother’s as well, to the degree that she’s able. The truth is her father would rather have his daughter live by his rules, even if it means forsaking money the family needs. Allowing Insia to pursue her dreams for her own sake would never occur to him.

Secret Superstar is particularly effective at depicting the fraught relationship between mother and daughter. Insia resents her mother for staying with an abusive husband and endangering them all. The girl is partially correct — Najma is better equipped for endurance than daring — but Insia’s immaturity limits her perspective. Najma is illiterate, giving her good reason to worry about her ability to care for her children on her own. Besides, Najma is a safer target for Insia’s frustration than the real perpetrator, her father.

Insia has two important allies. First is Chintan (Tirth Sharma), a nice boy at her school with a crush on her. Since he has a cell phone and she doesn’t, Chintan becomes Insia’s link to her second ally: movie music producer Shakti Kumar (Aamir Khan). Blackballed by the industry following an adultery scandal, Shakti is in desperate need of a singer for his new film, and he hopes that Secret Superstar can put him back on top again.

Wasim played Khan’s daughter in 2016’s box office smash Dangal, and the affection the actors share is apparent in their scenes together. That bond helps to integrate Khan’s character into the story, where he serves as comic relief, while also being the only adult in whose presence Insia is truly physically safe. Her home is filled with violence, her school practices corporal punishment, and her tutor ignores the girl’s obvious terror and insists that Insia have her father sign a failed quiz. Shakti doesn’t just offer her hope for the future — he protects her in the present.

Everyone in the cast excels in their roles. Khan is funny and sincere. Sharma is gawky and adorable, and Shaikh is just cute, period. Arjun terrifies even when he’s not raising a fist. But Secret Superstar belongs to Wasim and Vij. Wasim has the presence of a much older and more experienced actress. The quality of the work she’s done in her first two films — which she completed before she even turned seventeen — is remarkable. Vij is likewise captivating and moving in her part, and she and Wasim work beautifully together.

The soundtrack of Secret Superstar — with songs written by Amit Trivedi and sung by Meghna Mishra — suits the film well in that it sounds lyrically and musically like it could have been created by a teenage girl on her guitar. In a clever bit of character-development-by-way-of-musical-arrangement, the song “Main Kaun Hoon” starts as an acoustic YouTube recording session in Insia’s bedroom, only to be re-orchestrated mid-song as she daydreams of performing onstage at an awards show. It’s clever and makes the music more dynamic.

Moviegoers squeamish about violence should know that little contact is shown, with director Chandan instead focusing on the aftereffects (both physical and emotional). Secret Superstar is not to be missed.

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Bollywood Box Office: October 27-29, 2017

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.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama