Dangal, the Aamir Khan starrer about the journey of two girls and their father from the rustic hinterland of Haryana to Olympic glory, has become an unlikely hit in China, yes China, and its successful run has put it at No.5 in the list of highest grossing movies so far in 2017! Yesterday, the desi family sports drama pushed the 2016 Hong Kong-China action film Operation Mekong out of the No. 20 position to enter the list of China’s top 20 highest-grossing movies in history, making a record $174.8 million in the Chinese market. With this, Dangal has also become the highest grossing non-Chinese movie ever, a tag that one would have hardly expected the movie to earn when it was released in December for the Indian screens, the intended target of the movie. The movie’s performance has surpassed milestone after milestone, including the maximum number of days with earnings upwards of $1 million (35 so far) and the highest grossing Indian movie in a single territorial market. It is reported that Dangal has 20 days left on its China sojourn, which should help it earn enough money to push past Hollywood blockbuster Avatar at No.15.
Dangal opened to 9,000 screens in China, nearly twice the 5,000-screen worldwide total it was shown in its worldwide release in December. The movie has been titled “摔跤吧！爸爸,” roughly translated as “Let’s Wrestle! Dad,” for the local audiences. It should be noted that Aamir Khan is already a big name in the Chinese market, with his films like 3 Idiots and PK making notable runs, but the success of Dangal has surprised most film critics and market commentators. A lot of them feel that it is the social commentary of the film as well as the well-established charisma of Aamir Khan that has resonated with the Chinese audience. At any rate, the language barrier has certainly been surpassed, as Khan pointed out in a recent media interaction, and the makers of the movie will be mighty pleased with this unexpected success of the movie.