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Increase in number of Indian films released in China could lead to audience fatigue, says report

As proven by Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan, the Chinese audience’s love affair with Indian films seems to be waning, despite more movies making their way to the Middle Kingdom.

bollywood Updated: Jan 05, 2019 19:58 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
Aamir Khan as Firangi Mallah in Thugs of Hindostan.
Aamir Khan as Firangi Mallah in Thugs of Hindostan.
         

Indian films have seen the most significant increase in the number of releases in China in the last three years, a new report has said, predicting, however, that the rise could lead to audience fatigue.

Two Indian films were released in China in 2016 and one in 2017 but 2018 saw 10 films from India being screened here, the report by Maoyan, the largest online ticketing service in the country said.

Titled the China Theatrical Market Report, it said Hollywood blockbusters dominated the country’s box office where Indian films have been gradually making inroads.

The positive trend for Indian films here – despite more numbers -- is that the average box-office earnings in 2018 were higher than the average in the last two years, the report said.

 

“It should be noted that the average box-office earnings for Indian films this year is still far higher than the average for 2016, the year before Dangal became a megahit that kicked off the current Indian wave in China,” the report quoted by the tabloid, Global Times said.

The returns could, however, taper, indicated the report.

“As a whole, while Hollywood films were still the dominating force for imported films in 2018 with a total number of 25 - up from 2017’s 14 - imported films from other countries and regions were also on the rise. Japan came in second with 15 films, while Indian films had the most significant increase going from two in 2016 and one in 2017 to 10 in 2018,” the newspaper report said.

This increase may mean “Indian films are courting audience fatigue”.

“The report showed that after Dangal made a high record 1.3 billion yuan ($189 million) in 2017, the box office of later imported Indian films has declined. The least earning film, 102 Not Out, made 30 million yuan and Dangal star Aamir Khan’s latest work, Thugs of Hindostan, has only collected 41 million yuan so far.”

Aquaman actors Jason Momoa, centre, Amber Heard and director James Wan pose for a photo during an event in Beijing, China.
Aquaman actors Jason Momoa, centre, Amber Heard and director James Wan pose for a photo during an event in Beijing, China. ( AP )

The Chinese audience’s love affair with sleek Hollywood blockbusters continues.

Data shows that in 2018, a total of five Hollywood superhero films, including Aquaman and Avengers: Infinity War, were released in the Chinese mainland. Their earnings accounted for 40% of all revenue earned in the Chinese mainland market by films from the six big Hollywood studios.

China’s box-office growth slowed in 2018 but remains second only to the US, and slated to become number one in the coming years.

China’s movie box office revenue is now about 60.98 billion yuan ($8.87 billion), state media reported.

China has the world’s most movie screens and continues to build new cinemas. Chinese companies opened 9,303 new screens in 2018, bringing its total to 60,079 nationwide, the Xinhua reported.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

First Published: Jan 05, 2019 19:57 IST