‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ sneaks into US box office top 10

By AFP
Published: November 20, 2012

The movie entered the top 10 at number 8, taking $1.3 million at the box office. PHOTO: FILE

LOS ANGELES: The final chapter of the blockbuster Twilight vampire franchise took the biggest bite out of North America’s weekend box office – while a Bollywood film made a rare showing in the top 10.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, the fifth and final installment of the wildly popular series, took $141.1 million, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations.

But almost more eye-catching was Jab Tak Hai Jaan a three-hour extravaganza which was the last film made by legendary Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra, the “king of romance,” before he died last month.

The movie entered the top 10 at number 8, taking $1.3 million at the box office, a rare appearance for a Bollywood film in box office rankings usually dominated by Hollywood productions.

“It is very rare indeed for a Bollywood film to make the Top 10,” said Exhibitor Relations expert Jeff Bock, while noting that they “routinely” make it into the top 20.

“Bollywood does have a very loyal following in the US as almost every week there is a new Bollywood film in limited release, and every now and then they do open in the top 10,” he told AFP.

The Hindi cinema legend, hailed for directing, producing and screen-writing some of India’s most-loved movies over several decades, died last month aged 80 after being admitted to hospital with dengue fever.

Actors who had worked closely with Chopra, such as veteran Amitabh Bachchan and heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan, attended a private funeral at a crematorium in the city.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was quick to honor the late director on Sunday night, describing him as “an icon of Indian cinema” who would be remembered by millions.

Bock added that the Indian film benefited from a pre-Thanksgiving lull, ahead of the long US holiday weekend.

“There was a relative calm before the storm of films being released this Thanksgiving holiday. The box office has been set ablaze, but it’s really just a handful of films doing all the business,” he said.

The box office top spot was, as expected, taken by the last Twilight movie. The previous four films, based on novels by Stephenie Meyer and starting in 2008, earned a colossal $2.4 billion altogether.

In second place was the new James Bond movie Skyfall, last week’s top earner, which earned an estimated $41.1 million, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Third place went to the debut of the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln, starring Daniel Day Lewis in the role of America’s assassinated 16th president, which had $21 million in ticket sales.

Wreck-It Ralph, the animated Disney film about a video game villain with dreams of becoming a hero, earned $18.6 million for fourth place.

Fifth went to the movie Flight, a star vehicle for Denzel Washington, who plays a crash-landing pilot with substance abuse problems. It pulled in $8.8 million.

In sixth place was Argo, based on the true story of six Americans spirited out of Iran during the 1979-80 hostage crisis. The film directed by and starring Ben Affleck earned $4 million.

Taken 2, Liam Neeson’s return as ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills, racked up $2.1 million for seventh place.

After the Bollywood new entry in eighth spot came Pitch Perfect, a musical-comedy about an a cappella singing group, which earned just under $1.3 million for ninth place.

Rounding out the top 10 was Here Comes the Boom, a comedy starring Kevin James as a high school teacher on a quest to become a mixed martial arts fighter, with $1.2 million in tickets sold.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Rahul
    Nov 20, 2012 - 1:27PM

    NYT Critics have given JTHJ 3 – 3.5 rating on par with Skyfall, etc . And also many movies have entered Top 10 like 3 idiots , etc

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  • Nov 20, 2012 - 2:17PM

    ousm move

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  • indian
    Nov 20, 2012 - 4:08PM

    slap on face of those pakistani review walaaas who said ” it was OK….just OK….” cry babies can’t find life better………………..bollywood rocks…..jai hind!!!!!!!

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  • Someone
    Nov 21, 2012 - 9:20AM

    @indian: Ok calm down now. The only thing I read here is that there are lots of Indians migrants living in western countries such as the US and they go and watch their movies on weekends. And yet Indians always secretly back-bite these same Western countries that they are living in. You will never find an Indian in a western country who calls himself proudly a citizen of the country that he’s living in, despite reaping all the advantages there.

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  • something true
    Nov 22, 2012 - 8:27PM

    indian: get a life

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  • East Indian Immigrant
    Nov 23, 2012 - 12:44AM

    @Someone: I do not agree with back-bite comment. Yes it is true that some east-indian immigrants take time to adjust, but that is very small percentage and will always be there. However majority of Immigrant are thankful for the opportunity and loyal to their new home. On the other hand next generation (children for immigrants) are as loyal as it can be, to that country as this is where they are born and India is a foreign country to them and that’s the way it should be. Since we are on this topic, some native people will never accept immigrants anyway, Just plain truth. But I know percentage of these natives is small as most of people are open minded and see truth by themselves.

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