Aamir Khan's Dangal has pretty much had the longest payday in the history of Indian cinema - it has now been elevated to a an elite club of five international films, six months after it released at home and about a month after opening in China. Forbes reports that Dangal's worldwide ticket sales now add up to over $301 million, making it the fifth best-performing film not in English. In rupees, Dangal has made over 1,900 crore and is inching to an unprecedented 2,000. And given that it's still playing to packed houses in China, Forbes forecasts another $15 million revenue, or more, for the film.
If Dangal's dream run continues at the Chinese box office, Forbes thinks it may even equal the earnings of the film above it - Your Name from Japan. The top three films areThe Mermaid and Monster Hunt, both from China, and French hit The Intouchables.
Dangal released in China on May 5 as Shuai Jiao Baba (Let's Wrestle, Dad). Days ago, Chinese premier Xi Jinping praised the film to Prime Minister Narendra Modi while they were at a summit in Kazakhstan capital Astana, saying that he had watched and liked it and that it was doing very well. Several films starring Aamir Khan have released in China previously to similar, if not equal, blockbuster status. Of Dangal's mega-success abroad, Aamir Khan told news agency IANS, "While we were hoping that Dangal connects with the people of China, not in our wildest dreams we thought that this is the kind of connect we would have. It was unprecedented. We are pleasantly surprised."
At home,Dangal made over Rs. 385 crore, shattering box office records set by Aamir's 2014 film PK and Salman Khan's Sultan.
2017 has been annus mirabilis for Indian cinema, with Dangal's breathtaking business and also the incredible numbers racked up by Baahubali 2. For some weeks, Baahubali outranked Dangal but, Forbes reports, it's now behind by 250-odd crore. Dangal, which is expected to play in China until July, will likely increase the gap to over 320 crore. Also coming up at the end of this month is another potential big-hitter - Salman Khan's Tubelight.
Aamir Khan, 51, stars as real-life Haryanvi wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat in Dangal, playing him as a young man and a pot-bellied middle-aged father. His performance has been hailed as career best, winning him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Actresses Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra play Phogat daughters Geeta and Babita, and TV star Sakshi Tanwar plays their mother Daya.