Jawan, a Hindi action thriller with Bollywood royalty Shah Rukh Khan set opening day records in India that are echoing Stateside. The Yash Raj Films release grossed more than $1.36 million on Thursday at 764 locations, meaning it was the no. 2 movie across North America behind wide release The Eoqualizer 3 with Denzel Washington. It edges up to 827 screens today.
The film directed by Atlee Kumar — about a man driven by a personal vendetta to rectify the wrongs of society and keep a promise made years ago — had some Imax screens too, including NYC’s AMC Empire in Times Square.
Shah Rukh Khan has now broken his own record in India. He also starred in Pathaan, released in January, which topped the local box office for a Hindi-language film.
Indian fare, long a staple of the U.S. theaters, has been even more crucial since Covid given the reliability of audiences that stream to cinemas to see films that always open day-and-date with the home territory. They usually play in a number of languages — Hindi Telugu, Tamil. And, while they don’t usually stay in theaters here for more than a week or two as new offerings roll out, they can make a big bang. Exhibition was pretty electrified by the crossover success of RRR last year and is always on the lookout for the next one like it.
Meanwhile, Bottoms, the sleeper hit from MGM, directed by Emma Seligman, expands to 1,265 screens from 715 last week and a limited opening at just ten locations the week before. Exit polls, word of mouth and off the charts social media engagement continue to buoy the raunchy teen comedy that stars Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri as queer high school seniors who start a girls fight club to attract cheerleaders. Produced by Elizabeth Banks’ Brownstone Productions, it broke into the top ten over Labor Day weekend.
New specialty openings: Blue Fox Entertainment presents Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe at 525 locations. Written and directed by Aitch Alberto. Anchor theatres in LA include Landmark’s Sunset, Laemmle Noho, AMC Glendale, Laemmle Glendale. In NYC, it’s at the Angelika Film Center, Alpine Brooklyn, Regal Union Square and AMC Empire. The film is based on a novel set in El Paso, so the distributor also has a strong batch of theatres throughout Texas and the South West.
Stars Eugenio Derbez, Eva Longoria, Max Pelayo and Reese Gonzales. It’s at 90% with critics on Rotten Tomatoes after premiering at TIFF last year, see Deadline review. The film explore the friendship between two teenage boys, 15-year-old Aristotle Mendoza, who wants to blend in and be left alone, and free spirit Dante Quintana, who disrupts his world. Their summer of adventure comes to an abrupt halt when the boys are torn apart.
Variance Films presents Amerikatsi in LA (AMC Americana at Brand) and NYC (Quad Cinema and AMC Empire 25), with an expansion planned. All three theaters will have Q&As with writer, director and star Michael Goorjian this weekend as the film has a waiver in hand for the comedy-drama.
In 1948, decades after fleeing Armenia to the U.S. as a child, Charlie returns in the hope of connecting to his roots but instead finds a country crushed under Soviet rule. After being unjustly imprisoned, he falls into despair until he discovers that he can see into a nearby apartment from his cell window — the home of a prison guard – and their lives become unexpectedly intertwined.
Netflix presents Pablo Larraín’s Venice-premiering dark comedy-horror El Conde in limited release. Written by Guillermo Calderón and Larraín, it imagines a parallel universe inspired by the recent history of Chile. Augusto Pinochet, a symbol of world fascism, is a vampire who lives hidden in a ruined mansion in the cold southern tip of the continent feeding his appetite for evil to sustain his existence. Stars Alfredo Castro, Catalina Guerra, Paula Luchsinger, Diego Muñoz, Gloria Münchmeyer. Deadline’s review calls the film “a pinnacle of audacious brilliance” for the director.
Greenwich Entertainment presents Joyce Carol Oates: A Body in the Service of Mind, a biographical documentary about and featuring the renowned author, with readings by Laura Dern. Originally premiered at Telluride in 2021. This is a day-and-date release playing theatrically in NYC (IFC) and LA (Royal).