'Kung Fu Panda 3,' 'Mermaid' set new milestones

The Chinese-American co-production "Kung Fu Panda 3" became the highest grossing animated film ever in China over the weekend while Stephen Chow's "Mermaid" has become the first film to enter the 3-billion-yuan box office club.

On the 30th day after its initial release, "Kung Fu Panda 3," co-produced by DreamWorks Animation Oriental, DreamWorks Animation, China Film Co. Ltd., China Media Capital and the Shanghai Media Group, grossed 963 million yuan (US$147.24 million) as of Saturday, becoming the highest grossing animated feature in China and the highest grossing installment of the franchise in the world's second largest market. One third of the production of the film was done in China.

It has taken back the crown from China's home-made animation feature "Monkey King: Hero is Back," which grossed 956 million yuan (US$146.17 million) in total last year and beat "Kung Fu Panda 2" as the top grossing animation.

The three installments of "Kung Fu Panda" have raked in about 1.7 billion yuan (US$259.93 million) from Chinese box offices through the years. Before Monday, "Kung Fu Panda 3" had already grossed 975 million yuan (US$149 million) and was on its way to become the first animation to enter the 1-billion-yuan box office club as it received a rare green light to run two months in Chinese theaters until March 27, the producers announced. Normally, a film will be screened in China for just one month.

Meanwhile, Stephen Chow's monster hit "Mermaid" has become the first Chinese movie to pass 3 billion yuan (US$458.7 million) in ticket sales on Friday. The movie has been riding a ticket sales boom since its release on Feb. 8, beating almost every single record of the Chinese film industry, including the previous highest-grossing film "Monster Hunt."

Xiao Fei, founder of movie firm UP Pictures, said in an EntGroup.cn report that many people thought it was impossible for China to have a film that could top 5 billion yuan (US$764.5 million) three years ago. "Now, everyone believes this mark is not far away anymore."

By Monday, "Mermaid" has grossed 3.15 billion yuan (US$480.8 million) and its distributors will certainly apply for another month of screen time in theaters, a green light policy only granted to well-received films in the market. How much money it can finnally earn remains everyone's guess.

China's box office is expected to surpass that of the United States in 2017 to become the largest market in the world, while more Chinese movie enterprises will turn to global investments to learn and practice international industry methods, a report released by H. Brothers Research and the Institute for Cultural Industries at Beijing University predicted at end of last year, much faster than previous estimates.

No comments:

Post a Comment