After conquering the Indian box office in 2016, Salman Khan-Anushka Sharma's blockbuster hit, Sultan, is slated for release in China on August 31. China is fast emerging as the favourite playground for Indian movies. To gauge what the Chinese markets can do for the box office of a film, one only needs to look at Aamir Khan's movies. Aamir Khan's Dangal became one of the highest-earning Indian movies, thanks to the Chinese market. His next release Secret Superstar also raked in the big bucks to become the third highest-grossing Indian movie. His earlier releases performed exceptionally well too.
Sultan was a raging hit in India, with approximate collections of Rs 420 crore. Perhaps, people loved the macho star's washout avatar in the movie. Salman Khan plays the role of Sultan Ali Khan, a middle-aged, out-of-shape ex-wrestling star who goes back to the ring to win back the love of his estranged wife, Aarfa.
While Sultan's release in China gives the movie another chance to fill up its kitty, it does have a behemoth of an opponent in Dangal. Comparisons between both the movies will be inevitable as both Sultan and Dangal revolve around wrestling, involve female wrestlers, take place in Haryana, take on issues intrinsic to the Indian society and feature the main leads as has-beens.
While Aamir Khan has his cult following in China, Salman Khan, too, does not have a bad track record. Salman Khan's 2015 release, Bajrangi Bhaijaan that was released in China under the name Little Lolita Monkey God Uncle performed really well in the Chinese box office. It collected approximately Rs 330 crore in China. While that is a far cry from Dangal's business of approximately Rs 1,400 crore, it is a robust collection in itself.
As China emerges as one of the biggest markets for Indian movies, filmmakers are pushing to get their movies released in the country. It is a tough fight as China allows only a handful of foreign films every year, out of which big American releases are the top bill.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)