×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Aamir Khan’s ‘Secret Superstar’ Poised to Top China Box Office

Secret Superstar,” the latest film vehicle for Indian superstar Aamir Khan, looks set top open on top of the Chinese box office. It is enjoying the momentum created by Khan’s previous film “Dangal,” which enjoyed an unprecedented $193 million of business in China.

“Superstar” had clocked up $3.5 million (RMB23.3 million) by 3pm on Friday, its opening day. That put it comfortably atop the early charts with a 25% market share.

In second place, with 16% market share was Zhang Ziyi-starring holdover “Forever Young” and new release “Guardians of the Tomb,” with close to 15%. “Guardians,” previously titled “Nest,” is a big-budget Australian-Chinese co-production starring Li Bingbing, Kellan Lutz and Kelsey Grammer. It is yet another entry in the Chinese sub-genre of tomb raiding action adventures.

“Superstar” is a smaller film than Disney-UTV-backed sports and family drama “Dangal.” It is the tale of a 14-year old girl (Zaira Wasim) who dreams of becoming a singer and overcomes obstacles including social inequality and domestic violence along the way. Directed by Advait Chandan, and produced by Aamir Khan Productions on a budget of $2.4 million, it pitches Khan in a supporting role as a quirky musician.

Nevertheless, in China it is being handled like a major blockbuster. It is one of the first Indian film to have secured a revenue sharing slot – previously Indian titles were treated as minority fare and imported only on flat-fee terms. That allows Khan to directly share in the gross receipts. Fox’s Shah Rukh Khan-starring “My Name is Khan” was an earlier rare example of  revenue sharing on an Indian title.

Arguably, the only Indian actor with a significant personal following in China, Khan is now embarking on a full week tour of cities in China. He is scheduled for three days (post-release) in Beijing, Jan.23-26.

With a host of strong Chinese competitors hitting Middle Kingdom screens, and Chinese New Year less than a month away, “Superstar” is not expected to repeat the “Dangal” success. But it boasts excellent word of mouth. Movie rating website Douban gave it an 8.2 out of 10 score. On Maoyan it had an even higher 9.6 rating.

Those numbers could mean that, like “Dangal,” the China box office for a Khan movie exceeds the Indian and rest of the world total. Released in October in its home market, “Superstar” earned $12.5 million and a further $7.82 million in other territories, for a global total of $20.3 million.

The mid-afternoon Friday figures also point to “Jumanji,” last weekend’s box office leader being relegated to seventh spot, though it will likely perk up over Saturday and Sunday. Its running total in China is $58.6 million. “Star Wars: the Last Jedi” is on $39.8 million (RMB259 million).

One other consequence of the Aamir Khan penetration into the world’s second largest movie market, is the likely introduction of further Indian titles into China. Salman Khan-starring “Bajrangi Bhaijaan,” released worldwide in 2015, is now set to get a China release on March 2, 2018.

More Film

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal to Star in Remake of Denmark's Oscar Entry 'The Guilty' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bold Films, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker’s Nine Stories banner have acquired the rights to remake the Danish thriller “The Guilty,” with Gyllenhaal attached to star. The pic, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, won the world cinema audience award and was also named one of the top five foreign language films of [...]

  • Toxic Avenger

    'Toxic Avenger' Movie in the Works at Legendary

    Legendary Entertainment is developing “The Toxic Avenger” as a movie after acquiring the feature film rights. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers. Alex Garcia and Jay Ashenfelter will oversee for Legendary. Kaufman and Herz produced the original 1984 comedy, set in the fictional town of Tromaville, N.J., and centered [...]

  • Constance Wu

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Star Constance Wu in Negotiations for Romantic Comedy

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu is in talks to join Sony’s Screen Gems’ untitled romantic comedy, with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman producing. “GLOW” actress Kimmy Gatewood is making her feature directorial debut on the project. She will be directing from a Savion Einstein script about a woman who becomes pregnant with two babies [...]

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal AoA

    Maggie Gyllenhaal on Why a Woman Director Doesn't Automatically Make a Story More Feminine

    Having a female director doesn’t automatically make a story more feminine, says “The Kindergarten Teacher” star Maggie Gyllenhaal, but when it comes to her film with director Sara Colangelo, she says the female narrative is fully encapsulated. “Just because something is written or directed by a woman doesn’t necessarily make it a feminine articulation,” she says [...]

  • Kevin Hart Hurricane Harvey

    Academy Looks Warily at Oscar Host Options As Board Meeting Looms

    Kevin Hart’s abrupt departure as Oscars host has left the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences scrambling to find someone to take the gig. As of now, the situation remains fluid as the group’s leadership explores options, including going host-less, individuals familiar with the situation told Variety. The Academy was blindsided by Hart’s announced departure Thursday [...]

  • Regina King Maggie Gyllenhaal

    Maggie Gyllenhaal, Regina King on Intimacy Experts: 'I Could Have Used the Help When I Was Younger'

    Maggie Gyllenhaal’s sex-trade industry series “The Deuce” features one job that’s unlike any other in television: an intimacy expert. During her Variety Actors on Actors interview with Regina King, “The Kindergarten Teacher” actress explained how the strange role is actually important in helping young actresses stand up for themselves, especially when it comes to sex scenes on [...]

  • Javier Bardem Elle Fanning Salma Hayek

    Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek to Star in Sally Potter Drama

    Production has begun in Spain on Sally Potter’s untitled family drama, starring Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, and Laura Linney. The story is described as a chronicle of a wild day in the life of a man on the edge, held together by the unconditional love of his daughter with Bardem and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content