Despite Aamir Khan’s immense popularity in China, poor reviews and less than appreciative word of mouth for Thugs of Hindostan may have impacted the film’s business in the country
Bollywood’s rough run in China continues as Aamir Khan-starrer Thugs of Hindostan opened in the neighbouring nation on a dismal note.
With first day collection at around Rs 10 crore, the film’s performance in China is akin to its domestic and overseas numbers. While the film had a strong start in India with a record opening collection of over Rs 50 crore, the numbers dipped from day two.
The film opened its account in China on December 28 with a collection of Rs 10.75 crore, only to confirm its slow demand among the Chinese audience. The second day did not show much improvement with Rs 10.94 crore. By day three (Rs 11.25 crore), the film had collected a total of around Rs 32 crore. Neither the weekend, nor the New Year celebrations helped boost the film’s collections at the Chinese box office.
Poor reviews and less than appreciative word of mouth for Thugs of Hindostan may have impacted the film’s business even in China. This is despite Khan’s immense popularity in the country.
It was Khan’s 3 idiots that had first opened the Chinese market for Indian movies. But, it was Dangal, Khan’s 2016 offering that had given Bollywood assurance that a new market as big as China was accepting Indian films. Since then, producers have stepped up their game for a China release.
Dangal opened its China business with a revenue of Rs 17.43 crore. Khan’s Secret Superstar had made a record start of over Rs 48 crore.
Thugs of Hindostan is Khan’s sixth release in the country, with all its predecessors having tasted success. Banking on this, Yash Raj Films (YRF) expected the film’s China release to recover cost after failing to do so on the home turf. The film was made with an estimated budget of Rs 300 crore.
Although Thugs of Hindostan is not seeing much traction in China, YRF is in the safe zone as it received a substantial amount of over Rs 100 crore upfront, from the local distributors for the film, banking on Khan’s popularity in the neighbouring nation.
The film was re-edited for the China release. From two hours and 44 minutes, the film was cut short to two hours and 21 minutes, including credits.
Experts are of the opinion that stories with human interest sell better in the Chinese market. They also believe that larger than life cinemas do not have much acceptance there. This may have been a factor that sealed the fate of Thugs of Hindostan even before its release in China.
The Chinese market seems bit of a puzzle when previous Bollywood releases like PadMan and 102 Not Out are analysed.
Both films had an emotional connect and were not big screen spectacles. Yet, they fizzled at the Chinese box office. Akshay Kumar’s PadMan managed low key collections of Rs 66.91 crore after fourteen days.While it remains unclear if there is a formula or a pattern for films to work in China, the Indian film industry is confident that films high on content will continue to draw audience at the China box office.