Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan's 'pk' has set a new record grossing 100 million yuan (USD 16.70 million) in China, becoming the first Indian film to touch the three figure mark in the largely restrictive Chinese movie market.
Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma
'pk', which is having a dream run in China since its Chinese version was released in on May 22, has hit the hundred million yuan mark today," Prasad Shetty, partner in Chinese firm Strategic Alliance, which promotes Indian films in China, told PTI.
While it is a record for an Indian film, PK's China revenue has surpassed USD 10.6 million earnings in US-Canada, the traditional overseas market for Indian films, he said.
Also 'pk' has done better than George Clooney's Hollywood movie "Tomorrowland", which was released around the same time in China, Shetty said.
This means 'pk' has crossed a threshold in Chinese market making it even bigger than US-Canada market, which could make the Indian film media take the Chinese market seriously, he said.
There is euphoria about the movie's success both in Indian film and diplomatic circles as its success came when the two countries reached agreements for joint productions giving them the status of locally produced movies.
This would provide filmmakers of the both the countries a huge combined market.
Unlike any other Indian movie, 'pk' had the distinction of being screened in about 5000 screens all over China. It is still expected to go on for few more weeks in various theatres as it continues to do well, Shetty said.
The movie's success shows that Indian films with common social theme could have good run in China. While 'pk' hits out at the blind religious beliefs, Aamir's previous movie "3 Idiots" also became very popular in China as it highlighted the plight of students to succeed in a highly competitive education system.
'pk' has also won rave reviews in the China with film critics pointing out that the country can learn from Bollywood in producing comedy films.