Friday Update: Lost in Thailand has reportedly grossed an impressive $72 million as of December 19. The film currently ranks in 13th place on the Chinese all-time highest grosses list behind Men in Black 3 with $82.7 million. The comedy is expected to reach $100 million at the Chinese box office, an accomplishment that only two other Chinese films can brag about: Painted Skin 2 and Let the Bullets Fly.
Tuesday Update #2: China Film Biz reports that Lost In Thailand holds the following Chinese box office records: Best all-time Wednesday opening for any film, Best opening day in December, Biggest single day in December, Biggest opening week in December, Best opening week for a locally made film, Best opening week for any 2D movie.
Tuesday Update: Lost in Thailand opened to a staggering $47.7 million in China during the week of 12/10-12/16. The comedy debuted on 12/12, so it is on pace to top the seven-day record of $47.8 million set by Painted Skin 2. The $58 million record-setting opening Titanic 3D posted earlier this year will be safe. Lost in Thailand is a follow-up to the 2010 film, Lost on Journey. The sequel focuses on three friends who get lost in Thailand. Mayhem ensues. Sound familiar?
Life of Pi fell to second place after spending two weeks on top. The 20th Century Fox release added another $15.7 million for a total of $84.6 million in China. China is easily the #1 foreign market for Life of Pi, with India ranking in a distant second at $12.2 million.
Back to 1942 continues to hold up well. The historical drama took in another $10.2 million for a cume of $54.9 million in China.
Hong Kong's My Sassy Hubby finished in fourth place with $1.5 million, pushing its cume to $3.3 million. The Cantonese-language comedy is clearly being overshadowed by Lost in Thailand.
The Last Supper rounded out the top five with $1.04 million, which puts it at $11.8 million.
The trailer has been released for Saving General Yang, an upcoming Chinese historical epic directed by Ronny Yu. The film is based on the Chinese legend of the Yang clan, in which seven brothers battled to save their father’s life. The cast includes Ekin Cheng, Adam Cheng, Xu Fan and Raymond Lam.
The story of the Yangs has been eulogized for hundreds of years in Chinese society. It details the exploits of the Yang military family, recounting the unflinching loyalty of the Yang family heirs. 'Saving General Yang' places the focus on how the seven sons of the Yang family combined their efforts to rescue their father...
Saving General Yang is due for release across Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2013.
The impact of Hollywood films in China this year has been immense.
Nie Chenxi, deputy head of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), released some revealing statistics at a meeting on Tuesday:
During the first six months of 2012, Chinese films accounted for only 2.8 billion yuan out of a total box office of 8 billion yuan, down by 4.3 percent year on year. Imports (read: mostly Hollywood films) accounted for the remaining 5.2 billion yuan--a 90.4 percent increase over the same time period in 2011.
Chinese films accounted for only 35 percent of the box office from January to June, compared to 53.6 percent in 2011.
The Chinese box office hit a total of $2.3 billion from January to November. That's an impressive tally considering that 2011's total from January-December was $2.1 billion. Major films such as Life of Pi, Back to 1942 and Lost in Thailand will help China's yearly total breeze past $2.6 billion.
Chinese director Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster will open the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival on February 7. Since the director is also the president of the festival jury this year, his new film will screen out of competition.
The Grandmaster is "a martial arts epic set against 1930s China, about Bruce Lee's mentor Ip Man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai)." Ziyi Zhang, Chang Chen, Zhao Benshan, Xiao Shengyang and Song Hye Kyo all have supporting roles in the film.