The first film to achieve the Rs 100 crore feat in China was Aamir Khan-starrer PK.
A female-centric film and issue-based cinema—these are the two factors that are helping Rani Mukherjee-starrer Hichki click with the audience in China. The result of this is that the film has crossed Rs 100 crore in the neighbouring nation.
It is the sixth Indian film to attain the feat. The first film to achieve the Rs 100 crore feat in China was Aamir Khan-starrer PK. Other films include Dangal, Secret Superstar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and Hindi Medium. Hichki currently stands at a grand total of Rs USD 15.62 million (Rs 114.19 crore) in the country.
Despite new releases and reduction in shows, Hichki showed no signs of slowing down in China. Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted, “Hichki is now speeding towards ₹ 200 cr mark globally.”
The film’s gross box office collection in India stands at Rs 58 crore. Overseas the total is Rs 20 crore but this is excluding China. Worldwide business comes to around Rs 183 crore.
For Indian films, it is not the big-screen spectacles or unbelievable storylines that are working with the Chinese audience. In fact, more realistic cinema and human connect is touching the movie-goers’ heart in the country.
The presence of a strong female protagonist could have been the winning formula for Hichki. Women empowerment and women-taking-the-lead are themes that have worked before as well.
In an earlier interview to Moneycontrol, Amit Sharma, Managing Director (MD) of Miraj Cinemas had said, "If the success of previous films is taken into consideration, there has been another common thread – a strong female protagonist. Even for Dangal, it was the theme of women empowerment that struck the right chord with cinema lovers in China."
Among the films that have released in China, only Secret Superstar and Hichki have women as central characters.
Also, Dangal’s success in China made it increasingly clear that human stories have an easier way to travel through the nation. Films which have universal content have worked well in China, and these may not necessarily be blockbusters.
There was a time when only big-ticket films showed potential in China – those backed by big studios, and a popular star caste. China was once also considered another territory for already successful Indian films to see more growth offshore.
However, the last two years have witnessed a paradigm shift. Films that had an average performance in India did exceptionally well in China. For example, Secret Superstar. In India, the film earned Rs 80 crore, but in China it minted Rs 175 crore within three days of its release.In addition, small and mid-size films are now getting the opportunity to connect with the Chinese audience. Films in this category include Hindi Medium, Secret Superstar, Hichki with an investment of Rs 23 crore, Rs 45 crore and Rs 20 crore, respectively.