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Better Days expected to soar to blockbuster status

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2019-10-29 15:23
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Still image of Better Days. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Soaring high as the biggest dark horse in the last two months, the school bullying-themed film Better Days raked in nearly 700 million yuan ($99 million) as of Tuesday since its release on Oct 25. 

Adapted from a popular online novel, the film is about two teenagers whose fates are unexpectedly changed as the night before gaokao, the national college entrance exam, approaches.

Produced by Jojo Hui Yuet-chun, the film under the helm of Derek Tsang stars actress Zhou Dongyu and pop idol Jackson Yee, whose performances are widely applauded online.

Douban, the country's most popular review site, has rated the hit with a high score of 8.4 points out of 10, with many netizens commenting that the movie realistically portrays the oppressive atmosphere as gaokao nears, and the injury caused by school bullying.

A still image of Better Days, which has become a dark horse since it opened across Chinese mainland on Oct 25. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Director Tsang says he hopes the film can encourage reflection over some social issues and make viewers think about how to help those in trouble walk out of the shadows and build a better world for young people growing up.

As a director in Hong Kong who knew little of gaokao, Tsang said he prepared to better understand it better prior to shooting.

"We watched some documentaries, and interviewed a lot of students and teachers. I really hope the film strikes a chord with the audience, reminding them of their school days," Tsang said at the recent Beijing premiere.

Dominating the country's box office, Better Days occupied nearly 46 percent of the nation's over 65,000 screens and it's estimated it will surpass 1 billion yuan in ticket sales, a threshold for a successful blockbuster, according to the box office tracking and analyzing service Maoyan.

A still image of Better Days. [Photo provided to China Daily]
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