The top of the Chinese box office went to the sci-fi thriller Tron: Legacy this week, but cinemas across the country are preparing for the release of yet another Chinese epic that should continue the dominance of the local industry last month.
Tron raised 71.5 million yuan ($ 8 million) for the week ended January 16 to supplant The Chronicles of Narnia: The Journey of the Dawn Traitor, which earned 42.1 million yuan ($ 6.9 million) for a total of ten days brought in 84.2 million yuan (US $ 13.5 million).
Director Jiang Wen’s hit Western Let the Bullets Fly continued to approach the record for a Chinese production: With a profit of 35.5 million yuan (four million euros), the film totaled 642 million yuan (72 million euros) and within striking distance of Feng Xiaogang’s record holder Aftershock, who grossed 673 million yuan in 2010.
However, much is expected now of the star-studded martial arts epic Shaolin, which launched in cinemas across China on Wednesday. The movie stars of the industry are heavyweights Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse, Fan Bingbing and Jackie Chan.
There was also much fanfare across China as the Green Hornet’s press tour hit the country – the same week the film topped the North American box office charts.
The Hollywood actioner will be released in China on February 6 – in the middle of the Chinese New Year holiday season, usually reserved for local productions – and its stars, Seth Rogen and Taiwanese heart-throb Jay Chou, have been busy drumming business.
“We have great expectations for this film,” said Columbia distributor’s Li Chow at a press conference in Beijing on Monday.
In Asia’s other major film markets, it was Japan’s dominant Oscar favorite The Social Network, which grossed nearly $ 2 million in its first week of release, while Let the Bullets Fly nearly $ 600,000 ( 445,000 euros) in its first week of release in Hong Kong. No figure has been published for South Korea.
Check out the Shaolin trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbALkuuCSLU