News Round-Up: Sonam Kapoor Dating, Happy Bhaag Jayegi Slow But Sure at Box Office, and WILL SMITH!!!

WILL SMITH!!!  What the heck is he doing in India?  More specifically, what the heck is he doing at a Rustom success party at Akshay Kumar’s house?  I mean, it looks like a fun party.  Not some huge fancy wedding/Karan Johar style thing, just a relaxed house party.  But still!  How do they even know each other?

You ready for my all time favorite Will Smith/India connection?  This video, from when he was on an Indian talk show years ago, and was very willing to follow directions, even if he had no idea what was going on.

 

Anyway, now he is back in India, and presumably has some other kinds of connections which lead Akshay and Twinkle to invite him over to their house for a party.  Or maybe they just heard he was in town and figured someone who would sing “Aati Kya Khandala” on Indian Idol would be game for anything?

Bollywoodhungama has gathered together all the photos tweeted of the evening:


	Check out: Hollywood star Will Smith parties with Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and others

(I feel like these guys would get along well.  Both sort of wise-cracking action stars who don’t always take themselves too seriously)


	Check out: Hollywood star Will Smith parties with Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and others

(Hey!  These guys were just in America!  They could talk to Will Smith about that!  Although, I don’t think they did a show in LA.  Or Philadelphia)


	Check out: Hollywood star Will Smith parties with Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and others

(No Will Smith in this shot, but it looks like a fun party, right?  Plus, check out Karan’s immaculate Photo Face!)


	Check out: Hollywood star Will Smith parties with Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and others

(I feel like these two would make a great couple onscreen, if Will ever decides to do a cross-over film.)

And of course Twinkle was there, hosting them all.


	Check out: Hollywood star Will Smith parties with Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and others


	Check out: Hollywood star Will Smith parties with Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and others

 

No photos for this next story, but Sonam Kapoor is dating!  Possibly!  Rumored to be dating a Delhi fashion business guy, Anand Ahuja.  Which is perfect for her!  She takes her fashion as seriously, if not more seriously, than her film career.  So a relationship with a fashion guy sounds about right.  But there are no photos or confirmations, because Sonam has learned her lesson and is very very careful about keeping her private life private, after the disaster of the Ranbir-story-that-will-never-die.

 

 

And finally, Box Office!  Bollywoodhungama has some quick early analysis of Indian figures, which are of course completely unreliable and mostly estimates (that’s why I usually stick with the global figures from Rentrax).

But, even with this early unreliable info, something becomes very clear.  Which is that, a “good” smaller release, even 3 “good” films, are not enough to actually fill all the theaters in India.  Happy Bhaag Jayegi is holding steady, within the range of Dolly Ki Doli and Khoobsurat, the last two small quiet rom-coms with no real big names.  Wonderful news!  I hope producers look at this and see that there is an audience for these small happy love stories, and you can make a reliable profit on them.

A Flying Jatt is doing ever so slightly worse than Tiger’s last release Baaghi, which now means it is “disappointing”.  Because the assumption is that a young star will go from strength to strength, each film doing better than the last.  If A Flying Jatt had come out first and Baaghi second, the box office would be fine.  However, the box office does show that I was right about the audience, it went up considerably on Saturday, when the child audience came into the mix, unlike the evening weekday shows.

And then there’s Rustom, in its 3rd week, still doing okay.  Well, okay for a 3rd week.

But, all 3 of these films combined, with their modest box office this particular weekend, according to Bollywoodhungama estimates, are only filling 25% of the theaters in the country.  This figure leaped out at me, because I had just read an article that moviemavengal tweeted from a post from the Koffee with Karan website, from Forbes.

This article was arguing that India is under-screened, which is the same argument that Industry folks are always making about why release dates are such an issue, because there aren’t enough screens for 2 big releases at once.  But, based on this weekend, there are too many screens for 3 modest releases.  So maybe the problem isn’t the screens, it’s the releases.  If one of the big films was willing to take this modest holiday weekend, instead of waiting for the next major holiday, then there would be no screen issues.

Or, maybe the “underscreened” complaint is illusionary, because everyone is picturing more screens as bringing in more urban middle-class multiplex costumers.  But, I think, the majority of those “underscreened” masses are out in rural areas.  They can’t afford multiplex prices, and it would be prohibitively expensive to build one out there anyway.  Build a nice simple little single screen, charge bare minimum ticket prices, and you can make a nice profit within a few years.  But even so, you still won’t make any money this week, with Rustom and Happy Bhaag Jayegi mostly in English.  Maybe A Flying Jatt, with all the fun action scenes and and stuff, that could do well in the hypothetical newly screened population.  Those are the producers who should be pushing hard for more screens, the fun entertainer cheap action film makers.

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