Aamir Khan-starrer PK is already breaking box office records for a Bollywood film in China. As of Monday, the film had raked in Rs 35 crore in just three days after its Friday launch,
“This is record breaking for an Indian film in China,” Gu Wancheng, partner for NPRG, the Chinese firm which introduced the movie to distributors here, told India Today in an interview.
Prior to PK, the highest-grossing Indian film was Dhoom 3, Gu said. The Hrithik starrer had managed to earn 19 million RMB through its entire release in China. “PK had made that amount by its second day alone,” Gu said.
PK has now surpassed every film currently showing, including both Chinese films as well as non-Chinese ones, and is second only to Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, which brought in 1.3 billion Yuan (Rs 1,300 crore) over the past two weeks.
Gu said that the two main reasons behind PK’s success were a high-profile launch involving Hirani, Aamir Khan and Vidhu Vinod Chopra in Beijing mid-May – rare for a Bollywood film in a market it has long ignored – and “very good reviews” in recent days that have driven audiences.
Aamir Khan’s popularity in China has, no doubt, also helped the film: The actor’s 3 Idiots was a cult hit in China, even though it was released more than a year after it first went viral through Chinese online movie-sharing websites.
Chinese filmgoers have even taken to asking why Chinese directors have been unable to produce creative films. “I have to say Indian films are so much better than Chinese films,” wrote blogger Karem on Chinese micro-blogging website Sina Weibo. “PK is an Indian film that is so comprehensive. After the first half, I thought it was a comedy. After the second, I thought it was a critical film, and then it ended as a love story.”
The film’s critical take on religious issues has also struck a chord in China, which is officially atheist but currently grappling with a resurgence in spiritual practice. China has more than a hundred million Buddhists, according to official estimates, and tens of millions of Christians and Taoists.