Big-screen bonanza

By Xu Fan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-02-18 08:01:18


Big-screen bonanza

The fantasy comedy Mermaid, directed by Stephen Chow (second left), has topped the box-office charts during the Spring Festival holiday. Veteran singers Adam Cheng (left) and Karen Joy Morris sing the movie's theme song.[Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

This year's record box-office takings-3.61 billion yuan-over the Spring Festival holiday is due mainly to three blockbusters-Stephen Chow's Mermaid, Cheang Pou-soi's The Monkey King 2 and Wong Jing's The Man from Macao III. Xu Fan reports.

Although most film-industry watchers predicted China would hit new highs during the Spring Festival holiday, few of them have expected the figures to be so astounding.

Figures from the country's top movie regulator show that the week-long holiday (Feb 7 to 13), plus Valentine's Day, saw box-office takings of 3.61 billion yuan ($547 million), an 87 percent rise year-on-year. The big haul from the just-concluded Chinese Lunar New Year holiday is the biggest in the industry's history.

Considering that Spring Festival holiday takings typically account for roughly 4 to 5 percent of the annual film receipts, some observers say China could overtake the United States as the world's top movie market in the current Year of the Monkey. Nevertheless, the majority expect this will happen only in 2017 or 2018.

This year's box-office bonanza is due mainly to three blockbusters-Stephen Chow's Mermaid (2.1 billion yuan), Cheang Pou-soi's The Monkey King 2 (840 million yuan) and Wong Jing's The Man from Macau III (850 million yuan-according to box-office tracker by Tuesday.

Interestingly, all the three films are directed by Hong Kong veterans.

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