Andhadhun crosses Rs 100 cr mark in China; supplants earnings of Baahubali 2, Thugs of Hindostan, Padman
Andhadhun has shattered a significant myth that Chinese cinephiles only celebrate socially-conscious, message-driven movies from the Indian film industry.
Director Sriram Raghavan's black comedy-crime thriller Andhadhun, which was given a rapturous reception by Indian moviegoers when it released last year, has landed in mainland China and is off to a flying start at the box-office. The film, which released on 3 April for the five-day Qingming festival weekend (Chinese Memorial Day) in the Middle Kingdom, has hauled in a cumulative total of $14 million (Rs 97 cr) in its opening weekend.
Ayushmann Khurranna told IANS, ""It is a humbling moment for me and the entire team of Andhadhun that after becoming a blockbuster in India, the film is also a blockbuster in China. Sriram Raghavan is a visionary director and I'm thrilled to see the love his film has been getting. He deserves all the success and more," he said.
After the box-office debacle of Aamir Khan's Thugs of Hindostan, which collapsed at the ticket window with a scanty lifetime total of $9 million (Rs 64 cr) and was declared a massive loss for distributors, Chinese exhibitors had been playing the waiting game for their next Indian release. In fact, late actor Sridevi's thriller drama Mom, which was originally slated to launch in the PRC on 22 March, has been postponed to 10 May to coincide with the occasion of Mother's Day.
Although the Chinese theatrical rights to Vijay's 2017 blockbuster Mersal and Rajinikanth's sci-fi magnum-opus 2.0 were picked up long before Andhadhun's deal was secured by Donald Tang-owned Tang Media Partners, the distributors are wary of the recent box-office failures of Indian releases and are quite attentive about their choices now. Sources say the unanimous positive WOM, critics' reviews and the box-office success of Andhadhun pushed the Chinese distributor to release it as the first Indian movie of 2019 in the world's second-largest movie market.
Nine Indian films released in China in 2018 including Akshay Kumar's Padman and Aamir Khan's Thugs of Hindostan, which saw the light of day towards the fag end of the year on 28 December. While Secret Superstar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Hindi Medium provided an excellent start to Indian imports at mainland box-office in 2018, the next three releases, Baahubali: The Conclusion, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Sultan bit the dust before Rani Mukerji's Hichki revived the much-needed momentum with a fantastic $21.4 million lifetime total.
In just five days, Andhadhun, which stars Tabu, Ayushmann Khurrana, and Radhika Apte in the lead roles, has already outpaced the lifetime China earnings of films such as Baahubali: The Conclusion, Thugs of Hindostan, Sultan, and Padman. It's currently the eighth highest-grossing Indian film in China after Dangal, Secret Superstar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Hindi Medium, Hichki, PK, and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. Produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures & Matchbox Pictures and distributed internationally by Eros International, Andhadhun is all set to surpass the lifetime total of TEPK ($14.2 million; Rs 97.8 cr) today (8 April).
After securing a paltry opening day total of $1.06 million (Rs 7.33 cr), followed by a decent day two gross of $1.77 million (Rs 12.25 cr), the positive word-of-mouth for the film on online platforms like Douban picked up rapidly and fuelled the Friday-Sunday figures to a whopping $11.1 million total. While Maoyan, China's popular movie ticketing, and box-office platform, is forecasting an ambitious lifetime total of 281 million yuan ($41.8 million), we have to wait and see how the film holds in the weekdays now before arriving at a conclusion.
Titled Piano Player for Chinese audiences, the film has a peachy 9.2 stars out of 10 on Maoyan from 30,000 viewers and is currently tracking better than 99% of suspense films and 96% of comedy movies on the platform.
Andhadhun has also shattered a significant myth that Chinese cinephiles only celebrate socially-conscious, message-driven movies from the Indian film industry. In fact, Spanish thriller Contratiempo (the original version of recent Hindi super-hit Badla), and Thai heist thriller Bad Genius tasted massive commercial success in the Middle Kingdom with respective cumulative takings of over $30 million and $40 million respectively.
The PRC theatrical receipts ($14 million; Rs 97 cr) of Andhadhun have already sprinted past the film's total earnings in India (Rs 95.63 cr gross). Now, the worldwide theatrical revenue of Andhadhun, including the lifetime non-China overseas total of $3.1 million (Rs 23 cr), stands at a whopping Rs 215.63 cr, making it the second Rs 200 cr film for Ayushmann Khurrana after the blockbuster Badhaai Ho.
Andhadhun has also become the ninth highest-grossing Indian film of 2018, dethroning Akshay Kumar's Padman and Alia Bhatt's Raazi. It will soon vault over the worldwide revenue of Badhaai Ho and will emerge as Ayushman's highest-grossing film.
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