PK creates history in China; crosses Rs 100 cr at Chinese box office


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Jun 17, 2009
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PK creates history in China; crosses Rs 100 cr at Chinese box office
The trio of Khan, Chopra and Hirani promoted the film extensively in China before the premiere

Urvi Malvania | Mumbai
June 9, 2015 Last Updated at 14:58 IST

Almost five months after it created history at the Indian box office, Aamir Khan starrer PK continues to forge new records. The film, directed by Rajkumar Hirani, has become the first movie to cross the Rs 100 crore at the Chinese box office, collecting Rs 107 crore ($16.75 million) since its release. This is also the first time a Bollywood film has achieved this feat in an overseas territory.

In recent years, Bollywood has looked at the Chinese box office with increasing bullishness. Apart from PK, the industry has exported films like My Name is Khan (2010), Dhoom 3 (2013), Happy New Year (2014) and of course 3 Idiots (2009). In fact, it was the popularity of 3 Idiots, also starring Khan and directed by Hirani that gave Bollywood films a new lease of life in the neighbouring country. Experts believe that t6he subject of the film, which dealt with the gaps in the education system, resonated with the audiences in South East Asia and China which in turn led to a roaring business in terms of collection. The film grossed $2.2 million in China.

Last year, Happy New Year, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukona, travelled to the country and was released in around 5000 screens. It collected $500,000 during its lifetime there. In fact, the top three earners at the Chinese box office are Aamir Khan starrers – PK ($16.75 million), Dhoom 3 ($3 million) and 3 Idiots ($2.2 million).

PK was released in 4600+ screens on May 22nd across China and the results have surpassed the expectations of the makers of the film. Initially, the film was set to release in 3500+ screens. But post a special star studded premiere of the film, Chinese exhibitors decided to go wider with the release, taking the screen count to 4500+ screens. The premiere of the film was held on May 13th at Shanghai Art Centre, one of the biggest theatres in Shanghai with a capacity of 1200 people.

“PK is one of the most successful Indian movie in China and Huaxia Film Group was happy to distribute and promote the movie. Hope this movie's success brings more cultural exchange between China and India," said the Huaxia Film Group of China, who partnered UTV to distribute the film in the country.

“It is remarkable that five months post the release of PK, the movie is still experiencing such a glorious run across international markets. The tremendous China box office collections have proved that great stories have the potential to travel worldwide and we are thrilled that the film has transcended geographies and clocked in such great numbers. This is a new high for us and we hope the movie continues to impress the audiences across the globe,” said Amrita Pandey of UTV.

The movie has been co-produced by Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra in association with UTV. Apart from Aamir Khan, the movie stars Anushka Sharma, Boman IRani and Sanjay Dutt in pivotal roles.

The trio of Aamir Khan, Chopra and Hirani promoted the film extensively in China before the premiere, which was attended by around 100,000+ members of the Chinese Aamir Khan fan club, along with the representatives of the Indian Consulate as well as 400 odd members from the Indian community in China. And not just that, Chinese superstars Jackie Chan and Baoqiang Wang, who dubbed for Aamir Khan’s voice for the Chinese version of the film, were also present for the premiere of the film.

“We worked closely on all marketing and PR activations and in posturing and localising the film in the region. The film was dubbed by leading Chinese leading Talent - B Wang which gave it a definite additional local appeal. We traveled to China with the lead talent of the film to promote and premiere it in the region. We collaborated with local celebrities such as Jackie Chan while there,” says Pandey.

She adds that another key element that the studio factored in while strategizing was tailoring the content to Chinese audience sensibilities. The trailer was reworked on while Hirani worked on creating a version which appealed to the Chinese palate – one which put PK the Alien – as front and center of the campaign. The film was pitched as a fun filled fantasy experience. At the premiere in China, the talent launched the film by clicking on a giant sized transistor “Play” button – an important icon from the film.

Film Collection in China ($)
PK 16.75 million
Dhoom 3 3 million
3 Idiots 2.2 million
Happy New Year 500, 000
My Name is Khan 71, 000

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