We all know that an informal meeting between Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping is currently the main topic of discussion in media around the world.
However, what we don't know is that besides politics, there have also been elaborate discussions about marketing Bollywood movies in China. It is learnt that the Chinese PM has asked for more Bollywood movies to be released in China because his "countrymen loves Bollywood movies". China and India will soon be working together to establish a model where China will see a simultaneous release of Bollywood films along with India. Right now, Bollywood movies are simultaneously released in about 68 countries across the world. Currently, apart from the Gulf, USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are some of the countries where Bollywood rakes considerable revenue. The industry heavily loses revenue in Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Burma where films are heavily pirated. Recently filmmakers in Bollywood have discovered a great response for their films in China, where most Indian films have topped the charts as the biggest grossing foreign films in China. As China wants to ward off Hollywood films, it has found an able ally in Bollywood.
Using of Bollywood films to ward off Hollywood films is a unique strategy never ever seen anywhere across the world. Bollywood films have lately enjoyed a golden run in China. “Indian movie Secret Superstar topped the imported movies at the Chinese box office with 746 million yuan ($118 million). However, it didn't achieve the success of a predecessor, Dangal, which took 1.29 billion yuan ($200 million) in 2017,” a state media report said. The last Bollywood film to rake in the moolah is of course Irrfan Khan's 'Hindi Medium' which has collected as much as Rs 200 Crore in China. Bollywood films gel better with the Chinese culture, according to the Chinese. “The stories in the Indian films are like the stories in China, stories the Chinese relate to. The Chinese audience could identify with them,” said Tan Zheng, editor of Diangying Yishu (Film Art) magazine. The first indication that Bollywood is going to play a big role in the India-China Summit was when Modi and Xi were seen enjoying an instrumental rendition of 1982 Bollywood super-hit song ‘Tu, tu hai wahi dil ne jise apna kaha,’ from movie ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’ by Chinese artists on the first day of the Modi-Xi informal summit. Later when the reporters pressed for it, it was announced that indeed steps are being taken to release Bollywood movies in China in a major way. It also revealed something about the Chinese president that the world had never known -- that he is a big fan of Bollywood movies. Briefing reporters at the end of the two-day informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi in the central Chinese city, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said: “President Xi said that he had seen a number of Indian films, both Bollywood and regional, and that it would be a good idea that more Indian films come to China and more Chinese films go to India,” Gokhale said.
The first step that’s being worked towards is to appoint Aamir Khan as the Bollywood brand ambassador in China. This idea has support from the Chinese authorities as per Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying. The deal is currently being discussed and Aamir Khan is understood to be involved in the process.
So, is this move going to mark the beginning of 'Acche Din' for Bollywood movies in China?