Aamir Khan’s “Dangal”, based on the inspiring true-life story of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, has scripted history in China by becoming the first top- grossing non-Hollywood film. The movie has grossed USD 117 million at the box office, according to Maoyan, a popular ticketing website in China. Latest data from EntGroup, a leading entertainment consultancy group said the tickets sales have crossed 806 million yuan (USD 117 million) for the film since its May 5 release. With this “Dangal”, whose theme of female empowerment seems to have resonated with the audience here, has become the highest performing non-Hollywood foreign film in the Communist nation.
The film broke the record of “Your Name”, a Japanese fantasy drama, which netted 577 million yuan (USD 84 million) at the box office last year. Aamir plays the role of a father in the movie who teaches wrestling to his two daughters –Geeta and Babita. Geeta eventually won the gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Dangal” created a new record by earning USD 15 million on Saturday alone, Prasad Shetty, partner of Strategic Alliance, a Chinese firm promoting Indian films in China, told PTI.
The film continues to run in about 7000 screens in China and has become as popular as Raj Kapoor’s “Awara” in 1950 Aamir is already popular in the country thanks to the success of his previous films — “3 Idiots” and “PK”. The Bollywood star toured Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu ahead of the release of the film. A number of top Chinese film stars also wrote in their widely-read blogs about the movie, Shettey said.
Aamir has become equally popular on China’s microblog Weibo where he has 6.55 lakh followers. He has surpassed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to become the Indian with the largest following on Weibo. Modi, who opened the account in 2015 before his visit to China, was the most popular Indian with over 1.68 lakhs followers.