Tag Archives: Stree

Streaming Video News: June 21, 2019

Vacation’s over! I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with a bunch of new additions in the last two weeks. Besides lots of cartoons for kids, a trio of 2019 releases were just added: the Marathi film Luckee and the Hindi movies Rakkhosh and Luka Chuppi. Also new are the Netflix original series Leila and last year’s delighfully clever horror comedy Stree.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with more than 50 Indian titles added in the last two weeks. 2019 releases added include the Amazon original series Mind the Malhotras, Anu Menon’s standup comedy special Wonder Menon, and the following films:

Thanks to everyone who wished me well during my time off. It was great to spend time with my nieces and nephew. Have a great weekend! — Kathy

Best Bollywood Movies of 2018

In 2018, it feels like most of the Hindi films I reviewed fell into the “okay” category — not horrible but not necessarily outstanding either. Only five movies merited a star-rating of 3.5 or higher, and just five earned a star-rating of 1.5 or lower. (Obligatory critic’s disclaimer that star-ratings are convenient shorthand lacking context, so please read the reviews!) As a result, I’m only doing a Top 5 and Bottom 5 for 2018.

That said, I think the movies at the top of the list are fantastic for different reasons, and I’d love to revisit all of them someday. Let’s see what made the list!

[Note: I didn’t get to review Tumbbad until after I’d written this post. I’d rank it in second place for the year.]

One of the year’s most delightful surprises was the horror comedy Stree. I wasn’t even sure it was going to open in the United States, given that movies starring Stree‘s lead pair — Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor — aren’t locks for international release. Thank goodness it did, because Stree was a ton of fun, weaving hilarious moments with a progressive message discouraging male objectification of women.

While Stree was about how men view women, Veere Di Wedding was as woman-centric as can be. The female buddy comedy gave wider latitude to its characters than most women are allowed onscreen in Bollywood, and it did so while being positive and uplifting. I have a soft spot for movies about nice people behaving nicely, and Veere Di Wedding was just that.

A buddy film of a different sort, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero follows a trio of vigilantes and what happens when two of them abandon their revolutionary ideals in exchange for middle-class comfort. It’s a timely story of the importance of organized resistance and a rejection of complacency among financially secure citizens, in India and abroad.

In the runner-up spot for 2018 is the top-notch spy thriller Raazi, about a young woman forced to leave her homeland in order to save it. Raazi was another win for women in Hindi cinema–not just because of Alia Bhatt’s riveting performance in the lead role, but because of the two talented women behind the camera: screenwriter Bhavani Iyer and writer-director Meghna Gulzar.

Another thriller was my favorite Bollywood movie of 2018, and the only one to which I awarded 4 stars: director Sriram Raghavan’s fiendishly clever Andhadhun. Ayushmann Khurrana’s first $1 million movie of the year featured him as a blind pianist drawn into danger by a calculating trophy wife, played by a devilish Tabu. Radhika Apte plays Khurrana’s love interest, adding to the talent level of a cast directed by a filmmaker who’s cemented his position as Bollywood’s neo-noir master. Andhadhun is currently on Netflix in the United States, which is great for first-time watchers and those of us who can’t wait to watch it again.

Kathy’s Best Bollywood Movies of 2018

  1. Andhadhun — Buy at Amazon/stream on Netflix
  2. Raazi — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes/stream on Prime
  3. Bhavesh Joshi Superhero — Buy at Amazon/stream on Netflix
  4. Veere Di Wedding
  5. Stree

Previous Best Movies Lists

Bollywood Box Office: October 12-14, 2018

Andhadhun just did something incredible. In its second weekend of release, it earned more money than it did in its opening weekend! And on five fewer screens, no less! From October 12-14, 2018, Andhadhun earned $267,719 from 49 theaters in North America ($5,464 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. That’s almost $16,000 more than last weekend.

In the last decade, I found two other Hindi movies that also out-earned their opening weekend in their second weekend in North America, both in 2014 and both with mitigating factors. The Lunchbox had a slow theatrical rollout, starting out in three theaters and finally reaching its peak theater count of 176 in its ninth week of release. Queen — which employed a more traditional release strategy, like Andhadhun — also earned more in its second weekend, but it added eleven theaters to do so. The only other movies to come close — Kahaani and Pink, which held on to 97% and 99% of their opening weekend business in their second weekends, respectively — also added theaters after strong first weekends. For Andhadun to out-earn its opening weekend while actually losing theaters is a really big deal. Its total stands at $702,335.

The weekend’s lone new release, Helicopter Eela, failed to take off, bringing in $47,299 from 70 theaters in the United States and Canada. That’s a per-screen average of just $676.

Bollywood Hungama didn’t post data from the five Canadian theaters showing Sui Dhaaga: Made in India, but the film earned $34,067 from 40 US theaters ($852 average) in its third weekend of release. That means its total is somewhere north of the $1,101,594 we can officially account for.

Other Hindi movies still showing in North America:

  • Loveyatri: Week 2; $8,234 from 15 theaters; $549 average; $116,388 total
  • Stree: Week 7; $278 from two theaters; $139 average; $843,430 total

Source: Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: October 5-7, 2018

The weekend’s two new Hindi releases met very different fates at the North American box office, despite opening on approximately the same number of screens. From October 5-7, 2018, the romance Loveyatri earned $73,656 from 50 theaters ($1,473 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. During the same weekend, the thriller Andhadhun earned $251,942 from 54 theaters ($4,666 average). 143 Cinema reports even higher earnings for Andhadhun of $278,464, making for a per-screen average of $5,157. In terms of opening weekend per-screen average, Andhadhun ranks in 6th place for the year, with Loveyatri in 32nd place out of 45 Bollywood films released in North America.

Sui Dhaaga: Made in India held up well in its second weekend of release, retaining 37% of its opening weekend business. It earned $217,816 from 132 theaters ($1,650 average), bringing its North American total to $999,148. Pataakha‘s woes compounded as it lost 98% of its opening weekend business, with a second weekend total of $713 ($143 average). That’s the year’s worst holdover percentage among the 42 Bollywood movies that scored a second weekend here.

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Stree: Week 6; $10,717 from seven theaters; $1,531 average; $839,668 total
  • Batti Gul Meter Chalu: Week 3; $1,600 from three theaters; $533 average; $243,216 total
  • Manmarziyaan: Week 4; $638 from one theater; $563,015 total

Sources: 143 Cinema and Bollywood Hungama

Opening October 5: Andhadhun and Loveyatri

Two new Bollywood movies release in Chicago area theaters on October 5, 2018. First up is Andhadhun, a thriller with a dynamite cast that includes Ayushmann Khurrana, Radhika Apte, and Tabu.

Andhadhun opens Friday at MovieMax Cinemas 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.

The weekend’s other new release is Loveyatri, which was called Loveratri until a couple of weeks ago. It marks the film debuts of Warina Husssain and Salman Khan’s brother-in-law.

Loveyatri opens Friday at all three of the above theaters. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.

After a good opening weekend, Sui Dhaaga: Made in India carries over for a second week at all three of the above theaters, plus the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

The South Barrington 24 holds onto Stree and Batti Gul Meter Chalu, while MovieMax allots Pataakha two showings over the weekend.

On Thursday, October 11, director Vishal Bhardwaj will be in Chicago for a screening and panel discussion of his brilliant Hamlet adaptation Haider as part of the Chicago International Film Festival. The screening starts at 4:30 p.m., and tickets are just $8.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: September 28-30, 2018

Sui Dhaaga: Made in India had the eighth-best opening weekend for a Hindi film in North America this year. From September 28-30, 2018, the drama earned $582,006 from 193 theaters ($3,016 average), according to Box Office Mojo. Given Sui Dhaaga‘s high theater count, one might’ve predicted an even higher total, but this was an especially competitive weekend for Indian films in North America, with new Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu titles posting big numbers as well.

The weekend’s other new Hindi release — Pataakha — buckled under the pressure, earning $36,483 from 54 theaters ($676 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. Writer-director Vishal Bhardwaj’s previous North American box office low was 7 Khoon Maaf, which earned $164,153 from 65 theaters ($2,525 average) in its opening weekend in 2011. Perhaps the fact that Pataakha opened on fewer screens than 7 Khoon Maaf did seven years ago indicates tempered expectations for the new release on the part of the distributors.

As has been the case for more than a month, the most interesting story from the weekend is still Stree. In its fifth weekend of release, it earned $26,113 from 15 theaters ($1,741) — just $540 less than Batti Gul Meter Chalu did in its second weekend ($26,653 from 40 theaters; $666 average)! Stree beat Manmarziyaan, which took in $18,938 from 19 theaters ($997 average) in its third weekend of release. Total earnings for all three films are as follows: Stree = $819,457; Manmarziyaan = $556,312; Batti Gul Meter Chalu = $235,526.

Sources: Bollywood Hungama and Box Office Mojo

Opening September 28: Sui Dhaaga and Pataakha

Two intriguing new Hindi movies open in Chicago area theaters on September 28, 2018. The Yash Raj Films comedy-drama Sui Dhaaga: Made in India stars Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan and is directed by Dum Laga Ke Haisha‘s Sharat Katariya.

Sui Dhaaga opens Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

Also new on Friday is Haider director Vishal Bhardwaj’s Pataakha (“Firecracker“), starring Dangal‘s Sanya Malhotra and debutant Radhika Madan as a pair of feuding sisters.

Pataakha opens Friday at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 14 min.

Batti Gul Meter Chalu gets a second week at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17. The South Barrington 24 and Cantera 17 both hold onto Manmarziyaan, while Stree gets a fifth week at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: September 21-23, 2018

Batti Gul Meter Chalu had an okay opening weekend in North America. From September 21-23, 2018, the social issue picture earned $139,365 from 73 theaters ($1,909 average), according to Bollywood Hungama.

Manmarziyaan is closing in on half a million dollars in North America after second-weekend earnings of $101,797 from 79 theaters ($1,289 average) brought its total to $489,414. The less said the better about another film in its second weekend of release: Mitron, which earned $874 from four theaters ($219 average). Its total earnings stand at $11,354 — fourth worst for the year so far.

The big story remains the continuing box office success of Stree, which added another $60,534 from 27 theaters over the weekend ($2,242 average). Of the 25 Hindi films to last four weeks in North American theaters this year, Stree is one of six films to earn more than $50,000 in its fourth weekend of release. If it follows the trend of those other five movies, it should earn more than $10,000 next weekend and stick around for at least another three weeks, if only in a handful of theaters. Stree‘s total earnings stand at $769,438. An $800,000 final tally is doable.

Gold stuck around for a sixth weekend in one theater, earning $596 to bring its total to $1,129,092.

Source: Bollywood Hungama

Opening September 21: Batti Gul Meter Chalu

Shahid Kapoor, Yami Gautam, and Shraddha Kapoor star in the social issue picture Batti Gul Meter Chalu, opening in Chicago area theaters on September 21, 2018.

Batti Gul Meter Chalu opens Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 41 min.

Manmarziyaan gets a second week at all three of the above theaters. Stree carries over at the South Barrington 24 and MovieMax, which also holds onto Mitron for a second week.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: September 17, 2018

After its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Manmarziyaan — aka “Husband Material” — had a good opening weekend in North America. From September 14-16, 2018, Manmarziyaan earned $292,463 from 100 theaters ($2,925 average), according to figures provided by Sumit Chadha. The weekend’s other new release — the Jackky Bhagnani comedy Mitron — fared predictably poorly, bringing in $7,674 from 13 theaters ($590 average).

Forty Hindi films (including a few multilingual movies) have released in North America in so far in 2018, making it a convenient time to establish benchmarks for success by separating those movies into quartiles (figures below are estimates because I like round numbers). Based on total North American earnings, the bottom quartile includes titles that earned less than $80,000. The second quartile ranges from $80,000 to about $300,000, with the next ranging from $300,000 up to $1.1 million. Essentially, a movie needs to earn more than $1 million to make it into the top quartile here, but just $300,000 to make it into the top half.

Other Hindi films still showing in North American theaters:

  • Stree: Week 3; $96,170 from 41 theaters; $2,346 average; $665,464 total
  • Gold: Week 5; $2,118 from two theaters; $1,059 average; $1,127,974 total
  • Paltan: Week 2; $470 from three theaters; $157 average; $17,923 total

Sources: Bollywood Hungama and Sumit Chadha