Happy days continue to roll at China's box office

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The Independent Culture

With a record year behind it, China's film industry has entered 2011 in the best way possible as local productions dominate at the box office.

Feng Xiaogang's If You are the One 2 and Jiang Wen's Let The Bullets Fly have been sitting at one and two on the charts for the week to January 2, making 169 million yuan (19.4 million euros) and 161 million yuan (18.5 million euros) respectively.

For Feng's comedy/romance, that's a total of 379 million yuan (43.5 million euros) earned over 12 days of release, while Jiang's western has returned 543 million yuan (64.2 million euros) after 18 days, according to figures reported in Film Business Asia ( http://www.filmbiz.asia).

This week it's the turn of international films to stake their claim in China with the Friday release of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, while the 3-D blockbuster Tron: Legacy opens on Tuesday, January 11.

China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television reported on Monday that the nation took an estimated 10 billion yuan (1.15 billion euros) in 2010 - thereby breaking all records, and that an estimated 500 films had been made in the country, making it the world's second-largest film producing nation behind the United States and India.

There was a similar tale to tell in Hong Kong, with the city's Motion Picture Industry Association announcing that 2010 saw box office figures rise by 31 per cent, year on year.

In the end, Hong Kong saw HK$1.54 billion (151 million euros) in ticket sales in 2010, fuelled by the chart-topping Toy Story 3, which took HK$89.4 million (8.8 million euros) to become the city's biggest earner for the year.

Hong Kong's biggest grosser in the first week of the year has been the 3D Jack Black vehicle Gulliver's Travels, which took HK$7 million (680,651 euros) for a two week total of an impressive HK$27.6 million (2.7 million euros).

No yearly figures have yet been released for Japan and South Korea, but the latter has entered the new year with a local film topping the charts.

Director Shim Hyung-rae' English-language The Last Godfather - a comedy starring American actor Harve Keitel - picked up seven billion South Korean won (4.8 million euros) to January 2, for a total of nine billion (six million euros) earned since opening on December 29.

The Last Godfather trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amjAYIyMdEw