102 Not Out to release in China on 30 November, Thugs of Hindostan clears censorship process in Middle Kingdom
Besides Hichki and Thugs of Hindostan, Akshay Kumar's Padman is also likely to release in China soon as HY Media has acquired the theatrical rights.
Super-hit comedy-drama 102 Not Out, which marked the reunion of Bollywood veterans Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor after 27 years on screen, has been scheduled to hit theaters in mainland China on 30 November. The film, directed by Umesh Shukla, released in India on 4 May and went on to fetch both critical and commercial acclaim.
Based on the eponymous Gujarati play written by Saumya Joshi, 102 Not Out is jointly produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc and Treetop Entertainment. The film, which raked in Rs 85 crore in worldwide theatrical earnings during its lifetime run, has become the eighth Indian movie to release in the Middle Kingdom this year after Secret Superstar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Hindi Medium, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Sultan and Hichki.
Hollywood blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, which features an all-Asian cast, is also slated to hit Chinese screens on 30 November. The Warner Bros box office smash has hauled in $235.9 million worldwide so far and it will be looking forward to pocket more earnings in PRC's lucrative movie market. While trade pundits predict that Crazy Rich Asians will not receive the same overwhelming response as did stateside, it will definitely get more screens than 102 Not Out, since both Bachchan and Kapoor are new entrants to the China market.
Thugs of Hindostan clears censorship process
Aamir Khan's magnum-opus Thugs of Hindostan has cleared the censorship process in the world's second largest movie market and is set for a release. The runtime of the film in China is locked at 141 minutes, which is 23 minutes shorter than the Indian version of 164 minutes. Earlier, E Star Films, which acquired the theatrical rights of the film in the PRC, was targeting 14 December as the release date. Now, sources say E Star Films has reconsidered the release date since the movie is limping at the Indian box office with underwhelming reviews and weak word-of-mouth remarks from audiences.
The surprise announcement of 102 Not Out as the next Indian release in China has made it clear that Thugs of Hindostan may only see the light of day in the Middle Kingdom in early 2019, before the Chinese New Year, which falls on 5 February, 2019. Unless the China Film Bureau throws a massive surprise by slotting Thugs of Hindostan in the blackout period for import films, which is likely to start from 21 December, the Vijay Krishna Acharya-directed action adventure will only release in China in January or early February 2019.
Hichki completes China theatrical run with $21.3 million total
Rani Mukerji-starrer Hichki has winded up its theatrical run in the PRC with a cumulative total of $21.3 million (Rs 153.04 crore). It is currently the fifth highest earning Indian film in China after Dangal, Secret Superstar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Hindi Medium. Now, the worldwide gross of Hichki stands at a phenomenal Rs 229.07 crore and it is now the sixth highest grossing Bollywood film of 2018 after Padmaavat, Sanju, Race 3, Baaghi 2 and Thugs of Hindostan.
HY Media acquires Chinese theatrical rights of Padman
HY Media has acquired the Chinese theatrical rights of Akshay Kumar's Padman, directed by R Balki and jointly produced by Twinkle Khanna, Kriarj Entertainment and Sony Pictures. Akshay Kumar's last Chinese outing, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, finished its month-long theatrical run in the mainland with a decent gross of $14.2 million (Rs 97.8 crore). With social themed films minting money at the ticket window in the PRC, Padman is likely to get a good response from the Chinese film buffs. Padman may possibly release in the first quarter of 2019.
Tom Hardy's Venom smashes records
Tom Hardy-starrer superhero film Venom, which released on 9 November, has raced past the $150 million mark in theatrical revenue during just one week in China on 15 November. In local currency, it has successfully vaulted over the 1 billion yuan mark on Thursday to emerge as the fifth highest grossing import movie of 2018 after Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Ready Player One and Mission Impossible: Fallout.
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