“Superstar” clocked up $3.5 million by 3pm on Friday, its opening day in China, putting it comfortably atop the early charts with a 25% market share.
In second place, with 16% market share was Zhang Ziyi-starring holdover “Forever Young” and new release “Guardians of the Tomb,” with close to 15%. “Guardians,” previously titled “Nest,” is a big-budget Australian-Chinese co-production starring Li Bingbing, Kellan Lutz and Kelsey Grammer. It is yet another entry in the Chinese sub-genre of tomb raiding action adventures.
The film is the tale of a 14-year old girl (played by Zaira Wasim) who dreams of becoming a singer and overcomes obstacles including social inequality and domestic violence along the way. Directed by Advait Chandan, and produced by Aamir Khan Productions on a budget of $2.4 million, it pitches Khan in a supporting role as a quirky musician.
In China, however, the film is being handled like a major blockbuster. It is one of the first Indian films to have secured a revenue sharing slot – previously Indian titles were treated as minority fare and imported only on flat-fee terms. Arguably the only Indian actor with a significant personal following in China, Aamir Khan is now embarking on a full week tour of cities in China. He is scheduled for three days in Beijing this month.
One other consequence of the Aamir Khan penetration into the world's second largest movie market is the likely introduction of further Indian titles into China. Salman Khan-starring “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” released worldwide in 2015, is now set to get a China release on March 2, 2018.