Salman Khan's Sultan rakes in $5 million in 11 days in China, surpassing Padmaavat's overseas earnings

Surendhar MK

September 12, 2018 08:36:34 IST

Salman Khan's wrestling drama Sultan has turned out to be a significant disappointment in China, with the film's earnings amounting to just $5 million (Rs 36.3 cr) in 11 days. The 2016 blockbuster directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by Yash Raj Films was the actor's highest grossing film before his 2015 super-hit Bajrangi Bhaijaan raked in the moolah in the Middle Kingdom and dethroned Sultan in April this year when it released on the Lantern festival weekend on 2 March.

Salman Khan in Sultan. Image via Twitter/@bollywoodnewsfb

Salman Khan in Sultan. Image via Twitter/@bollywoodnewsfb

Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which marked Salman Khan's foray into the mainland market, registered the third biggest opening ever for an Indian film with a cumulative day one gross of $2.24 million (Rs 14.6 cr)—only behind Aamir Khan's Secret Superstar ($6.97) and Dangal ($2.55 million) then. However, Sultan scored a dismal opening day revenue of $0.94 million (Rs 6.67 cr), besides settling for an average opening weekend total of $3 million (Rs 21.3 cr).

Now, the film which also stars Anushka Sharma in a pivotal role, has earned a meagre $2 million in eight days until 10 September, followed by the opening weekend. The massive drop in the revenue in the weekdays was highly anticipated since Sultan registered the weakest opening for an Indian film in 2018 and had to confront tough contenders like Mission: Impossible – Fallout and holdover blockbusters such as Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Meg, Hello Mr. Billionaire, and The Island.

While Bajrangi Bhaijaan finished its month-long theatrical run with a $45.3 million (Rs 294 cr) cumulative box-office haul on 2 April, Sultan is likely to complete its PRC spell with a lifetime total of 37.4 million yuan ($5.45 million; Rs 39.6 cr) according to the forecast by Maoyan, China’s popular ticket-selling and box-office platform. Surprisingly, Sultan holds a score of 9.3 out of 10 on Maoyan from 20,000 viewers (Bajrangi Bhaijaan had an impressive 9.7). On Douban, China's IMDB, the film has a below-par score of 7 on 10 while Bajrangi Bhaijaan enjoyed an excellent 8.6.

With a gross revenue of $5 million from 11 days, the global running total of Sultan now stands at Rs 623.33 Cr, making China the second highest-grossing overseas market for the film after the USA, where it took home earnings of $6.2 million. The PRC takings of the film have pushed its cumulative foreign box office receipts to $29.82 million. Now, Sultan has surpassed the overseas earnings of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus Padmaavat, which amassed $29 million when it released in January this year.

By the end of its lifetime run in China, Sultan will become the eighth Indian film after Hindi Medium, Dangal, Secret Superstar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Baahubali: The Conclusion, PK and Dhoom 3 to touch the $30 million mark from offshore earnings. After debuting at the third place on the box-office chart on 31 August, Sultan dropped to the fourth position on 1 September and maintained the same spot until 7 September. When new import films such as adventure thriller Alpha, and biographical movie Pelé: Birth of a Legend landed in mainland screens on 8 September, Sultan was moved to the tail end of the box office chart at the tenth position, before it disappeared entirely in its second weekend on 9 and 10 September.

MI: Fallout, Ant-Man, and the Wasp, Hello Mr. Billionaire and The Island rule China box-office

With earnings over $140.8 million in 11 days, Tom Cruise's MI: Fallout has dethroned Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation's Middle Kingdom total of $135.6 million to become the highest-grossing film in the franchise in the world's second-largest movie market. MI 6 is currently the sixth highest-earning import film of 2018 after Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World 2, Ready Player One, The Meg, and Rampage. The Christopher McQuarrie-directed film will vault over the 1 billion yuan mark and become the 14th film in 2018 to reach the milestone in China.

MI 6 has also raced ahead of Disney/Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp, which has earned a cumulative total of $117.4 million in 18 days. Meanwhile, Ant-Man (804 million yuan) has unseated Aamir Khan's Secret Superstar (747 million yuan) in local currency to become the seventh highest-performing import film of this year.

The summer season has been extremely productive for China's domestic market since the industry witnessed a spate of massive blockbusters such as Dying to Survive, The Island and Hello Mr. Billionaire. While Dying to Survive is the third highest-grossing of film of 2018 in China, The Island has pulled in a cumulative box-office haul of $196.5 million in 32 days and is inching towards the $200 million benchmark soon. Hello Mr. Billionaire, on the other hand, has earned a phenomenal total of $370 million from 46 days and is currently the fourth highest-grossing film of 2018 in the PRC.

Updated Date: Sep 12, 2018 08:36 AM