It’s difficult to tell what could have transpired between Aamir Khan and Chinese audience that made Dangal climb higher at box office ladder. Its dizzying box office success is a new milestone. Dangal’s breezy rise to become India’s biggest blockbuster entails a lot of shock value. Something that Baahubali 2 hasn’t been able to do. The film overtook Baahubali 2 as highest grossing Indian film of all time this Sunday. Dangal has so far amassed Rs 1719 crore worldwide including Rs 942 crore at China box office. Trade analyst Ramesh Bala confirmed same.
But the film’s new-found success in the neighbouring country is sort of a revelation. Unlike SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2, Dangal was not touted as a winner. Of course, it was expected to do well in India as it was a giant Aamir Khan vehicle powered by the intent to tell an honest story. And it did well in the country. What was not expected was how Dangal would become China’s darling and Aamir Khan a household name there. When you are forced to see a film beyond mind-boggling box office figures and explore different dimensions of success, you know it’s different. Also, you do not expect a sports drama to become a rage or phenomenon in another country.
Row – ₹ 745 Cr
Total – ₹ 1,719 Cr
— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) May 30, 2017
Dangal was not a Marvel film or Baahubali. Still, the film was embraced by people of China and that’s reflected in kind of wave it created on China’s social media site: Weibo. In that sense, Dangal’s success has come as a surprise. It carries more shock value. Dangal’s success also created a new narrative for an Indian film in foreign territory that wasn’t just about number games.
The promotion of Baahubali 2 accompanied a lot of noise. It was served as India’s first fantasy epic that will match the scale with Hollywood’s best. It had elements of visuals, scale and grandeur. It was a perfect formula for box office success. Also given the huge success of Baahubali 1, Baahubali 2’s success was almost a given. So when it joined Rs 1000-crore club, its success was celebrated but had little shock value for the audience. Can Baahubali 2 create a new narrative in China?