Aamir Khan in Q&A on what it takes to crack the Chinese box office

Eeshah Omer 04:32 PM | 1 Jun, 2017
Aamir Khan in Q&A on what it takes to crack the Chinese box office
Aamir Khan seems to have cracked a new fan base in the second-largest film market in the World. Three of his last four films were box office hits in China, skyrocketing his 2016 sports drama Dangal at the top of the country's most successful non-Hollywood foreign release.

Based on the true story of an amateur wrestler, Mahavir Singh Phogat, who pushed his two wrestler daughters in their struggle towards glory at the Commonwealth Games in the wake of societal oppression, the film has made $127 million in ticket sales in the country. Khan, who traveled to China to promote Dangal and his 2015 film PK, spoke to Reuters about sweeping into the Chinese market and what it means for Bollywood.

Q: When did you first realise the potential of the Chinese market?

A: When “3 Idiots” was very much loved in China. Even before the film released there, I started getting messages about how the youth in China have watched the film on pirate websites. It went viral in China and that was the first time I got an inkling that the Chinese audience really loved our film. Then they started watching other films of mine – “Ghajini” and “Taare Zameen Par” - and I used to get messages about it.

Q: What do you think is the reason for your success in China?

A: I don’t know. I don’t even know what the reason for my success in India is (laughs). Ultimately you don’t know what people will connect with. In broad terms, you could say that they have connected emotionally with my films. I went to China at the time of the “PK” release and the kind of response I got was really heart-warming.

“PK” also did well in China. It made around 120 crore rupees ($18.5 million), which was very good. But “Dangal” has just gone through the roof and this was something we had not expected. I was hoping the film would be loved but didn’t think it would go to this extent… It seems to me that the audience in China, their emotional key, is very similar to an Indian emotional key and that is what worked here.

Q: Given the restrictions on the release of non-Chinese films there, did you do anything different with “Dangal”?

A: There was nothing different that we did. What I do know is that on the Chinese side they had managed to keep the piracy at bay. That was an important point. Also, they went very aggressive over the number of screens. I have no control over this, but I was surprised that they released in more than 7,000 screens, which is double the screens that we released in India.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to do differently in China for your next films?

A: The next film I am doing is called “Secret Superstar” and I would like it to release in China. After that, I am doing “Thugs of Hindostan”, which releases next year. What I would like for both these films is a day and date release for China (releasing on the same day as India). And in the long term, I’d like to work on an Indo-China co-production. If we could come up with a story that involves the two people and a story which resonates with both audiences, that would be even more exciting. But that depends on how we can develop the story and all that. It is a possibility I’d like to explore.

Q: What will it take for more Bollywood films to succeed in China?

A: With any audience, you have to make a good film to connect. Ultimately that is what matters.

Q: What does the success of “Baahubali” and “Dangal” in international markets tell you?

A: “Baahubali” and “Dangal” have opened windows. Now it is up to other film-makers to also make content which appeals to people. First of all, “Baahubali” has also appealed to local audiences. Both these are films that connected with their home audiences first.


ISLAMABAD – Pakistani rupee finally ended its losing streak against US dollar on Tuesday, gaining Rs4.43 after massive depreciation over the last week.

During the intra-day trading, the rupee was hovering at 266.75 with an appreciation of around 1.07 percent as talks between Pakistan and IMF underway for a stalled bailout programme.

Earlier on Monday, the rupee plunged by Rs7 and the greenback touched all-time high of Rs272. Last week, the local currency dropped by Rs24.54 in the interbank market – the largest single-day depreciation in more than two decades.

Finance experts linked the rupee’s recovery to exporters offloading some of their proceeds as remittances and export continued days after dollar cap was removed.

The country of over 220 million is facing a worst economic crisis with the forex reserved held by the country’s central bank remaining at critical $3.68 billion which were not enough to cover a month's import.

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs205,900 on Tuesday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs176,530.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs162,500 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 182,100.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Karachi PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Islamabad PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Peshawar PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Quetta PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Sialkot PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Attock PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Gujranwala PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Jehlum PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Multan PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Bahawalpur PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Gujrat PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Nawabshah PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Chakwal PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Hyderabad PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Nowshehra PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Sargodha PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Faisalabad PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Mirpur PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370


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