• "Dangal" is currently the highest-grossing Indian film in China.

"Dangal" is currently the highest-grossing Indian film in China. (Photo : UTV Motion Pictures/YouTube)

The reduced number of screens that showed “Dangal” in China over the weekend from the original 9,000 to 7,000 could be the reason why the Bollywood film was only number two over the weekend. The Hollywood film “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” took the top spot with $45.9 million earning.

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“Dangal” earned $11.3 million or 76.67 crores. It had 30,000 screenings over the three-day weekend, while the Hollywood movie had 95,000 screenings per day that even increased to 100,000 screenings, First Post reported.

“Dangal” vs. “PK”

However, when compared to Aamir Khan’s previous blockbuster movie, “PK,” the biopic film about the Indian wrestling champ did better by earning 20 crores in China while “PK’s” opening box office in the country was 5.7 crores, Khaleej Times reported. The number of screens was also more than double for “Dangal” with 7,000 screens while “PK” only had 3,000 screens.

The disparity could have been bigger had not business rivalry between the company that handled the distribution of “Dangal” in China and the Dalian Wanda Group stood in the way. Besides the completion, the Indian newspaper said Wanda believes showing “Dangal” would negatively impact the interest of Chinese films which is why it reduced the screenings for the Bollywood movie from the original 3,000 to 50 screens.

Besides the Chinese viewers who gave “Dangal” a score of 9.8 out of 10, local celebrities also endorsed the movie on Sina Weibo. Actress Liu Yifei helped Aamir Khan promote the film in China.

Indian TV Series

Although Chinese-Indian diplomatic relationship is down, it is a different matter when it concerns Indian mythological dramas and other TV series from India. Among these titles are “Naagin,” “Devon Ke Dev Mahadev,” “Mahabharat” and “Buddha-Rajaon Ka Raja.” These Indian TV series have been subtitled into Chinese and viewed by thousands of Chinese viewers on Bilibili, a widely used vide-sharing site in China.