‘Secret Superstar’ Is Hot On ‘Tiger’s Tail With Explosive ₹173 Crore /$27M China Debut Weekend

Robert Cain
Jan 21, 2018 · 2 min read
Bollywood megastar Aamir Khan.

In just its first three days in theaters in the People’s Republic of China, the Aamir Khan and Zaira Wasim-starrer Secret Superstar more than doubled its ₹83 crore Indian lifetime box office gross, pulling down ₹173 crore / $27 million from China’s ardent fans of Uncle Aamir.

The ₹306 crore it has thus far collected puts the aspirational comedy-drama about a young girl who dreams of singing stardom into serious competition for the title of “Highest Grosser of the Year” among Bollywood films originally released in 2017 (as measured by worldwide gross theatrical revenue). It has already zoomed into third place in the rankings, just behind the ₹309 crore gross earned by Golmaal Again, and although it is still nearly ₹250 crore behind Salman Khan’s Tiger Zinda Hai, that suddenly doesn’t appear to be a major obstacle.

Aamir Khan’s last picture, Dangal, grossed 1299 crore in the Middle Kingdom, and Secret Superstar now appears to be well on its way to a China cume at least half that size, which would make it not only the highest grosser of 2017, but also the fourth highest-grossing Indian movie ever made.

With a tiny production budget of just 15 crore / $2.3 million, it has also become one of the most profitable movies ever made. Reports from China are that the Khan’s Aamir Khan Films received minimum box office guarantees as high as $125 million (800 crore) for distribution rights to the picture. As a revenue-sharing import quota picture, Khan and his partners will receive a 25 percent share of the China grosses, which means in just the first weekend they have already collected 43 crore /$6.7 million for themselves, nearly three times what the movie cost to make.

Secret Superstar has already surpassed Shah Rukh Khan’s 2017 release Raees to claim 19th place in the all-time highest grosser rankings, and on Monday it will topple Golmaal Again for 18th place. Its ultimate targets appear to be three of Salman Khan’s pictures — Tiger Zinda Hai (currently at an estimated ₹550 crore worldwide), Sultan (₹589 crore) and Bajrangi Bhaijaan (₹626 crore). If Secret Superstar can maintain its current momentum it will eventually eclipse all three.

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Robert Cain

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China entertainment consultant and producer. Business builder and bridge across the Pacific.