A Bollywood film about a father who trains his daughters to become world-class wrestlers has broken a box office record in China, where its focus on feminism and tough love has resonated with audiences.
Dangal has raked in 776 million yuan (US$112mil/RM481.6mil) since it opened on May 5, official data showed. Box office monitoring site mtime.com says this makes it the highest-grossing non-Hollywood foreign film in China.
Universal’s The Fate Of The Furious holds the box office record in China for any film, raking in 2.7 billion yuan in receipts since its debut on April 14.
The Indian movie, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, is based on the true story of wrestling coach Mahavir Singh Phogat, who defies the odds by raising his daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat to become champion wrestlers. Geeta won a gold medal for India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games while her sister topped the podium at the same event in 2014.
The movie stars Aamir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Zaira Wasim and Fatima Sana Shaikh.
Dangal is a Hindi word used to describe a wrestling competition. In Chinese the film’s name has been translated into Let’s Wrestle, Dad.
The movie was released in India on Dec 23, 2016 and quickly became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, beating the 2014 science fiction film PK.
Dangal is believed to have made around US$233mil (RM1.002bil) in worldwide box office sales, according to industry estimates.
Gender discrimination and strict parenting are among the themes in the film. The issues appear to have struck an emotional response with Chinese audiences.
Moviegoers praised it on social media site Weibo, highlighting its important lessons on rearing and educating children.
“A parent myself, I got some inspiration and enlightenment on child education after watching the movie,” said one user. “It is also a story that motivates self-improvement for children.”
Another said, “I brought my parents and parents-in-law to watch it for the second time, and once again my cheeks were stained with tears.”
An opinion piece published in the People’s Daily, China’s Communist Party mouthpiece, said the film’s focus on “female rights” had also left a “deep impression on audiences”. – AFP Relaxnews