Kal Penn’s movie opens at No. 2 in US

April 29th, 2008 - 11:07 am ICT by admin  

New York, April 28 (IANS) Indian American actor Kal Penn has got the hit he was waiting for with “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” grossing $14.6 million at the US box office in its opening weekend, just behind another comedy, “Baby Mama”. “Guantanamo Bay” cost just about $12 million to make and is expected to do $40 million business, according to Dan Fellman, Warner Bros.’ president of theatrical distribution.

The sequel to a much tamer “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle”, which was released in 2004 tries to generate laughter out of incendiary subjects like terrorism and racial profiling.

In the goofie comedy, Penn stars again as Kumar Patel, a second generation Indian American medical student, while John Cho is Harold Lee, a Korean American in his first job as investment banker. The duo try to outrun authorities who suspect them of being terrorists after the joint they sneak aboard a plane is thought to be a bomb.

Kal Penn - the screen name he extracted from his real name Kalpen Modi to avoid getting stereotypical roles - was born in New Jersey. After starring in Mira Nair’s acclaimed “The Namesake” (2007), he has started getting meatier roles in TV and movies.

The success of “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” is expected to further his career in Hollywood. He, however, quipped on the “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” show recently that people have started calling him Kumar, a common middle name in India.

Penn, a visiting lecturer in Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania this spring, has also been making headlines for publicly backing US presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

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