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'Wolf Warrior 2' earns $500m, breaks box office record

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-08-08 10:56

'Wolf Warrior 2' earns $500m, breaks box office record

The military-themed movie Wolf Warrior 2features Wu Jing in multiple roles, including director and star, and is set in an unnamed African country facing a civil war. The cast includes Chinese actress Yu Nan and US action star Frank Grillo, who is known for his role as Crossbones in Captain America movies. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Domestic action film Wolf Warrior 2 topped the box office in an unprecedented number, grossing 3.4 billion yuan (roughly $506 million) in just 13 days.

The film, directed and starring action star Wu Jing, is now China's top grossing film, breaking the record previously held by Steven Chow's fantasy comedy The Mermaid (with 3.39 billion yuan ticket sales) in 2016.

The data, released by Maoyan, a major film database in China, is based on as of 10:15 pm on Aug 7.

Wolf Warrior 2 tells the story of a former Chinese Special Forces operative's adventures journey to rescue compatriots and local friends in a war-torn region of Africa occupied by insurgents and mercenaries.

The success of the film has surpassed the anticipations of all, including the production team.

"Mr Yu Shizhi (a famous theater actor) once said: 'The audience is kind. They see all flaws, but don't tell.' I will continue to work hard to shoot great films for Chinese viewers," said director Wu.

The movie is shattering records at astonishing speed. Single-day earnings exceeded 200 million yuan for more than 10 days, breaking new grounds for China's box office records. The impetus has been strong right from start, as sales topped 1 billion yuan in just five days, 20 million in eight days and 30 million in 11 days, according to data released by Sina Entertainment.

Wolf Warrior 2 and the previous record-holder The Mermaid were released in similar number of theaters and both recorded similar attendance in the first eight days of screening. However, starting from day nine, the number of ticket sales for The Mermaid began to fall, whereas that for Wolf Warrior 2 continued to grow.

While kung fu is not an unfamiliar element in Chinese films, military action had a large void to fill in China's film market. Prior to Wolf Warrior 2, the highest earning action film in China was action comedy Kung Fu Yoga (2017) starring Jackie Chan, which earned 1.75 billion yuan. The box office record for out-and-out military action was held by Operation Mekong (2016) with 1.18 billion yuan in ticket sales.

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