Overseas has been an important market for Bollywood films. Movies like PK, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Chennai Express, Dhoom 3, Dilwale have been huge hits there. But 2016 has proved to be a dull year for Bollywood at the overseas box office.
The overseas markets have always held prime importance for films, especially if the films feature Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan or Aamir Khan. But however in 2016, Hindi films has faced stiff competition from their regional counterparts in overseas especially in Australia. After Punjabi films which dominated the Australia box office last month, it’s the turn of Theri (Tamil) which is doing extraordinary business in key international markets. At the Australia box office, the movie has surpassed the opening weekend business of Fan and Airlift.
Meanwhile, Shahrukh Khan may be considered the biggest crowd puller in overseas, but has failed to beat Amrinder Gill’s Love Punjab opening weekend collection despite releasing in more no of screens
Here are the top 5 opening weekend grossers in Australia.
Among the top 5, there are three Punjabi films and one Tamil film. It is a rare scenario which has never been experienced before. The superb business of Ambarsariya, Love Punjab & Ardaas ascertains the fact that regional cinema is now a strong competitor to Bollywood even in the overseas markets.
Punjabi cinema was criticized for not experimenting with the genre and only producing romantic comedies. But things have been changing as we are witnessing fresh scripts. Last year it was Angrej who broke the stereotype and was loved by the audience. The film, later on, went on to become a blockbuster hit in overseas. This year it was Love Punjab and Ardaas which have unique story telling. The other two films Ambarsaria and Theri opened huge because of the star power of Diljit Dosanjh and Vijay.
The regional films are also giving tough time to Bollywood in USA/Canada and Malaysia. Theri has opened very well in the USA with collecting 4.25 crores from just 131 screens. Meanwhile, Theri has beaten Fan by a huge margin in Malaysia.
On the other hand, Punjabi films continue to storm the Canda box office for obvious reasons. Love Punjab has collected 7 crores in Canada and is the highest grosser of 2016 there beating films like Airlift, Kapoor and Sons etc.
So its time for Bollywood to pull up their socks and comes up with better scripts and films having universal appeal.
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