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 official Rogue One trailer released on August 11 has 24.7M. According to local reports it took only 3.5 days for Dangal to cross 20M as it continued to trend in the Top 10 in India, Australia and elsewhere.
The biographical sports drama directed by Nitesh Tiwari is particularly timely. It’s centered on former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his two daughters who struggle toward glory on the mat at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. This summer, India’s Sakshi Malik scored a bronze at the Rio games, making her the first female wrestler from the country to medal at an Olympics — and a sensation at home. Wrestling has been a hot theme in Bollywood this year with Salman Khan’s Sultan having grossed about $70M worldwide. (That film boasts what is believed to be the most-watched Bollywood trailer ever with over 33M views.)
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Dangal is also notable as one of the last films on the production slate of Disney-owned UTV Motion Pictures. Disney India recently said it was pulling out of Hindi film production, focusing instead on its Hollywood movies there. This year, Disney scored a coup when The Jungle Book became the highest-grossing Hollywood movie in India ever with just under $39M.
Khan’s last film, PK, was released in December 2014. It went on to become the highest-grossing Bollywood movie of all time with about $100M worldwide. Box office figures in India are not always cut-and-dried with local reporting putting PK at 340.8 crore or $51.2M + another $47.2M overseas. Other services have the total at just over $100M globally. Either way, it remains the biggest movie ever out of India and the one for Dangal to top.
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