Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch the Teaser Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Watch the Teaser Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Russia Bans Tom Hardy Thriller 'Child 44,' "A Bloody Mass of Orcs and Ghouls" Russia Bans Tom Hardy Thriller 'Child 44,' "A Bloody Mass of Orcs and Ghouls" Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC LA Film Fest Adds 10 Buzzy Indies and First-Ever TV Gala to Lineup LA Film Fest Adds 10 Buzzy Indies and First-Ever TV Gala to Lineup Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive) The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive) The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' Lars von Trier's Last Cannes Q & A: "Stupid" Statements, Melancholia, "I Am Not a Nazi," Dunst, Cruz Lars von Trier's Last Cannes Q & A: "Stupid" Statements, Melancholia, "I Am Not a Nazi," Dunst, Cruz

'Chennai Express' Breaks Bollywood Opening Weekend Box Office Record, Why World's Biggest Movie Star Is Shah Rukh Khan

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and David Chute | Thompson on Hollywood August 12, 2013 at 3:09PM

Romantic action comedy "Chennai Express" broke all stateside Bollywood box office records last weekend with $2,225,000 in 196 locations and a huge $11,352 per screen average. The old record of $1,944,027 had been held since 2010 by "My Name is Khan," also starring Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan. "Chennai Express" also beat the five-day Christmas holiday weekend opening of $2,149,227 for 2009’s "3 Idiots," starring Aamir Khan, which holds the record for the largest lifetime gross for a Bollywood film with a cume of $6,533,849. (Review round up, Hey Guys video interview and trailer are below.)
11
'Chennai Express'
'Chennai Express'

Hardcore Bollywood fans have to work hard to find new movies when they open in the U.S. They tend to be press-screened in New York, not L.A., and the faithful have to track down the neighborhood theaters that play them--whether in Culver City, Covina or Artesia. The movies are often three hours long, so a Chai break at intermission is always welcome. You never know whether you're going to get a winner. You can usually count on Aamir Khan ("Lagaan," 2001), who works at the top of the Bollywood pyramid, but you take your chances with just about everyone else. 

UTV Motion Pictures' romantic action comedy "Chennai Express" broke all stateside Bollywood box office records last weekend with $2,225,000 in 196 locations and a huge $11,352 per screen average. The old record of $1,944,027 had been held since 2010 by "My Name is Khan," also starring Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan. "Chennai Express" also beat the five-day Christmas holiday weekend opening of $2,149,227 for 2009’s "3 Idiots," starring Aamir Khan, which holds the record for the largest lifetime gross for a Bollywood film with a cume of $6,533,849. (Review round up, Hey Guys video interview and trailer are below.) 

In "Chennai Express" (in Hindi and Tamil with English subtitles), Shah Rukh Khan plays a man who journeys to a small town in Tamil Nadu in order to fulfill the last wish of his grandfather to have his ashes immersed in the Holy water of Rameshwaram. En route, he meets and falls in love with a South Indian girl (Deepika Padukone); they embark on a series of adventures on the road. 

Called by the LA Times "the world's biggest movie star," Khan's fans number in the billions. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world. Born in Delhi in 1965 and raised there, SRK is now 47, a few years shy of the age achieved by the superstar of a previous generation, Amitabh Bachchan, in the early '90s, when he was eclipsed by the stars who were to rule the roost in the coming decades, the so-called Three Khans, Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh. But SRK seems in no danger of being eclipsed in turn. An excellent actor and one of Bollywood's best dancers ever, he has been a major movie star continuously for twenty years, with an unbroken string of hits. 

Throughout his career Khan has been known for playing obstreperous sometimes crazy lovers in such romantic vehicles as "Dil To Pagal Hai" ("The Heart is Crazy," 1997), "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" ("Some Things Just Happen," 1998), "Kal Ho Naa Ho" ("Tomorrow May Not Come," 2003) and "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi" ("A Match Made By God," 2008). But he has also made a point of taking strong dramatic roles in films such as "Devdas" (2002) and "My Name is Khan" (2010). In two of the biggest recent hits he returned to his anti-hero roots playing an elusive and glamorous gangster in Farhan Akhtar's highly successful remake of one of Bachchan's biggest hits of the '70s, "Don: The Chase Begins Again" (2006) and its sequel "Don 2: The Chase Continues" (2011), the latter in 3-D.

"Chennai Express" marks a departure for Shah Rukh Khan. He's working for the first time with relatively new director Rohhit Shetty, who is the only current Bollywood film director to direct three films in a row that grossed 100 crore rupees ($23,000,000.00): "Golmaal 3" (2010), "Singham" ("Lion, 2011) and "Bol Bachchan" (2012). "Golmaal" ("Fishy," 2006) and its two sequels are fast-paced and colorful slapstick action comedies that are anything but subtle (every sight gag is punctuated with a boing/splat sound effect). "Singham" had less comedy and more head-banging action, in the slow-mo/bullet time style of regional South India Tamil Tamil and Malayalam films. 

Hollywood could learn from Bollywood. Kahn told The Guardian what Bollywood movies have going for them:

Right from my very first film and all of the films I've grown up watching, it's always had a little bit of everything. It's had romance, colour, it's had action, song and has had dance. And I think that's what makes our films so universally appealing. A five-year old can watch it, and an elderly person can watch it. You can watch it with your family, and you can watch it with your loved one. I mean I don't know any other way, this is how it's always been.

This article is related to: Bollywood , My Name is Khan, Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Shah Rukh Khan


E-Mail Updates