Tag Archives: Talvar

Split Screen Podcast, Episode 16: Rahasya vs. Talvar

SplitScreenPodcast

Another episode of the Split Screen Podcast featuring yours truly is live! In Episode 16, show host Shah Shahid and I compare two 2015 movies based on the 2008 Noida double murder case. Rahasya‘s release — nine months before Talvar hit screens — followed a lengthy court battle, and Shah and I discuss the legal drama surrounding the films as well as the two movies themselves.

You can subscribe to the Split Screen Podcast at iTunes, or you can listen to Episode 16 in your browser on this page at Shah’s website, Blank Page Beatdown. Every episode of the Split Screen Podcast can be found here, including Shah’s preview of Bollywood movies coming out in the second half of 2016. I’m featured in the following episodes:

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Streaming Video News: June 1, 2016

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with eight (!) additions to the streaming catalog. The reincarnation revenge movie Makkhi returns to the service, along with seven movies new to Netflix. Highlights include two India-only releases from earlier this year — Jugni and Rebellious Flower — and Talvar (listed at Netflix as “Guilty“), one of my favorite films of 2015. Here’s the full list of newly added titles:

Best Bollywood Movies of 2015

2015 offered up a satisfying mix of sweet, intimate stories and dark thrills and chills. Here are my picks for the best Bollywood movies of 2015. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

The year ended on a triumphant note with the release of the historical epic romance Bajirao Mastani. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s colorful, lavish style demands to be seen on the big screen.

Two smaller Hindi films that played at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival prove that big budgets aren’t necessary to make a great movie. Haraamkhor and Dhanak depict the struggles of childhood in very different ways, with Dhanak being easily the sweetest film of the year.

Early 2015 saw the release of two great revenge thrillers: Badlapur and NH10. While Badlapur explores the toll that a lingering desire for vengeance takes on a grieving husband (Varun Dhawan), NH10 is a race against the clock for a woman (Anushka Sharma) trying to defeat the men out to kill her.

In contrast to such dark fare, Piku lovingly and humorously explores the tense relationship between an adult daughter (Deepika Padukone) who hits the road with her ailing father (Amitabh Bachchan).

A pair of top-notch crime thrillers also made the list. Talvar‘s unique story structure sets apart this real-life murder mystery. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! put a modern, stylish twist on a classic Indian literary detective.

Dum Laga Ke Haisha is as charming as can be, telling the tale of a loser (Ayushmann Khurrana) rebelling against his marriage to an accomplished woman (Bhumi Pednekar) who fails to fit his beauty standards. So much care went into the story that it is impossible not to fall in love with these young adults trying to grow under enormous family pressure.

My favorite movie of 2015 is a big budget, multi-starrer that nevertheless tells a smart, contemporary family story. Too often, Bollywood spectacle films are “check your brain at the door” affairs, full of bombast but devoid of substance. Director Zoya Akhtar brings together an A-list cast — including Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh, Farhan Akhtar, and Anil Kapoor — for a film that is fun and romantic, but also contains insightful critiques of the respect (or lack thereof) accorded women in modern Indian society. Director Akhtar takes the opportunity this big-budget blockbuster affords her and uses the platform to inform as well as entertain. For that reason, my favorite Hindi film of 2015 is Dil Dhadakne Do.

(Update: I watched Masaan after posting this list. Were I to re-do my rankings, I’d place Masaan in 9th place, between Dhanak and Haraamkhor.)

Kathy’s Top Ten Bollywood Movies of 2015

  1. Dil Dhadakne Do — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  2. Dum Laga Ke Haisha — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  3. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  4. Talvar — Buy at Amazon
  5. Piku — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  6. NH10 — Buy at Amazon
  7. Badlapur — Buy at Amazon
  8. Dhanak
  9. Haraamkhor
  10. Bajirao Mastani

Previous Best Movies Lists

Bollywood Box Office: November 6-8

It has been two weeks since the last new Bollywood film opened in North America, so theater traffic was predictably slow over the weekend. Here are the results for the three Hindi movies showing in the United States and Canada from November 6-8, 2015.

  • Shaandaar: Week 3; $15,874 from 24 theaters; $661 average; $597,365 total
  • Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2: Week 4; $10,263 from 15 theaters; $684 average; $240,078 total
  • Talvar: Week 6; $108 from two theaters; $54 average; $334,085 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: October 30-November 1

An absence of new Bollywood fare in theaters combined with Halloween falling on a Saturday led to a lackluster weekend at the North American box office. Shaandaar led the field in its second weekend in theaters. From October 30-November 1, 2015, it earned $93,878 from 124 theaters ($757 average). It has earned a total of $544,469 in North America so far.

The only other Hindi film showing in both the United States and Canada over the weekend was Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2. In its third weekend in theaters, it took in another $24,289 from 28 theaters ($867 average). Its total stands at $222,309.

As is often the case these days, Canadian theaters had to be much happier with the weekend’s results than their US counterparts. Canadian theaters showing Shaandaar averaged earnings of $1,387 per screen, versus $657 average in the US. Canadian theaters showing Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 averaged $1,154 per screen, versus $789 average in the US.

Other Hindi movies still showing in US theaters:

  • Jazbaa: Week 4; $530 from two theaters; $265 average; $402,303 total
  • Talvar: Week 5; $241 from two theaters; $121 average; $333,693 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: October 23-25

The romantic comedy Shaandaar got off to a good start in North America, but how good depends on which source you believe. During the weekend of October 23-25, 2015, Bollywood Hungama reports that Shaandaar earned $299,195 from 136 theaters ($2,200 average). Combined with the movie’s collections from Thursday, its 4-day total stands at $336,304.

However, Box Office Mojo reports significantly higher figures for Shaandaar, including weekend earnings of $384,685 from 136 theaters ($2,892 average). Box Office Mojo’s 4-day total for Shaandaar is $433,541.

While I generally give more weight to the numbers collected by Rentrak and supplied by Bollywood Hungama, this time I’m inclined to put more faith in Box Office Mojo. Though both sources list the same number of theaters, Bollywood Hungama’s weekly update doesn’t include any earnings figures for Shaandaar from Canada, even though it opened in 17 theaters there. Possibly Rentrak folded the Canadian collections into the US collections, or maybe they didn’t collect data from Canada. Or maybe Bollywood Hungama didn’t report the Canadian data collected by Rentrak. Whatever the case, Bollywood Hungama’s weekly update seems incomplete. I’m going with Box Office Mojo this week.

In that case, Shaandaar is off to quite a good start. With no new Bollywood releases of note scheduled for the next two weekends — and no Hollywood blockbusters scheduled this coming weekend — Shaandaar has a chance to make some decent money in the next couple of weeks.

In its second weekend, Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 earned $39,123 from 36 theaters ($1,087 average), bringing its total to $183,779. Once again, it proved to be more popular in Canada than the US, with the per-screen average in the Canadian theaters ($1,771) nearly doubling the average in the American theaters ($891).

Other Hindi movies still playing in the US:

  • Talvar: Week 4; $5,116 from eight theaters; $640 average; $331,380 total
  • Jazbaa: Week 3; $2,005 from six theaters; $334 average; $400,680 total
  • Singh Is Bliing: Week 4; $355 from one theater; $909,399 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening October 22: Shaandaar

One of fall’s biggest Bollywood releases hits Chicago area theaters on Thursday, October 22, 2015. Director Vikas Bahl’s romantic comedy Shaandaar stars Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt.

Shaandaar opens on Thursday at the Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, Regal Round Lake Beach 18 in Round Lake Beach, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 24 min.

Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 carries over at the Cantera 17 and South Barrington 30, which also holds over Jazbaa and Talvar.

Meet the Patels opens on Friday, October 23, at the Cantera 17 and carries over for another week at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago , Wilmette Theatre in Wilmette, and Regal Lincolnshire Stadium 21 in Lincolnshire.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Kanche (Telugu) at Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge, which also carries 10 Endrathukulla (Tamil), Bruce Lee – The Fighter (Telugu), and Rudhrama Devi (Telugu). All movies have English subtitles.

Bollywood Box Office: October 16-18

Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 got off to a respectable start in North American. From October 16-18, 2015, PKP2 earned $104,394 from 57 theaters for a per-screen average of $1,831.

As has been the case in recent weeks, a lopsided portion of those earnings came from Canada. The per-screen average (psa) of the nine Canadian theaters showing PKP2 was $2,506, compared to the $1,721 psa in the 49 American theaters.

The disparity was pronounced in the other Hindi films showing in North America as well. Here are the rest of the weekend’s earnings, including both the Canadian and American per-screen averages:

  • Jazbaa: Week 2; $57,934 from 71 total theaters; Canada psa = $1,004; USA psa = $752; total earnings to date = $386,714
  • Singh Is Bliing: Week 3; $30,951 from 33 total theaters; Canada psa = $1,651; USA psa = $628; total earnings to date = $905,806
  • Talvar: Week 3; $25,233 from 24 total theaters; Canada psa = $485; USA psa = $1,132; total earnings to date = $322,149
  • Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon: Week 4; $284 from two total theaters; Canada psa = $20; USA psa = $264; total earnings to date = $351,167

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening October 16: Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2

One new Bollywood film opens in Chicago area theaters on October 16, 2015: the comedy sequel Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2. This is a huge surprise, considering that the 2011 original didn’t release in the US and the cast of the new film is made up of virtual unknowns. Distributors are counting on the familiarity of the title and a lack of competition to bring people to the theater. We’ll see if the gamble pays off.

PKP2 opens Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 16 min.

Jazbaa carries over for a second week at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, Cantera 17, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

MovieMax and the South Barrington 30 give a third week to both Singh Is Bliing and Talvar, which also carries over at the Cantera 17.

Meet the Patels carries over at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago , Wilmette Theatre in Wilmette, and Regal Lincolnshire Stadium 21 in Lincolnshire.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include:

Bollywood Box Office: October 9-11

Jazbaa turned in a disappointing opening weekend in North America. During the weekend of October 9-11, 2015, Jazbaa earned $233,186 from 132 theaters ($1,767 average).

Jazbaa‘s performance helps define a kind of Bollywood dead zone at the North American box office, in which movies opening in the 120-140 theater range consistently under-perform. In addition to Jazbaa, three other films have opened in this same range, and all have posted disappointing opening weekend per-theater averages: Tevar (125 theaters/$1,007 average), Shamitabh (137 theaters/$1,573 average), and Katti Batti (127 theaters/$1,507 average). Perhaps the lesson for distributors is that, if you aren’t confident that a given movie could carry 150 theaters, better to limit its release to around 100 theaters. All the better for avoiding the appearance of a flop.

Singh Is Bliing finished the weekend in second place among the four Hindi films playing in North America. It added another $173,329 from 108 theaters ($1,605 average) to bring its two-week total to $808,310.

Talvar held up very well, losing only 37% percent of its opening weekend business (compared to Singh Is Bliing‘s 64% drop). Talvar earned $83,211 from 47 theaters ($1,770 average), bringing its two-week total to $269,253.

Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon closed out its third weekend, adding $6,828 from seven theaters ($975 average) to its total haul of $347,289.

This weekend provided yet more fuel for my obsession with the differences in the American and Canadian markets for Bollywood films (the figures above are for the entire North American territory, but Rentrak breaks the figures down by country). Here’s a comparison of each film’s US and Canadian per-theater averages:

  • Jazbaa: USA — $1,569; CAN — $2,941
  • Singh Is Bliing: USA — $1,055; CAN — $4,026
  • Talvar: USA — $1,848; CAN — $1,445
  • Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon: USA — $438; CAN — $2,320

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama