Tag Archives: Vicky Donor

Bollywood Box Office: January 30-February 1

Poor, poor Hawaizaada. Family friendly Hindi movies don’t stand much of a chance at the North American box office as it is, but the historical fantasy performed especially poorly here. During its debut weekend — January 30-February 1, 2015Hawaizaada earned $16,546 from 66 theaters for a dismal per-screen average of $251.

Hawaizaada‘s failure strikes another blow against leading man Ayushmann Khurrana’s once promising career. His debut film, 2012’s Vicky Donor, was a surprise hit, taking in $169,209 from 50 North American theaters ($3,384 average) in its first weekend, with final earnings of $549,001. Its success owed more to its racy subject matter — sperm donation — than its leading man, however.

Khurrana’s subsequent films didn’t fare nearly as well here. 2013’s Nautanki Saala! opened with $92,851 from 61 theaters ($1,522 average), ultimately earning $127,844. 2014’s Bewakoofiyaan fared even worse, with first-weekend earnings of $67,738 from 66 theaters ($1,026 average), and total earnings of $106,800.

I’ve enjoyed all of Khurrana’s films, so his ability isn’t the problem. The Bollywood fan base in North America is motivated by name recognition, which Khurrana doesn’t yet have. His best bet for earning it would be to pair with another notable male star, maybe for a buddy comedy. Unfortunately, his next two projects — Dum Laga Ke Haisha and Agra Ka Daabra (which is a great title) — feature him as the solo male lead. I don’t see his international box office prospects turning around any time soon.

Other Hindi movies still in theaters include:

  • Baby: Week 2; $165,732 from 77 theaters ($2,152 average); $694,509 total
  • Dolly Ki Doli: Week 2; $22,155 from 14 theaters ($1,583 average); $164,186 total
  • PK: Week 7; $16,627 from 13 theaters ($1,279 average); $10,535,369 total
  • Tevar: Week 4; $16 from one theater; $166,342 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

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Opening May 25: Arjun and Married 2 America

Two films make their debuts in Chicago area theaters the weekend beginning May 25, 2012. First up is Arjun: The Warrior Prince, an animated film co-produced by UTV and Disney.

Arjun opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles. The family friendly film has English subtitles and a runtime of 96 minutes.

Also new in local theaters this weekend is Married 2 America, a thriller about an Indian-America woman whose husband goes missing while investigating a dam accident in India. The film released in Indian theaters on February 17. I suspect the success of Kahaani — which has a similar premise — prompted the eventual release of Married 2 America in the States.

Married 2 America opens on Friday at the Golf Glen 5 and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

Department carries over for a second week at both the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30, which also holds over Vicky Donor for a sixth week. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — a British comedy set in India — expands nationwide this weekend.

Other Indian movies playing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include the Telugu films Daruvu and Gabbar Singh and the Malayalam film Mallu Singh. The U.S. box office report for last weekend listed the total U.S. earnings for Grandmaster ($17,077) and Kalakalappu @ Masala Cafe ($30,949).

Hate Story — which released in Indian theaters on March 18 but never opened in Chicago — debuts on Mela on May 25 as well.

If you’d like to catch up on other films released earlier this year, the Bollywood rom-coms Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya and Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu are currently available for streaming on Netflix, as is the Tamil action film Vettai.

Opening May 18: Department

New in Chicago area theaters the weekend beginning May 18, 2012, is the Hindi film Department. The political thriller from director Ram Gopal Varma stars Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt.

Department opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a runtime 2 hrs. 21 min. Read my review of Department here.

The South Barrington 30 is carrying over Vicky Donor for a fifth week, while the Golf Glen 5 gives Dangerous Ishhq a second week. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opens in India this weekend while also expanding into more U.S. theaters.

Other movies playing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Chhota Bheem, Gabbar Singh (Telugu), Kalakalappu @ Masala Cafe (Tamil), and Love, Lies and Seeta (English).

Opening May 11: Dangerous Ishhq

The romantic thriller Dangerous Ishhq — starring Karisma Kapoor — is the only new Hindi movie opening in Chicago area theaters on May 11, 2012.

Dangerous Ishhq opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — a British movie I reviewed last week — expands the number of theaters showing it on Friday as well, after earning $737,051 from just 27 theaters during its first week in the U.S.

Last weekend’s new Hindi release, Jannat 2, gets a second week at the South Barrington 30, while Vicky Donor gets a fourth week at the South Barrington 30 and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Its U.S. earnings total $466,467, driven by good word of mouth. Compare that to Tezz, which leaves area theaters after two weeks, having earned just $218,622 despite showing in twice as many U.S. theaters as Vicky Donor.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Gabbar Singh (Telugu), Kalakalappu (Tamil), Masters (Malayalam), and Taur Mitran Di (Punjabi).

Though it’s only releasing theatrically in India on Friday, U.S. fans will be able to watch the new Hindi film The Forest on the subscription video-streaming service Mela the same day. The film about a married couple terrorized by a man-eating leopard is made by Oscar-nominated director Ashvin Kumar.

Opening May 4: Jannat 2

The Hindi thriller Jannat 2 opens in the Chicago area on May 4, 2012. Despite its title, the film is not a proper sequel to 2008’s Jannat. Emraan Hashmi stars in both movies but plays a different character in the new film. The title choice is confusing, but not unprecedented in Bollywood: Housefull 2 wasn’t a proper sequel to Housefull, either.

Jannat 2 opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It is rated R and has a runtime of 2 hrs. 13 min.

Friday also marks the American debut of The Avengers, which will command a lion’s share of screenspace at local multiplexes. Therefore, expect weekend showtimes to differ from weekday showtimes for Jannat 2 and other Hindi films playing in area theaters.

In spite of dismal opening weekend collections of $148,133 from 97 U.S. theaters, Tezz gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

By contrast, Vicky Donor earned $122,742 from just 50 theaters in its second week, bringing its total U.S. earnings to $357,743. Vicky Donor gets a third week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17.

Housefull 2 gets a fifth week at the South Barrington 30, with total U.S. earnings of $1,566,991.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Dhammu (Telugu) and Grandmaster (Malayalam).

One other movie of note opening on Friday is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The British film set in India opens in a handful of cities — including Chicago — on May 4, expanding to more U.S. theaters in coming weeks. Click here for a complete list of theaters carrying the film on Friday.

Opening April 27: Tezz

The Hindi action flick Tezz opens in the Chicago area on April 27, 2012. Tezz features Ajay Devgn and Anil Kapoor in a “ticking time bomb” thriller set on a train speeding from Glasgow to London.

Tezz opens on Friday at the Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a runtime of 2 hrs. 3 min. (Read my review of Tezz here.)

Despite modest earnings of $169,209 during its first weekend in the U.S., the clever comedy Vicky Donor gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17.

Housefull 2 carries over for a fourth week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30, having earned $1,503,059 in the U.S. so far.

Other Indian films showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Cobra (Malayalam), Mayamohini (Malayalam), Oru Kal Oru Kannadi (Tamil), and Dhammu (Telugu), which is also showing at the Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge.

This Friday also marks the streaming debut of recent Bollywood romance Chaar Din Ki Chandni and the Bengali film Flop-E on Mela. Chaar Din Ki Chandni spent a week in Chicago area theaters when it opened on March 9.

Movie Review: Vicky Donor (2012)

3 Stars (out of 4)

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Vicky Donor is a reminder to Bollywood that a clever story is more important than star power when it comes to making a good movie.

Anupama Chopra recently wrote in the Hindustan Times about a new wave of “high concept” movies coming out of India. The term refers to a movie based on a simple premise but with an interesting or ironic twist, the film equivalent of a catchy pop song. The accessibility of the story sells itself, which is a new development in star-obsessed Bollywood.

Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam — newcomers to the Hindi film industry — helm Vicky Donor, a romantic comedy about a professional sperm donor. Khurrana is Vicky, a 25-year-old slacker who lives with his mother and grandmother above his mom’s beauty salon.

Only reluctantly does Vicky agree to become a donor. He caves under the relentless pressure of Dr. Chaddha (Annu Kapoor), the owner of a fertility clinic with marginal success rates. Chaddha — who claims to have a sixth sense for these things — sees in handsome, athletic Vicky a potential supplier of high quality genetic material. He explains that his upper-middle class clientele will pay big bucks in hopes of raising the next David Beckham or Aishwarya Rai.

When Vicky finally hands over a sample to Chaddha, Vicky’s little swimmers are given the highest marks for quality. Soon, Vicky is making regular donations and reaping the financial rewards while trying to woo a lovely banker named Ashima (Gautam). When Ashima confesses a secret about her romantic past, Vicky balks at the chance to tell her what he really does for a living. This creates big problems later on.

The subject matter naturally lends itself to jokes, but Khurrana and Gautam play their characters with complete sincerity. They’re nice young people who go through a relatively normal courtship, despite Vicky’s secret occupation.

As far as Vicky and Ashima know, the biggest obstacle they face as a couple is their families’ prejudices. Vicky’s Punjabi family distrusts Ashima’s Bengali family, and vice versa. For international audiences unfamiliar with Indian regional biases, there’s more than enough exposition to explain the hostility. That the film does so in a funny way is a bonus.

The movie is ultimately stolen by Kapoor as Dr. Chaddha, whose relentless pursuit of Vicky’s gametes is hilarious. Chaddha is a man obsessed with his work, from the toy sperm hanging from his rearview mirror to his t-shirt depicting a field of swimming sperm alongside the words: “Do it!”

Kapoor certainly delivers the laughs, but he makes the doctor more than just comic relief. Chaddha genuinely cares for Vicky, and he tries to fill a void in fatherless Vicky’s life. It’s touching the way Vicky’s low points distress Chaddha, who treats Vicky as more than just a stud.

There’s one insensitive moment near the end of the film that stands out as a negative in an otherwise good-natured script. Ashima affectionately refers to a cute East Asian child as “that little ching chong.” While I don’t think any malice was intended, the term is still offensive.

Overall, however, Vicky Donor is a surprisingly sweet and innocent film about an adult topic. It’s worth checking out.

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Opening April 20: Vicky Donor

One new Hindi movie is set to open in Chicago area theaters on April 20, 2012. The comedy Vicky Donor follows the troubled romantic life of a prolific sperm donor named Vicky.

Vicky Donor opens Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 5 min.

Having earned $1,339,391 in its first two weeks in U.S. theaters, Housefull 2 gets a third week at all of the above theaters.

Other Indian films showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Mayamohini (Malayalam) and Rachcha (Telugu)