Bajrangi Bhaijaan's China box office collection at Rs 14.6 crore; crosses 3 Idiots' earnings
On its opening day, Bajrangi Bhaijaan has become the fourth highest Hindi grosser in China after three Aamir Khan films in Dangal, Secret Superstar and PK.
Salman Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which opened in Chinese mainland yesterday, has registered the third biggest opening ever for an Indian film in the Middle Kingdom with a cumulative gross of $2.24 million (Rs 14.6 crore). Aamir Khan's Secret Superstar ($6.97) and Dangal ($2.55 million) still occupy the first two slots for the biggest opening day gross in China.
The footfalls for Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which released in 8000 screens in the PRC yesterday, were a huge 4,56,016 with just 19,892 overall shows on day one. In comparison, the footfalls for Aamir Khan's leggiest film Dangal, which had 30,364 shows on its opening day, were 5,49,939. Secret Superstar, which steered Aamir Khan's cumulative China box-office receipts to Rs 2,000 crore, had close to 1.6 million admissions for just 55.9K shows on day one.
With the $2.24 million day-one gross, the total overseas revenue of Bajrangi Bhaijaan now stands at a whopping $31.24 (Rs 203.6 crore), making it the first film of Salman Khan to breach the $30 million mark from foreign markets. Bajrangi Bhaijaan has also surpassed the lifetime overseas gross of Aamir Khan's Dhoom 3 ($31 million) to emerge as the fourth highest-grossing Hindi film of all-time in overseas after Dangal, Secret Superstar, and PK. If you include SS Rajamouli's globe-trotting blockbuster Baahubali: The Conclusion as well, Bajrangi Bhaijaan now holds the record for the fifth highest-grossing Indian film in overseas territories.
Directed by Kabir Khan, Bajrangi Bhaijaan also stars Harshaali Malhotra, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Kareena Kapoor Khan in important roles. The film, which has its story penned by Baahubali writer Vijayendra Prasad, has hit the Chinese screens for the Lantern festival nearly three years after the Indian release (7 July 2015). The makers of the film considerably reduced the runtime from 159 minutes Indian version to 141 minutes for Chinese audiences.
Kabir and Malhotra have been promoting the film in Chinese cities and attended the premiere on 26 February, which opened to excellent word-of-mouth on Douban, China's IMDB, and Maoyan, country's largest online movie ticketing and fans rating portal. The film, which is interestingly titled Little Lolita Monkey God Uncle in China, has an excellent score of 8.6 on Douban. When Maoyan.com opened the film's rating card on the eve of release, it was 9.1 and now, as you read this piece, it stands at a peachy 9.7 score, which is more than Aamir Khan's latest hit Secret Superstar (9.5).
"We had conducted an extensive audition for the role of Harshaali. We auditioned close to 2,000 girls before zeroing in on her. We selected Harshaali because she was very passionate and had the enthusiasm to do the film. She is a natural actress," said Kabir Khan, who interacted with the audience after the premiere.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan has also become the first film of Salman Khan to enter the Rs 200 cr club in overseas markets. The movie's opening-day gross ($2.24 million) in China is almost close to the lifetime revenue of Aamir Khan's China debut 3 Idiots, which released in the Middle Kingdom in 2011 two years after its India release. A chunk of the film's attractive opening can be safely attributed to the renewed vigour for Indian movies in the PRC, thanks to Aamir Khan's consecutive blockbuster hits in Dangal and Secret Superstar, which hold the record for the top two highest-earning non-Hollywood films. In fact, the distributors in China capitalised on Aamir Khan's massive fan following to promote Bajrangi Bhaijaan with his teary-eyed photos from the film's screening held in Mumbai in July 2015.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan's opening day gross has also outgrossed the cumulative China box office earnings of Shah Rukh Khan in China. My Name Is Khan, Happy New Year and Fan earned a paltry cumulative of $680K approximately. After the second day run, Bajrangi Bhaijaan would comfortably outpace the lifetime revenue of Dhoom 3 ($3.1 million) and will eye PK's lifetime gross of $19 million next, if it sustains well until the next weekend.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan has also provided a good launchpad for director Kabir Khan, whose Indo-Chinese production Zookeeper is slated to hit screens towards the end of this year in the Middle Kingdom. Zookeeper, a travel drama, is jointly produced by Trinity Pictures, a child company of Eros International, and China Peacock Mountain and the Chinese state-owned Huaxia Distribution.
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