Advait Chandan (left) promotes the movie in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province, during his nation-cross road show. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
With an astonishing box office taking of nearly 1.3 billion yuan, Dangal, a biographical drama about a former wrestler, has become the highest-grossing non-Hollywood film in China ever.
Khan, 52, has expanded his influence among Chinese fans. Earlier he was called "India's Andy Lau", referencing to the iconic Hong Kong film star, for making his status in India better understood by Chinese. But this year onward, he is being called "Uncle Aamir" by media and fans, exemplifying his rising popularity.
Chandan, who has worked with Khan earlier, says he is excited about his directorial debut's success in China.
"I think the credit goes to Aamir Khan, as his previous films — 3 Idiots, PK and Dangal — have really impressed the Chinese audience, and therefore opened the gates for Indian films. I'm simply enjoying the fruits of their hard work," Chandan tells China Daily in an email.
Two years later than its Indian premiere in 2009, 3 Idiots was released in China in 2011. But for both PK, which opened in China in 2015, and Dangal in 2017, the delays were less than six months.
This time, Chinese fans only awaited three months to watch Secret Superstar, showing that Indian films have become more competitive among foreign films.
Growing up as a diehard fan of Khan, Chandan had worked as an executive assistant for the star for many years.