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With $217-mn collections, Dangal becomes biggest Bollywood hit abroad

Dangal has not only exceeded another Aamir Khan film PK, but gone on to gross four-and-half times its overseas business

Urvi Malvania  |  Mumbai 

Dangal, China, Aamir Khan

Amid the gloom that finds itself in, one film is making waves more than six months after its release. Disney’s penultimate production in Bollywood, Dangal, is going strong in the overseas market, zooming past competition, having collected $217 million. The biopic about the released in India in December 2016, and collected Rs 388 crore at the domestic box office. 

has grossed four-and-half times the overseas business of PK, the most successful film ever before this.

As is the norm with overseas distribution, the Aamir Khan-starrer was released abroad in tranches, beginning with traditional overseas territories (UK, and West Asia) and then was taken to non-traditional territories such as and China, et cetera. Dangal also entered a fairly new territory in the form of Hong Kong, where Disney’s local team spearheaded the distribution. 

 “We knew Dangal’s story had the power to resonate with people across the globe. We are so very proud about how the movie continues to connect with the audience all over and dominate at the box office even after its third week in a new market like Hong Kong,” says Amrita Pandey, vice president – studios, India. “What makes this special is that the theatrical team in Hong Kong has given the movie the right marketing and distribution platform.”

The film released in 46 screens in Hong Kong and Macau, almost four times more than the regular screen count for a Hindi mainstream release. “The local audience’s overwhelming response reaffirms that an inspiring story backed by the right team, distribution planning, superior storytelling with such strong performances can win hearts and transcend boundaries.  Dangal exemplifies that,” adds Pandey. 

is the biggest earner for at $178.3 million. The film released in earlier this year in May, along with Taiwan. Aamir’s films have done well in before this as well, with PK making $19.3 million and 3 Idiots making $3 million. North America is the second-highest earning territory for with $12 million followed by the Gulf at $8.5 million. 

With this, Dangal has raced ahead of previous overseas blockbusters like PK (2014), 3 Idiots (2009), Dhoom 3 (2013) and  this year’s biggest hit, Baahubali 2 (see chart). While S S Rajmouli’s sequel continues to be the most successful Indian film at the domestic box office, Dangal has emerged as the leader in the overseas market by a huge margin. 

This also solidifies Aamir’s popularity in the overseas market. Of the top five films in the international market, four feature Aamir in lead roles. “While Shah Rukh (Khan) and Salman (Khan) are popular in pockets of the international market, Aamir’s popularity is more universal and it has a lot to do with the kind of films he does. In Southeast Asia, Aamir’s popularity can be traced back to 3 Idiots. The film resonated well with audiences there since the educational system in those markets is similar to India’s. That made people curious about Aamir as an actor and his movies started getting visibility in theatres and on the small screen,” says a distributor.

First Published: Sun, September 24 2017. 12:42 IST