Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar is having a dream run at China’s box office. Perfectionist Khan has been able to cajole the Chinese cine-goers with a Hindi feature film that has managed to even take over Hollywood’s blockbuster franchise Star Wars.
According to ticketing-data provider Maoyan, the film has surpassed the sales of Star Wars: Last Jedi. Secret superstar is based on a 14-year-old Indian-Muslim girl who wants to become a singer. The girl in the film is played by Aamir’s on-screen Dangal daughter Zaira Wasim. Secret Superstar has been topping the charts since its release on January 19.
The official Xinhua News Agency made a diplomatic connection in an editorial, “Chinese filmgoers’ appreciation of Aamir Khan’s films reflect the common aesthetic pursuit of the two countries, which should be extended from the cultural aspect to broader areas, including politics and the economy.”
According to Boxofficemojo.com, Aamir’s 2017 blockbuster Dangal raked in $193 million in China last year. The biggest take for a foreign-language film ever in the North American market was $128 million for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon almost two decades ago. Secret Superstar is following the suit to become the second-biggest selling non-blockbuster in China with box office revenue of about 743 million yuan ($117 million), Maoyan estimates.
Thailand’s Bad Genius, about two poor but brilliant students who make a living helping rich kids cheat on standardized tests, generated $41 million in 2017 which was 13 times its Thailand sales. Spanish-language thriller Contratiempo (The Invisible Guest) grossed $26 million in the mainland in 2017, six fold more than at home, according to Boxofficemojo.com.
However, there is still no secret formula to have a successful run at Chinese theatres. Will Aamir Khan’s successful run help pave the way for Salman Khan who will debut with his 2015 hit film Bajrangi Bhaijaan? The film will hit 8000 theatres on March 2.