Record Books: You Can Run, But You Ain’t Gonna Hide
What could a quirky comedy about an undersea beauty and the newest film in a franchise renowned for the business of bone breaking possibly have in common?
In a year that’s come out hot with staggering Chinese box office figures, THE MERMAID and IP MAN 3 stand at the center of commerce. On March 5, Variety reported that the Stephen Chow-directed fantasy “became the first film ever to score more than half a billion dollars at the Chinese box office.”
This is just the latest, and biggest, chapter in MERMAID’s record-breaking Chinese tour. Last year’s Chinese record breaker MONSTER HUNT is, by now, a distant memory in the face of Chow’s confection. Sorry, Wuba.
Fans of higher-octane material are flocking to Chinese theaters in bunches, too. Variety reported March 6 that the third film in the IP MAN series “enjoyed a $70 million gross in its opening three days.” Bringing back Donnie Yen as the titular martial arts guru, the third film in the series shows no signs of slowing down, even in the face of America’s biggest animated studio. Second place U.S. import ZOOTPIA didn’t stand a chance against IP MAN 3, at $23.4 million – even though it broke the opening record for a Disney film in China.
The fact that ZOOTOPIA’s new Disney record is a mere footnote in the country’s box office madness this year goes to show what’s becoming clearer and clearer by the week: the Chinese film industry might never be the same after 2016.