Hindi Medium box office collection surges past Rs 300 crore after China run; trumps Padmaavat's overseas gross

Surendhar MK

April 16, 2018 11:56:58 IST

2018 is already turning out to be a significant year for Indian films at the overseas box office. Riding on the heels of the successful performances of Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar and Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Irrfan Khan’s acclaimed hit Hindi Medium landed in mainland cinemas on 4 April for the five-day Qingming festival weekend with a good gross of $3.43 million (Rs 22.25 crore) opening day bow.

Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar in a still from Hindi Medium. YouTube

Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar in a still from Hindi Medium. YouTube

Now, the Saket Chaudhary-directed film has completed its second weekend box office haul in the Middle Kingdom with a 12-day total of $29.43 million (Rs 191.9 crore), driving the film’s cumulative overseas earnings to $31.43 million (Rs 204.94 crore).

Now, the film’s worldwide gross, including the Rs 96.65 crore theatrical takings from India, has crept past the Rs 300 crore mark with a solid Rs 301.59 crore cumulative, making it the 20th Indian movie to enter the elite Rs 300 crore club and the 20th all time highest grossing Indian film ever. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, Tiger Zinda Hai, Golmaal Again and Secret Superstar from 2017, and Padmaavat this year were the last entrants to make it to the Rs 300 crore league and beyond.

After registering the second biggest ever opening – $3.43 million day one against Dangal and Bajrangi’ Bhaijaan's $2.55 million and $2.24 million – for an Indian film in the PRC, only behind Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar ($6.97 million), Hindi Medium sprinted its way to the $20 million mark in the five-day holiday weekend, taking its mainland total to Rs 137 crore. Although the film received excellent WOM on review aggregator and ticket-selling platforms like Douban and Maoyan, it slowed down considerably from Monday (9 April), earning a meager $8 million from the last seven days and failed to sustain the brilliant initial momentum.

Talking about Hindi Medium's performance in the PRC, Gavin Feng, Chinese box office tracker, told Firstpost, "Ready Player One attracted more audience since it had terrific WOM. General audiences in China have been waiting to see a good film coming out of Hollywood since this year has not been good for English-language imports. Hindi Medium is also doing good business with good WOM. It has made enough money for the local distributor though it has not touched $50M or $100M."

Although Irrfan's previous international appearances such as Jurassic World, The Amazing Spider-Man and Life Of Pi accrued good numbers from China, Gavin says he is not as famous as Aamir Khan or Salman Khan. "I think the general audience in China needs time to accept non-Aamir or Salman movies. Irrfan Khan is a good actor. People can recognise the movies Irrfan has been part of when they see him on the big screen but they might not know his name yet," she said.Now, Maoyan’s initial lifetime revenue forecast of 300 million yuan ($47.57 million) has been, understandably, revised to 221 million yuan ($35.3 million). Hindi Medium – which also stars Saba Qamar and Deepak Dobriyal in key roles – continued to swat away competition from local films such as Wrath Of Silence, Nuts, Cats and Peachtopia and the Chinese-Russian co-production The Snow Queen 3: Fire and Ice for nine consecutive days to cling to its second place at the daily box office chart below Steven Spielberg’s VFX-laden extravaganza Ready Player One. It took Dwayne Johnson’s sci-fi monster film Rampage and Netflix’s psychological horror thriller Annihilation on 13 April to push Hindi Medium to the fourth place.

Thanks to Chinese moviegoers’ newfound love for Indian films, there has been a never-before-seen constant shift in the all time highest grossing Indian movies list every time a film scores a mainland release. Now, Hindi Medium, with its total overseas box office receipts of $31.43 million, has become the seventh Indian film to sail over the $30 million mark after such films as Dangal, Secret Superstar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, PK and Dhoom 3. In fact, Hindi Medium has quietly out-grossed the overseas theatrical sales of 2018’s top-grossing blockbuster Padmaavat, which earned nearly $29 million offshore.

Hindi Medium is now the eleventh highest grossing import film of 2018 in China. It will eventually outperform Julia Roberts-starrer Wonder ($30.1 million) and is likely to finish below Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s dismal $42.57 million lifetime gross in the Middle Kingdom.

Updated Date: Apr 16, 2018 12:39 PM