Indian B.O.: Slow Start For 'Cars 3' While Punjab Comedy 'Super Singh' Beats 'Bank-Chor'
Headline: Indian B.O.: Slow Start For 'Cars 3' While Punjab Comedy 'Super Singh' Beats 'Bank-Chor'
Author: Don Groves, Contributor
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:38:00 -0400
Hours Ago: 3
With Salman Khan’s Tubelight set to dominate screens across India from June 23 and a cricket match between traditional rivals India and Pakistan depleting ticket sales on Sunday, last weekend’s new releases have a limited window in which to make money.
Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 entered in second spot, a slow start considering the franchise’s popularity , while Universal/Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 3 had previews ahead of its launch this Friday.
Diljit Dosanjh’s Punjabi superhero goofball comedy Super Singh was No 1, opening brightly in its region and in other markets including Mumbai, beating Hindi bank heist comedic thriller Bank-Chor, which did not steal a lot of loot despite an appealing cast led by Riteish Deshmukh, Vivek Anand Oberoi and Rhea Chakraborty.
Director Abhishek Saxena’s Phullu, a drama which examines the challenging topic of menstruation and sanity pads, had a limited release, garnering some critical acclaim.
Disney reported director Brian Fee’s Cars 3 grossed $900,000, way below the second edition which collected 31.2 crore ($4.7 million) in its first weekend in 2011.
Produced by Balaji Motion Pictures’ Ekta Kapoor and directed by Anurag Singh, Super Singh fetched 5.75 crore ($864,000) net on only 350 screens in India plus $148,000 on 44 in the U.S. and $48,000 on 31 in Australia.
Dosanjh plays Lovely Singh, a simple guy living in Montreal who discovers he has special powers and lands in drug-addled Punjab where political and religious leaders are out to fleece and fool people. Sonam Bajwa plays his childhood friend Twinkle and Pavan Malhotra is a Godman.
The Indian Express’ Jyoti Sharma Bawa observed “Diljit’s hero sure knows how to tell a joke and he will keep you laughing through this film. Now that is quite a strategy, keep your CGI and special effects Hollywood, we will laugh you out of the competition.” But she added this stinger, “Diljit’s charm also keeps your attention away from the film’s wafer-thin plot and a villain who hams so much, he is his own meme.”
Bollywood Life’s Amann Khuranaa said the director, who has worked with Dosanjh on multiple projects including National Award-winning Punjab 1984 and the blockbuster Jatt and Juliet, milks the best out of him in this hilarious ride, the dialogue is first rate but the VFX are disappointing.
Directed by Bumpy and produced by Ashish Patil, head of Y-Films, the youth wing of Aditya Chopra’s production and distribution powerhouse Yash Raj Films, Bank-Chor rang up 4.60 crore ($691,000) on 700 screens.
However the production cost including P&A is an economical 15 crore ($2.2 million), most of which has been recouped by the sales of satellite rights to Sony Entertainment Network and streaming rights to Amazon Prime.
Deshmukh plays Champak, who plans the robbery with two equally clueless accomplices, Teetar (Bhuvan Arora) and Gulab (Vikram Thapa), only to discover Jugnu (Sahil Vaid) has exactly the same idea. Vivek Anand Oberoi plays Amjad Khan, the Central Bureau of Investigation officer who sends TV reporter Gayatri (Chakraborty) into the bank to negotiate with Champak.
The critics generally were unkind, typified by the Hindustan Times’ Sweta Kaushal who found some smart twists in the plot but said the thrill fizzles out under the lame script.
However Koimoi.com’s Ahana Bhattacharya hailed a “gripping thriller in the garb of a comedy” and praised the chemistry between the three amateur robbers and the performances of Riteish and Vivek Anand.
In Phullu, Sharib Hashmi plays the title character, an uneducated man who loves helping the women in his village. After he marries Begni (Jyoti Sethi) he learns about the menstruation cycle and sanitary napkins and decides to use his hard-earned money to create a sanitary napkin, despite opposition from his mother (Nutan Surya) and other women.
Firstpost.com’s Devansh Sharma said Hashmi carries the film on his shoulders and the film addresses a taboo exactly how it should be addressed — “subtly, yet with a much needed sense of normalcy.”