Aamir Khan’s Dangal has become a massive hit in China, connecting with audiences across the country, including one especially important movie lover in particular.
On the sidelines of a summit in Kazakhstan last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he “loved” the Bollywood blockbuster, and hoped to see more of the same kind of movies in the future in China, according to a report from China Film Insider that cites comments made by India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
In its sixth weekend in Chinese theaters, Dangal scored an additional $5 million, bringing the film’s Chinese box office earnings up to $180 million, out of $296 million taken in worldwide. For weeks now, the film has been labeled China’s biggest-ever foreign box office hit outside of Hollywood.
The story of a stern father (Aamir Khan) who teaches his daughter to wrestle, breaking gender stereotypes in a country with strict expectations for young women, has caught on in China like no Indian movie ever before, turning Khan into a star with over 800,000 followers on Weibo.
In the wake of the film’s breakout success, many were left wondering if other Indian films could follow in Dangal‘s footsteps and blow the world’s second-largest box office open for Bollywood releases. It certainly seems like a possibility after a specific, ringing endorsement from China’s president and chief taste-maker himself.
In case you are curious about Xi’s taste in movies, a 2015 China Daily article lists some of his favorite foreign flicks, including: The Godfather, The Deer Hunter, Saving Private Ryan and Flags of Our Fathers.
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