Tag Archives: Veere Di Wedding

Bollywood Box Office: July 27-29, 2018

It appears North American fans would rather watch movies about Sanjay Dutt than movies starring him. From July 27-29, 2018, Dutt’s latest film — Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3 — earned $22,695 from 41 theaters* ($554 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. That per-screen average is second worst for the year. Releasing the movie overseas seems like a last-minute attempt to capitalize on the phenomenal success of Sanju, because I don’t recall much publicity or buzz in the run-up to its release. The original Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster did so poorly in North America — with lifetime earnings of $14,231 — that they didn’t bother to release the sequel here in 2013, so opening Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3 here was always going to be a gamble.

Speaking of Sanju, the biopic earned $69,508 from 44 theaters* ($1,580 average) in its fifth weekend of release, bringing its total to $7,777,222.

Dhadak held up reasonably well in its second weekend, holding over about 34% of its opening weekend business with earnings of $107,635 from 44 theaters* ($2,446 average). It has total earnings of $719,382 so far.

Other Hindi movies still showing in North American theaters:

  • Soorma: Week 3; $14,871 from 17 theaters; $875 average; $374,028 total
  • Veere Di Wedding: Week 9; $692 from one theater; $2,712,314 total

*Bollywood Hungama routinely counts Canadian theaters twice in its weekly reporting, at least for a movie’s first few weekends of release. When possible, I try to verify the correct theater count with other sources. The above figures represent what I believe to be the actual theater counts. Bollywood Hungama’s reporting technically puts Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3 in 49 theaters (making for a $436 per-theater average), Sanju in 59 theaters ($1,178 average), and Dhadak in 58 theaters ($1,856 average).

Sources: Bollywood Hungama, Box Office Mojo, and Gitesh Pandya

 

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Bollywood Box Office: July 20-22, 2018

All the pre-release hype for Janhvi Kapoor’s debut Dhadak resulted in a solid opening weekend in North America. From July 20-22, 2018, Dhadak earned $318,204 from 99 theaters ($3,214 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. The true total is undoubtedly higher, since Bollywood Hungama only posted earnings info for two of the sixteen Canadian theaters carrying the film. Also, 143 Cinema reports Dhadak as having earned $282,728 as of Saturday, and there’s no way the movie only took in another $35,000 on Sunday. Something closer to $400,000 would make more sense.

In its second weekend of release, Soorma earned $78,483 from 50 theaters ($1,570 average), bringing its total to $329,930, according to Box Office Mojo. Sanju earned another $223,338 from 112 theaters ($1,994 average), raising its phenomenal total to $7,634,206 after four weekends of release.

Other Bollywood movies still showing in North American theaters:

  • Veere Di Wedding: Week 8; $1,730 from two theaters; $865 average; $2,712,314 total
  • Race 3: Week 6; $877 from two theaters; $439 average; $2,752,789 total

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

Bollywood Box Office: July 6-8, 2018

Sanju had another seven-figure weekend in North America. From July 6-8, 2018, the biopic earned $1,281,466 from 359 theaters in the United States and Canada ($3,570 average), according to Box Office Mojo — good enough for eleventh place in the overall box office. Sanju‘s total after ten days of release stands at $5,995,791, with North America’s contributions accounting for about 10% of the film’s global haul.

Not surprisingly, Sanju‘s massive total is good news for Sanjay Dutt himself. Bollywood Hungama reports that Dutt gets a portion of the box office returns as part of his compensation for letting his life be turned into a movie, in addition to an upfront payment just shy of $1.5 million.

Bollywood Hungama is still having issues with its box office reporting, from theater miscounts last week to fluctuating overall totals this week. (Canadian theater info for Veere Di Wedding remains MIA, sadly.) Here are the weekend theater earnings reported by Bollywood Hungama:

  • Race 3: Week 4; $9,250 from eleven theaters; $841 average
  • Veere Di Wedding: Week 6; $2,000 from two theaters; $1,000 average
  • Raazi: Week 9; $1,044 from three theaters; $348

Sources: Bollywood Hungama and Box Office Mojo

Bollywood Box Office: June 29-July 1, 2018

June saw three Bollywood movies earn more than $1 million in their opening weekends in North America, with Sanju saving the best for last. From June 29-July 1, 2018, Sanju earned an astonishing $2,723,349 from 356 theaters ($7,650 average) — good enough for eighth place in the overall weekend box office, according to Box Office Mojo. That theater count sets a new record high for a Hindi film in North America.

Race 3 slowed to a crawl, taking in $41,566 from 56 theaters, reports Bollywood Hungama (although that theater count may be too low, since Hungama appears to have under-counted Canadian theaters for the last few weeks). That per-theater average of just $742 is shockingly small total for a Salman Khan film in its third weekend of release. Its total stands at $2,278,352, temporarily slotting it in fourth place for the year so far.

The film ahead of Race 3 on the total earnings list — Veere Di Wedding — made $18,698 from 12 theaters ($1,582 average), bringing its total to $2,712,314. The movie ahead of Veere Di Wedding on list — Raazi — earned $6,267 from seven theaters ($895 average) to bring its total to $3,013,530.

One US theater earned $902 from Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran in its sixth weekend of release. Its total earnings stand at $448,256 — 15th best for the year, if you’re curious.

Sources: Bollywood Hungama and Box Office Mojo

Movie Review: Veere Di Wedding (2018)

3.5 Stars (out of 4)

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Veere Di Wedding (“Friend’s Wedding“) released to higher expectations than usually precede Bollywood buddy comedies, yet its four female leads rose to the challenge, turning out a warm, relatable, and very funny movie.

Well, relatable if you overlook how obscenely rich the characters are, driving around in cars that cost as much as a house (at least here in the Midwest). The only speaking character who isn’t wealthy is a maid who appears in one scene, crying after being beaten by her abusive husband. Her wounds are addressed in a couple of lines before she’s forced to participate in the excitement of one of the rich friends’ upcoming nuptials. It’s one of the film’s few off moments.

The friend getting married is Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor Khan), one of a quartet of lifelong buds that includes stuffy lawyer Avni (Sonam Kapoor Ahuja), stay-at-home mom Meera (Shikha Talsania), and drunkard Sakshi (Swara Bhaskar). Reuniting in Delhi for the wedding gives the women a chance to cut loose, but also resurfaces buried conflicts, primarily between the adult children and their parents.

There isn’t really a villain in Veere Di Wedding. The conflict is driven by complicated family dynamics, a boundless well that keeps the plot moving and gives everyone in the audience something to identify with. Kalindi became estranged from her father (Anjum Rajabali) following her mother’s death. Avni’s mom (Neena Gupta) is desperate for her daughter to wed. Meera married a white man named John (Edward Sonnenblick) against her dad’s wishes. There’s tension in Sakshi’s household over demise of her short-lived marriage.

The family of Kalindi’s fiance, Rishabh Malhotra (Sumeet Vyas), is the most colorful source of drama, often literally so. Eager to fill the void left by Kalindi’s mother, Rishabh’s dad (Manoj Pahwa), mom (Ayesha Raza), and aunt (Alka Kaushal) take over the wedding planning, their tacky, kaleidoscopic taste in decor and attire sending Kalindi into a daze. Kapoor Khan’s glazed expressions as they parade garish garment choices in front of her are hilarious.

Yet Veere Di Wedding is careful not to make too much fun of the Malhotra family. Kalindi herself says that she knows how important the pomp and circumstance are to Rishabh’s family, rejecting Rishabh’s offer to tell his family to back off.

That’s what’s amazing about this movie: the characters are so nice. The four friends will do anything for one another. Rishabh and Meera’s husband John are loyal and supportive partners, as are Kalindi’s uncle Cookie (Vivek Mushran) and his boyfriend Keshav (Sukesh Arora). Conflict is borne from hurt feelings and stubborn grudges, not from any inherent malice. The resolution to a subplot involving Kalindi’s well-intentioned stepmother Paromita (Ekavali Khanna) is especially touching.

That good nature makes Veere Di Wedding a joy to watch. Hype over the film’s bawdy language and (tame) masturbation scene is overblown. It’s important that female movie characters be given as wide a range to inhabit as male characters, and Veere Di Wedding does so in an uplifting, unthreatening way. It’s a welcome change to see topics such as sexual compatibility and the changes that happen to a woman’s body following childbirth discussed from a female perspective in a mainstream Bollywood film. Farah Khan’s choreography of the song “Tareefan” — in which white men are treated as eye candy instead of white women — is noteworthy, too.

What gives Veere Di Wedding lasting appeal beyond its present cultural significance is that it really is charming, thanks to the performances by the lead quartet. Kalindi’s bewilderment in the face of her in-laws stands in contrast to Avni’s stuffiness, which is at odds with Sakshi’s constant insobriety. Even maternal Meera goes wild on the dance floor. Kapoor Khan, Kapoor Ahuja, Bhaskar, and Talsania each bring something different to the table, and their efforts combine to make a movie that’s a real treat.

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Bollywood Box Office: June 8-10, 2018

Rajinikanth’s multilingual release Kaala dominated the North American box office in its opening weekend. (Well, just the US box office, really, since it only opened in one theater in Canada.) From June 8-10, 2018, it earned $802,041 from 286 theaters ($2,804 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. That’s in addition to the $1,031,649 it earned on Wednesday and Thursday. 143 Cinema’s daily breakdown shows the film’s earnings heavily weighted toward opening day, due to a combination of peak interested and inflated ticket prices. We don’t know exactly how much of Kaala’s earnings are attributable to each version, but the bulk is from fans watching in Tamil. Not only is that version showing in the most theaters — assuming that the Chicago region reflects the rest of the nation — but it commands higher ticket prices than either the Telugu or Hindi version (which didn’t even release until Thursday).

Veere Di Wedding continued its strong showing for a second weekend, taking in another $507,919 from 120 theaters ($4,233 average). Its first-to-second weekend holdover wasn’t as good as some of the year’s other blockbusters — just 44%, versus 62% for Raazi and 52% for Padmaavat. We’ll see how it holds up this coming weekend against Race 3 and Incredibles 2. Veere Di Wedding‘s impressive total stands at $2,183,412.

Raazi is inching its way toward $3 million, though the above mentioned new releases will make that goal more challenging as the spy thriller heads toward its sixth weekend in theaters. In its fifth weekend of release, Raazi earned $77,931 from 44 theaters ($1,771 average). It has total earnings so far of $2,898,173.

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Parmanu — The Story of Pokhran: Week 3; $37,908 from 20 theaters; $1,895 average; $411,740 total
  • Bhavesh Joshi Superhero: Week 2; $3,934 from eight theaters; $492 average; $61,310 total
  • 102 Not Out: Week 6; $820 from three theaters; $273 average; $1,336,114 total

Sources: 143 Cinema and Bollywood Hungama

Opening June 6: Kaala

Rajinikanth storms into Chicago area theaters on June 6, 2018, with Kaala.

Kaala is releasing in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi — all with English subtitles — on a staggered schedule, with the Tamil and Telugu versions releasing on Wednesday and the Hindi version on Thursday. The multiple releases are throwing Fandango for a loop, as they have separate title listings for each version, plus a fourth title option that aggregates all versions showing at some theaters. It’s whack. Here’s where to find Kaala in the Chicago area, and in which format:

Tamil and Telugu (opening Wednesday): Studio Movie Grill Chatham in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison in Addison, Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, Cinemark Tinseltown USA in North Aurora, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge

Tamil only: AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, AMC Oak Brook Center 12 in Oak Brook, AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville, and Century 12 Evanston in Evanston (Wednesday and Thursday only)

Hindi (opening Thursday): SMG Chatham, MovieMax, Rosemont 18, South Barrington 24, Marcus Addison, Stratford Square, Tinseltown USA, Cantera 17, and Seven Bridges

Veere Di Wedding gets a second week at the South Barrington 24, Marcus Addison, Cantera 17, AMC River East 21 in Chicago, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is out after just one week, unfortunately.

The South Barrington 24 also carries over Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran and Raazi, which holds on at the Woodridge 18 as well.

Stratford Square has the Punjabi film (with English subtitles) Carry on Jatta 2.

Starting Friday, the AMC Loews Streets of Woodfield 20 in Schaumburg is showing the independent English-language drama The Valley, from writer-director Saila Kariat and starring Dil Chahta Hai‘s Suchitra Pillai and Northern Exposure‘s Barry Corbin (in a casting mashup I’d never have expected to happen). It’s rated R and has a runtime of 1 hr. 35 min.

Bollywood Box Office: June 1-3, 2018

What an astounding debut for Veere Di Wedding in North America! From June 1-3, 2018, Veere Di Wedding earned $1,161,504 from 114 theaters ($10,189 average), according to Bollywood Hungama. Gitesh Pandya reports earnings of more than $1.2 million from 118 theaters for the buddy comedy.

So far in 2018, the highest opening weekend per-theater averages belong to Padmaavat, Veere Di Wedding, Raazi, and Pad Man. North American Bollywood fans want to see women-driven content, and theaters are reaping the benefits.

The weekend’s other new release fared poorly against such monstrous competition. Bhavesh Joshi Superhero made just $39,635 from 44 theaters ($901 average). Veere Di Wedding‘s success isn’t entirely responsible for Bhavesh Joshi Superhero‘s shortcomings, but the matchup didn’t help. It’s too bad, since Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is a really good movie. It’s also too bad for star Harsh Kapoor because his sophomore film’s total earnings are even lower than the disappointing returns of his debut movie, Mirzya, back in 2016. It might be time for a career reassessment since this solo hero thing isn’t working out for Harsh.

Raazi is still going strong, adding another $163,460 from 70 theaters ($2,335 average) to bring its total to an impressive $2,752,321.

Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran had a good second weekend, earning $68,378 from 31 theaters ($2,206 average). It has total earnings of $342,346.

102 Not Out stuck around in 15 theaters, earning $9,726 ($648 average) and bringing its total to $1,330,555.

Sources: Bollywood Hungama and Gitesh Pandya

Opening June 1: Veere Di Wedding and Bhavesh Joshi Superhero

The Kapoor siblings face off in Chicago area theaters on June 1, 2018. Big sister Sonam’s movie gets the wider release of the two with her buddy comedy Veere Di Wedding, co-starring Kareen Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhaskar, and Shikha Talsania.

Veere Di Wedding opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 2 min.

Little brother Harshvardhan’s sophomore film Bhavesh Joshi Superhero also opens locally on Friday at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 34 min.

Last weekend’s new release Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran carries over at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17. All three theaters also hold over Raazi for a fourth week, as do the River East 21 and Woodridge 18. 102 Not Out gets a fifth week at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend: