Bollywood's 'Dangal' sets new benchmark for success abroad

Published 30.06.2017 01:07
Updated 30.06.2017 01:08
Bollywood's 'Dangal' sets new benchmark for success abroad

Bollywood star Aamir Khan's hit wrestling movie "Dangal" has become the first Indian film to make 20 billion rupees ($309.9 million), analysts said Wednesday, as it takes China's cinemas by storm.

The Hindi movie's record-breaking run has set a new and previously unthought-of box office benchmark for Bollywood films abroad while also highlighting the value of Chinese audiences to Indian filmmakers.

"Dangal has crossed the 2,000 crore mark ($309.9 million), which has never been done before," Indian film trade analyst Ramesh Bala told Agence France-Presse (AFP), pointing out that previous top Bollywood grosser "PK" made just $120 million.

"Even 1,000 crore was a distant dream just a few months back. The bar has now been set very high," he added.

"Dangal," directed by Nitesh Tiwari, is based on the true story of wrestling coach Mahavir Singh Phogat, who defies the odds by raising his daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat to become champion wrestlers.

Geeta won a gold medal for India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games while her sister topped the podium at the same event in 2014.

"Dangal" is a Hindi word used to describe a wrestling competition.

The movie was released in India on Dec. 23 last year and quickly became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, beating the 2014 science-fiction film "PK", which also stars Khan.

Gender discrimination and strict parenting are among the film's themes. The issues appear to have struck an emotional response with Chinese viewers, who have contributed around $190 million to "Dangal's" takings, Bala said.

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