Pran Krishan Sikand, one of India's most famous actors, passed away on Friday at the age of 93. He died at the Lilavati Hospital following a prolonged illness, and was cremated in Dadar this morning. During his 60 years as a Bollywood star, Pran acted in over 400 films and was recently awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke award, one of India's highest honors. Just to mention a few of his many movies, Pran starred in Azaad, Ziddi, Dil Diya Dard Liya, Madhumati, Devdas, Ram Aur Shyam, and Aadmi. [The Times of India]
Lootera was the top domestic film in India this week, earning a total of $3.6 million in its first week in release. The period drama played in 969 screens and was still able to outgross the premiere of Policegiri, the action comedy starring Sanjay Dutt, Prachi Desai, and Prakash Raj. Policegiri opened in a market-leading 1,455 screens and grossed $2.2 million -only to come up short against Lootera by nearly 33%. Raanjhanaa inched closer to the $10 million mark but didn't quite get there this week, ending its performance with a $9.4 million cume. Last week's top film, Ghanchakkar, suffered a big drop to fall to fifth place on the chart. Ghanchakkar grossed $4.6 million in last week's opening but struggled to even reach $250k after its screen count dropped from 1,511 to 755.
Ramaiya Vastavaiya is an upcoming musical Bollywood romance set to be released on July 19. Directed by Prabhudheva, the story follows Ram (Girish Kumar) as he attempts to win the hand of his beloved Sona (Shruti Hassan) by producing more seed in her family's fields. It is a remake of the blockbuster Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana.
Although the movie Ghanchakkar started off with a big bang, it is already declining in the box office Movie Press Review reports. During its opening weekend, the movie managed to make roughly 7 crores (approx. 1.5 million dollars) per night. This week it has barely been making 2 crores (approx. 428 thousand dollars) per night, as word of mouth has dissuaded many movie-goers from seeing the film. The film was supposed to be a comedy, but critics say that halfway through the movie, it seems as if "Director Rajkumar Gupta [...] got confused" and turned the film into a thriller instead.
Barfi, a romantic comedy about a deaf and mute man and his relationship with two women, won multiple awards at this years International Indian Film Awards, the Indian equivalent of the Oscars. The film's stars Ranbir Kapoor and Vidya Balan managed to scoop up best actor and actress respectively, while the production received the award for best film. [MicroFinance Moniter]