New Comedy Directed by SHAOLIN SOCCER Star Makes Box Office History
Stephen Chow is back on the hustle this February, shattering history books one record at a time.
Asian Crush followers are no strangers by now to THE MERMAID, a new fantasy/comedy directed by Chow that hit Chinese theaters February 8. We’ve devoted two pieces to the film’s promotional rollout. THE MERMAID also featured on our list of the eleven most anticipated Asian films for 2016.
Yet for all of the anticipation that’s trailed the comedy, starring Deng Chao and Lin Yun, we couldn’t quite have projected what’s gone down with THE MERMAID upon release. Per a February 12 Hollywood Reporter piece, Stephen Chow’s new film “has become the must-see movie of China’s New Year holiday.”
How must-see is must-see, though? Per the Reporter, “After just five days in cinemas, the… rom-com has grossed a huge $187.3 million — the largest five-day start ever in China.” Furthermore, on February 8 (the 2016 Chinese New Year), THE MERMAID took in “the largest opening-day performance ever for a Chinese title” at home.
Writer Patrick Brzeski further speculates that THE MERMAID could overtake last year’s animation flick MONSTER HUNT atop China’s all-time box-office.
No stranger to populist comedy success, Stephen Chow has long cemented himself as one of the premier names in commercial Chinese cinema, as star, director, scriptwriter, and producer. With a resume including SHAOLIN SOCCER and KUNG FU HUSTLE, which he both starred in and directed, Chow has fused kinetic action and fantasy elements with physical comedy to become a major star, winning both accolades and commercial success along the way over a nearly thirty-year feature career.
Chow’s unique brand commands attention both at home in Hong Kong, as well as abroad (THE MERMAID is getting a United States rollout February 19.)
And, evidently, there’s no sign of slowing Chow’s successes down. Keeping his duties behind the camera for THE MERMAID, he has further demonstrated a magic touch for bringing audiences to theaters in droves. MERMAID has already taken out Marvel hitman Deadpool in Hong Kong, leaving Kung Fu Panda winded in its wake. Is Wuba next?