Although US might be the bigger market (as of now) when it comes to overseas film distribution for Bollywood films, but there’s no doubt that China is an important market that is growing fast, and will probably overtake the US in the coming years.
Bollywood knows this fact, and that’s the reason they are keen to collaborate more with China.
Trinity Pictures, a division of Eros International has sealed a co-production deal with a Chinese entity in order to make big-budget films aimed at both markets (China & India).
The first film in the series will be a “big mad Indian wedding” (yet-to-be titled film) about an Indian girl who elopes with a Chinese man. A Bollywood actress will romance a well-known male star from China. At least 80 per cent of this film is expected to be shot in China.
A Rs 1,000-crore film is only possible through co-production
Major Bollywood studios know that if they want to go big, say a Rs 1,000-crore film, its only possible through co-production with a country like China (its not viable in Bollywood’s current distribution model).
Screens available in China are five times more than the number in India.
Considering both the countries, the audience size adds up to 2.6 billion people.
Moviegoers in China are predominantly young (average age 21 or 22) and have an affinity for baby-faced actresses.
Bollywood Releases in China Getting Bigger: This Time its PK
Bollywood has been trying hard to release Bollywood films on a larger scale in China. And they have been successful at it. PK, 3 Idiots, Dhoom got wider releases and ‘3 Idiots’ in particular was well accepted by the audience. Recently Shankars ‘I’ was released in China in the chinese language.
Indian film-makers, of late, have been quite aggressive with their film releases in China. They’re open to customizing the product and are dubbed in Mandarin.
‘PK’ (Peekay) Shatters Records in China, Aamir’s Popularity Rises in China
After breaking all records in India and the US, Peekay has also rocked China. Lead actor of the movie Aamir Khan was present at the Shanghai Arts Centre where the movie was premiered (Superstar Jackie Chan was also present at the premiere). Peekay had the biggest release in china where it was released in over 3500 screens all over China and has already managed to get into China’s top ten lists.
Also Read: P.K Movie review
Aamir’s popularity in China is rising phenomenally and it seems finally an Indian star’s popularity in China is close to matching that of Jackie Chan’s in India. Aamir khan recently turned up for the success bash of PK in China, dressed in the traditional Chinese attire ‘Hanfu’.
Khan’s trajectory as a box office magnet in China began with the release of his hugely successful comedy ‘3 Idiots’. While it grossed only a modest $2 million in theaters, the film found great popularity on TV and online and made Khan a household name. His next film to be released there, Dhoom 3, earned around 50 percent more than ‘3 Idiots’, and finally it took ‘PK’ to shatter all the records, its all set to garner more than triple the revenue that ‘Dhoom 3’ earned.
Release of Foreign Films in China Regulated
Indian films used to be displayed in Chinese theatres back in the 1950s (Raj Kapoor’s Awaara being one of them), but then came a very long dry spell that was only broken in the early 2000s when Aamir Khan’s Lagaan was released in China.
In recent years, only select Bollywood films like 3 Idiots, My Name is Khan, Chennai Express, Krrish 3 and Dhoom 3 were screened in Chinese screens. This is because China has a cap on the number of international films that can be released in their country.
Only around 30-40 foreign movies are allowed to release in China, almost ninety percent of which are Hollywood films.