SS Rajamouli's "Baahubali - the Beginning" [Bahubali] will be the next Indian movie to invade the China box office after "Happy New Year" [HNY], "Dhoom 3" and "PK".
Indian filmmakers have successfully exploited key international markets like US, UK, UAE, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Malaysia. But they could not venture into their neighbouring country, China, since the Chinese government had restricted foreign movie releases to safeguard the interest of local filmmakers.
But in 2012, the Chinese government made an agreement with the World Trade Organization and its new quota system allowed 34 foreign film imports a year on a revenue-sharing basis, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Some Hollywood filmmakers invaded the country and their movies became big hits at the box office there.
Taking a cue from them, some Indian filmmakers released their movies in the country. "Dhoom 3" and "Happy New Year" were released in around 5,000 screens each respectively on 25, July 2014 and 12, February 2015. Though both became big hits at the China box office, the makers have not revealed their collection figures.
"PK" was the third Indian film to hit the screens in China. Released in 5,000 screens on 22, May, 2015, the Aamir Khan starrer opened to fantastic response and collected approximately $18.75 million [Rs 120.18 crore] in 20 days, according to Bollywood trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
#PK is nearing $ 20 million mark in China. Total after 4th Weekend [till Sun/14 June]: $ 18.75 million [₹ 120.18 cr]. ALL TIME BLOCKBUSTER.
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) June 15, 2015
Now, SS Rajamouli's "Baahubali the Beginning" starring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Tamannaah and Anushka Shetty, is gearing up for a grand release in China. It will be the fourth Indian film to hit the theatres in the country and will become the first Indian regional movie to make it to the country.
E Stars Films has bagged the distribution rights of the movie from Arka Mediaworks International. The deal is on the revenue sharing basis and the distribution house, which has plans to release the film in November, is eyeing a release pattern of some 5,000 screens or 18% of available theaters.
"Baahubali the Beginning" released in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi in foreign countries got an overwhelming response everywhere and collected $10,992,455 (Rs 71.62 crore) at the overseas box office so far. It is still doing well in a few countries.
The makers of "Baahubali the Beginning" are confident that the movie has got universal appeal and will impress the audience in China just the way it did in other international markets. The period film will surely break the records of "PK".