Chinese distributor Estars Films has acquired rights to upcoming Indian epic movie “Thugs of Hindostan.” The film is a 18th century-set story of rebellion against British rule of India. The film has an all-star cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina …
The #MeToo movement arrived late in India. But it is a juggernaut that is here to stay, and is having a measurable effect on production. Aamir Khan Productions is to withdraw from a film where one of the filmmakers is accused of harassment in a 2014 ca…
Secret Superstar, an inspirational drama that features Aamir Khan, has crossed $100M in China after three weeks in release. Last year, the Khan-fronted Dangal grossed over $193M in the Middle Kingdom to make it the most successful Hindi movie ever in the market.
The Advait Chandan-helmed Superstar, now at about $112M, carries on the tradition of Aamir Khan’s success in the PROC which began with 2009’s 3 Idiots. His other films then found great favor including PK and Danga…
Aamir Khan’s “Secret Superstar” bounced back to top spot at the Chinese box office in what was the quietest cinemagoing weekend for over a year. The Indian drama scored $10.5 million between Friday and Sunday, according to data from Ent Group. It replaced “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” as the top film. That outcome nevertheless […]
“Maze Runner: The Death Cure” scored an opening weekend win at the China box office, ahead of Indian holdover “Secret Superstar,” which claimed a Sunday victory. “Maze Runner” finished the weekend with $22.4 million, compared to $19.0 million for “Superstar.” Given a day and date release, “Maze Runner” was quickly into its stride, with $8.24 […]
“Secret Superstar” became the second Indian film to top the Chinese box office in less than a year. Picking up some of the pace of the earlier “Dangal,” “Superstar” grossed $27.0 million in its opening weekend, beating holdover romance “Forever Young” with $23.4 million. The win for “Superstar” was built on the actor-producer Aamir Khan, […]
“Secret Superstar,” the latest film vehicle for Indian superstar Aamir Khan, looks set top open on top of the Chinese box office. It is enjoying the momentum created by Khan’s previous film “Dangal,” which enjoyed an unprecedented $193 million of business in China. “Superstar” had clocked up $3.5 million (RMB23.3 million) by 3pm on Friday, […]
TED, the company renowned for its talks and conferences, is the latest U.S. player bidding to attract Indian eyeballs. In February, the company greenlit “TED Talks India: Nayi Soch” in association with 21st Century Fox’s Star India and the FremantleMedia Group, a show hosted by Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan. The Hindi-language show, TED’s first […]
Seventy years ago India got its independence from the Brits, but that freedom didn’t come without pain, as the country was severed in two and Pakistan was formed. Though the British censors banned any entertainment that encouraged independence, Indian cinema was right there recording the country’s highs and lows. But after a spate of such… Read more »
Indian drama “Dangal” crossed the $100-million mark at the Chinese box office Saturday, becoming the biggest foreign-language film of all time in China and reshaping perceptions of the movie market in the world’s most populous nation. The film opened May 5, going head to head with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and coming second… Read more »
MUMBAI – Disney is expected to cut about 90 members of its staff in India, having previously announced that it is getting out of local film production. The move comes at a moment when its penultimate Indian film investment, “Dangal,” is breaking box office records. Widely circulated Indian media reports put Disney’s head count in… Read more »
Gaining momentum and breaking records since releasing just before Christmas, Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal has overtaken his own PK to become the No. 1 Bollywood movie ever in India, per local media. Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, the wrestling drama achieved the milestone in just 17 days of release. Dangal, also now holds the title of the No. 1 Bollywood film ever in North America with $11.13M through Sunday, according to producer/distributor UTV.
The estimated India box office…
After breaking records at its opening during the December 21 frame, the latest film starring Aamir Khan is quite possibly on its way to becoming the No. 1 Bollywood movie ever in India and abroad. Through Tuesday, Dangal is already the No. 2 Bollywood title of all time in North America with $10.1M, coming in behind only Khan’s own 2014 smash PK at $10.6M — it will pass it this week. Through Sunday in India, the gross was $55.63M, per distributor UTV. Today, it should…
In a return to the Christmas frame after sitting out 2015, Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan has scored his best worldwide opening with Dangal. The sports biopic grossed $31.2M across India, North America and other international markets this weekend. That tops the $28.8M start for Khan’s PK in 2014. That film went on to become Bollywood’s biggest worldwide grosser at about $100M. In North America, Dangal set a record for the biggest Bollywood opening frame ever at $4.3M over…
MUMBAI — Disney India’s “Dangal,” starring Bollywood megastar Aamir Khan, has revitalized a film industry reeling under the after effects of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization program. “Dangal”, a rustic woman-empowerment wrestling drama directed by Nitesh Tiwari, released in India on Dec. 23, in the Christmas holiday frame. It collected $15.7 million on its… Read more »
Aamir Khan stars in Nitesh Tiwari’s ‘Dangal,’ based on the true story of a former Indian national wrestling champ who battles the status quo to train his two young daughters to be world-class contenders.read more
Aamir Khan stars in Nitesh Tiwari's 'Dangal,' based on the true story of a former Indian national wrestling champ who battles the status quo to train his two young daughters to be world-class contenders.
Aamir Khan, the star of “Dangal,” is as formidable and celebrated a movie star as India has going. Two years ago, he played the lead character in “PK,” a sci-fi comedy about an alien who visits earth and points out everything wrong with it; the film went on to become the top-grossing movie in Bollywood… Read more »
The Bollywood actor explains his approach to using films as a platform for raising awareness about major issues facing Indian life today.
Call Aamir Khan a perfectionist, and he’ll lightheartedly brush off the label, preferring to describe himself as simply “passionate” instead. Terminology aside, a mere glance at his 28-year career is ample proof that for Khan, going the extra mile is practically the equivalent of slacking off—the 51-year-old actor, producer, and director usually travels another 10 for good measure.
He did it in 1998’s “Ghulam,” when he turned down a body double or special effects in favor of sprinting towards an oncoming train for a stunt, avoiding it by a mere second and gambling his life for the sake of realism.
In 1999, when a script about 19th century villagers protesting British land tax with a game of cricket was dismissed by every financier in Bollywood, Khan took on his first producing role alongside his acting credit to make the film. Three years of grueling production later, “Lagaan” became the third Indian movie in history to be nominated for an Academy Award.
In 2012, while it seemed like every other Indian actor was anchoring frothy reality TV series and game shows, Khan opted to spotlight mental health initiatives, dowries, and domestic violence as the host of “Satyamev Jayate,” a program centered on creating discourse around India’s social issues.
And most recently, his inimitable dedication has been captured in a video (above) of his jaw-dropping physical transformation for his upcoming film “Dangal,” the true story of former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, who trained his daughters, Geeta and Babita Phogat, to become world-class competitors despite the long-standing bias against girls in the state of Haryana and within the sport.
The mini-featurette, chronicling Khan’s journey as he grew to a hefty 213 pounds to play present-day Phogat, then chiseled 55 of them off to portray the wrestler at his prime, has veritably broken the Indian internet, spawning both awe—and even some skepticism—at his stunning metamorphosis.
But as the digital world loses its collective mind over just how he did it, Khan maintains that although the physical demands may have been the most challenging aspect of the role, they were just a fraction of its appeal. Instead, Khan credited Disney India and the film’s writer-director, Nitesh Tiwari, for encouraging the actor to dig into the story.
“It’s moving, heartwarming, and even very funny,” Khan told IndieWire, “which I wasn’t expecting for an autobiographical tale of this nature.”
Incidentally, he had done much of his homework on Phogat and his daughters long before “Dangal” was developed, when they were featured on an episode of “Satyamev Jayate.”
Khan spent a long time reviewing interviews with his subjects. “I knew their personalities, how they spoke, and what they had been through long before this film came to me,” he said. “Once I decided to do it, I was prepared—as I am with all my roles—to fulfil whatever requirements it came with.” In this case, that meant gaining and subsequently losing the bulk, training as a wrestler under Commonwealth Games medalist Kripa Shankar Patel Bishnoi, and nailing the idiosyncrasies of the Haryanvi dialect.
No stranger to essaying real-life characters (2005’s “Mangal Pandey: The Rising” saw him in the title role as the leader of India’s 17th century rebellion against the British rule, and he portrayed freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad in 2006’s “Rang De Basanti”), Khan was aware early on that becoming Phogat amounted to more than just an imitation game. But it was only after signing “Dangal,” and a face-to-face encounter with the real life counterpart to his on-screen avatar, that he fully appreciated the symbolic weight of his undertaking.
“Here is a man who once envisioned that his unfulfilled wrestling ambitions would be fulfilled by his future son, but had four daughters instead,” Khan said. “He faced immense pressure from his family to keep trying for a boy… And yet, not only was he content with his daughters, he also broke all social norms by believing in them, investing in them, and raising them to be wrestlers in their own right rather than merely bringing them up to marry them off.”
The Phogats are all the more extraordinary seeing as they hail from rural Haryana, which ranks near the bottom among Indian states when it comes to female feticide and literacy rates.
“Mahavir’s attitude towards his daughters is especially remarkable to me given his background,” Khan said. “It reflects the possibilities that can arise when one steps outside gender boundaries created by society and is allowed to realize their potential. It’s an incredibly empowering story.” With “Dangal,” Khan is hopeful for his portrayal of Phogat’s mindset to stimulate off-screen shifts in perspective.
It’s not an improbable prospect; this is hardly the first time Khan has used his cinema as a platform for raising awareness. His 2007 directorial debut, “Taare Zameen Par,” sought to destigmatize children with dyslexia and learning disabilities. “3 Idiots,” his 2009 collaboration with filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, called out the Indian education system’s unrelenting preoccupation with competition and rote learning, while 2014’s “PK”—also directed by Hirani—gently questioned the nation’s mindless fixation on icon worship and superstitions.
Careful to avoid a pedantic or preachy note, Khan’s approach—a combination of good-natured satire and plenty of sensitivity—has made his often controversial undertakings more palatable to an easily-excited audience, earning him a reputation for being one of the Bollywood’s more dependable voices of reason and pillars of quality, intelligent film.
So even as his headline-grabbing “Fat to Fit” video, as its been titled, may inspire new fitness regimes among audiences around the world, Khan has fingers crossed that “Dangal”’s release this week spawns an evolution that’s more than simply skin-deep.
“This film is our team’s contribution towards celebrating female empowerment in a patriarchal country,” Khan said. “As an actor, the best way I can hope to promote greater social understanding is through my work. If I can communicate with people and touch their hearts through “Dangal,” perhaps, eventually I can help change their minds.”
Dangal opens in select U.S theaters on December 21, and in India on December 23.
Aamir Khan has previously owned the Christmas frame in India with 2013’s Dhoom 3 and 2014’s PK. Worldwide, the latter film is the highest-grossing Bollywood movie of all time with about $100M. After sitting out last year, Khan is back with wrestling drama Dangal. In a rare move, the film will release in North America two days ahead of its home turf. It is getting a North American rollout on 331 screens beginning tomorrow, unprecedented for a Bollywood title.
The movie’s trailer surpassed 24 million views in its first week.
This December many people will head to theaters to see films like “Assassin’s Creed,” “Passengers” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Another movie that is expected to pull in audiences is Nitesh Tiwari’s Bollywood film “Dangal.”
The film stars Aamir Khan – whose previous picture “PK” become the highest-grossing Bollywood movie of all time – and is a biographical sports drama about former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his two wrestler daughters’ struggle towards glory at the Commonwealth Games in the face of societal oppression.
Disney’s UTV Motion Pictures released the trailer, which you can check out below.
In its first week the trailer surpassed 24.7 million YouTube views. To put it in perspective, “Rogue One’s” official trailer, which was released back in August, has about the same number of views. According to Deadline, it only took 3.5 days for “Dangal” to cross 20 million views.
Wrestling has become a popular theme in the country. “Sultan,” starring Salman Khan, also told the story of an aspiring wrestler and grossed about $70 million worldwide. The site also reported that “Sultan’s” preview is the most-watched Bollywood trailer ever with over 33 million views.
“Dangal” will be released in theaters on December 23.
Aamir Khan’s Dangal is gearing up to be another smash from the Bollywood star. The film, which releases on December 23 in India, the U.S. and other key markets, will mark a return to the Christmas holiday frame for Khan since his 2014 starring vehicle PK shattered all previous box office records — including his own Dhoom 3 in 2013. Check out the official trailer above which already has nearly 24M YouTube views in less than a week. Putting that into perspective, the…