Bollywood movie ‘Dangal’ dominates China’s box office

The Indian film “Dangal” stars superstar Aamir Khan as a man who trains his daughters to compete in a wrestling tournament.
(UTV Motion Pictures)

The inspirational Bollywood drama “Dangal” blew past the $100-million mark in China’s box office last week, adding $51.3 million to its total gross.

It marks the second consecutive week that “Dangal” topped China’s box office charts, according to the film consulting firm Artisan Gateway. The movie has generated $112.5 million in China, overshadowing its reception even in India and becoming the highest grossing non-Hollywood film ever in the country.

The previous record holder was “Your Name,” a Japanese animated movie that earned $83.3 million in China last year.

“Dangal,” which was produced and financed by Disney’s Indian subsidiary UTV, cuts deeper than the star-studded spectacle of most Bollywood films. Chinese audiences were touched by its plot, about an Indian father who trained his daughters to compete in a wrestling tournament, subverting gender norms.


The film’s triumph in the world’s most populous film market implied that Chinese audiences are demanding more diverse film genres.

Marvel Studios’ action and sci-fi blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2” held second place last week, adding $13.8 million to a cumulative total of $94.6 million. It surpassed its prequel, “Guardian of the Galaxy,” which earned $86.4 million in its four-week run.

Sony’s horror thriller “Life,” directed by Daniel Espinosa and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson, raked in $13.1 million, putting it in third place on its opening weekend. However, the film did not do as well as the studio’s recent sci-fi film “Passenger,” which opened with $17.4 million in January this year.

Warner Bros.’ fantasy epic “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” dropped to fourth place adding only $2.6 million over the last week. In fifth was Enjoy Movies’ “Guardians,” an action-adventure film, grossing $2.3 million on its opening weekend.


Zhang is a special correspondent.