However, the success of Hirani’s 3 Idiots may open the doors for other Bollywood films waiting to be released in China. “Films from various countries are given a chance to be released in China under the quota system. As 3 Idiots is doing very well, Indian films now have a better chance to be released in China. The local distributors too shall try hard as they have seen the response an Indian film can get,” said Audrey Lee, owner of Chinese distribution firm Ekdo Films which has released 3 Idiots in some parts of China. The cost of dubbing and marketing in Mainland China has been borne by local distributors like Lee.
“The message in the film has been the ‘pull’ factor. Such a great response from a non-traditional territory like China is a welcome phenomenon for the Hindi film industry,” said Anil Arjun, chief executive officer at Reliance MediaWorks, who has been closely involved with Reliance’s overseas distribution.In the Chinese piracy market, the 3 Idiots, it is believed, had already become the highest selling Bollywood film, and estimates suggest over 1.3 lakh Chinese having watched a pirated copy of the film.
The only Bollywood film which got through the Great Wall before this and got a wide release was Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan last year, which was distributed by Fox Star.
With the China release, 3 Idiots has become the highest grossing film in the overseas market with collections amounting to Rs 121 crore.