Two-year-old film “Bajrangi Bhaijaan,” starring Salman Khan, is set to receive a release on 8,000 cinema screens in China, producer Eros International has confirmed. The film hopes to build on and benefit from the recent China box office success of other Indian films “Dangal” and “Secret Superstar.”
The film will release on March 2, as Variety previously reported. The film opened in India and major international territories in July 2015.
The Indian drama was directed by Kabir Khan and stars Salman Khan as Bajrangi, an ardent devotee of Hindu deity Hanuman, and his arduous journey to reunite a 6-year-old Pakistani girl, who has gotten lost in India, with her parents in Pakistan.
“Bajrangi” is being imported into China on flat-fee (aka buyout) terms, which have been the norm for the handful of Indian films to have screened in China in recent years. Aside from co-productions, only Fox’s “My Name Is Khan” and “Secret Superstar” have been able to receive revenue-sharing distribution terms. The Chinese distributor is E Stars Films, an independent which has pioneered releases of Indian films in China.
“There is high expectation and curiosity for the film post the success of recent Indian releases in China and the positive word of mouth ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ enjoys,” said E Stars CEO Allen Liu. “We anticipate tremendous potential in this beautiful drama starring one of the most popular actors in Indian cinema in a film that speaks the language of emotions like courage and hope, which are universal.”
“Dangal” proved a surprise hit in China, earning $196 million last year. “Secret Superstar” opened on top of the China box office this weekend, with $27 million in its opening three days. Both films starred Aamir Khan. Salman Khan (no relation to Aamir Khan) is one of the three biggest box office draws in India, but is considerably less known in China.
“Our Indo-China co-productions are still in the making, which we are extremely excited about. Meanwhile, what better film than ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan,’ starring one of India’s most loved superstars [and] that weaves the universal story of cross-border friendship, to release in a growing market like China,” said Eros CEO Jyoti Deshpande.