Chinese cinema brings out the big guns over next month
Tuesday 17 November 2009
The heavyweights of Chinese film are steeling themselves for a box office battle as the country enters its traditionally lucrative end-of-year cinema season.
Over the next month some of China's biggest stars and most acclaimed filmmakers will premiere their latest additions to a Chinese cinematic scene that is going from strength to strength.
Director Jingle Ma's long-awaited Mulan, Zhang Yimou's Amazing Tales: Three Guns and Teddy Chen's Bodyguards and Assassins will be vying for an audience that in the past year has been treated to the opening of - on average - a new cinema each day across the country, according to film industry watchers.
And Chinese films have dominated the domestic market this year too - a rare thing in the face of an increased presence of Hollywood blockbusters. The Founding of a Republic - produced to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic - last month became the highest-grossing film in the country's history, when it passed the 406 million yuan (40 million euros) mark.
It is currently still screening and knocked off the previous all-time box office champion in China, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
International distributors now keep a close watch on Chinese's domestic box office tallies as the local industry continues to expand into more commercial filmmaking and whether or not the films will be picked up for international release hinges on how they fare back home.
Helping out in that regard have been Hong Kong's market-savvy movie makers and two of that city's box office champions have co-productions set for release over the next month.
Here's a sneak peek of what's in store at the Chinese box office over the next month:
Mulan: Hong Kong director Jingle Ma presents Chinese box office darling Vicky Zhao Wei in the title role and his film follows closely the life and times of the legendary Chinese warrior princess Hua Mulan, made famous through a 12th century poem and the inspiration for Disney's 1998 animated film of the same name. Release date: November 27
Amazing Tale: Three Guns: Internationally acclaimed director Zhang Yimou made his name with sweeping dramas such as Raise the Red Lantern but here he takes the American Coen brothers' 1984 thriller Blood Simple and sets it in a noodle shop in ancient China. Comedian Xiao Shenyang stars. Release date: December 11
Bodyguards and Assassins: Hong Kong's Teddy Chen (who made The Accidental Spy with Jackie Chan) has packed this thriller with talent such as Donnie yen Leon Lai, and Fan Bingbing. It tells the story of a group of bodyguards sent to protect the Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-Sen from assassins in 1905 Hong Kong. Release date: December 18
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 4 The most powerful passports in the world
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove