China goes the Bollywood way, queues up to watch Hindi films
The biggest Bollywood release of the weekend that’s just behind us wasn’t in India, but in China. As Aamir Khan’s Dangal opened on 10,000+ screens (taking around 40 per cent of China’s 25,000 screens ), it showed how important this market is becoming for Hindi cinema. Salman Khan’s Eid release Tubelight, directed by Kabir Khan, may get a China release as well. The film’s female lead is Chinese actor Zhu Zhu. Khan says that the film’s team is looking at every possibility of striking it big in China. “Yes, China has a great market,” Khan adds, “and I’d love to release my films there. Why just me? I’m sure more and more Indian filmmakers would love to release their films in China.” Interestingly, Salman Khan, who doesn’t do city tours in India to promote his films, may promote this film in key Chinese cities.
Among other major Indian films that did rather well in China are Aamir Khan’s PK and Bahubali: The Beginning. For Dangal, the opening day collection was `15 core . It was also an Aamir Khan film, 3 Idiots, which ended a fourdecade drought of Indian cinema in China when it released in 2011.
The Indo-China business channel, at least for commercial cinema, seems to be getting wider. Kung Fu Yoga, starring Jackie Chan, the Chinese actor who conquered Hollywood, had cross-border collaboration. The film co-starred Bollywood’s Sonu Sood and Disha Patani.
Trade analyst Komal Nahata says, “Films that have done well in India would do well in China. Their sensibilities and tastes are pretty similar to Indians.”
A still from Dangal
Stills from Tubelight (above); Kung Fu Yoga