Painted Skin puts China back on top
By Stephen Cremin
Wed, 04 July 2012, 09:15 AM (HKT)
The 130-minute action-fantasy-romance, screening exclusively in 3-D, grossed RMB298 million ($47.3 million) on 6.65 million admissions over four days at an average ticket price of RMB45 ($7.13). Tickets in Beijing retailed for as much as RMB120 ($19.02), in line with prices for Hollywood 3-D films in China.
It is historically the third highest opening in China, following this year's 3-D revival of Titanic (1997) and last year's Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011). Titanic took RMB468 million ($74.2 million) in its first six days; Transformers, also shown in 3-D, took RMB401 million ($63.6 million) in its first four days in cinemas.
By comparison, Avatar (2009) took RMB287 million ($45.5 million at current exchange rates) in its first week on release. Strong demand and a shortage of 3-D screens at the time contributed to the science-fiction film's record 10-week run at the top of the box office, a feat that Resurrection will likely not match.
However, Resurrection will likely dominate local cinemas in the coming weeks and exceed $100 million. New films opening this month include Patrick LEUNG 梁柏堅's Wu Dang 大武當之天地密碼, CHEN Kaige 陳凱歌's Caught in the Web 搜索, and The Four 四大名捕, co-directed by Gordon CHAN 陳嘉上.
Although Hollywood films — including The Hunger Games, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Men In Black 3 and The Avengers — are still playing in Chinese cinemas, there are no US films scheduled to open in China until 25 June. That date marks the belated release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011).
It has been 24 weeks — almost six months — since another Chinese film topped the local box office charts, Derek YEE 爾冬陞's The Great Magician 大魔術師 in mid-January. The dominance of Hollywood films — in particular 3-D films — has been a major concern for the local industry this year.
Resurrection is co-produced and distributed by Huayi Brothers Media Corporation 華誼兄弟傳媒股份有限公司. After a lukewarm 2011, during which it focused on production, it has a strong lineup of titles in post-production including FENG Xiaogang 馮小剛's war drama Back to 1942 一九四二.
Huayi's previous box office successes include Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame 狄仁杰之通天帝國 (2010) (RMB109 million in five days), Aftershock 唐山大地震 (2010) (RMB180 million in four days) and If You Are the One II 非誠勿擾Ⅱ (2010) (RMB210 million in five days).
In 2008, Gordon Chan's Painted Skin 畫皮 (2008) made approximately RMB232 million on its theatrical run in China. Resurrection reunites most of the original cast but is officially not a sequel. The decision to convert the new film to 3-D was first announced during the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Long-limbed drama is surprisingly moving without being a simple tearjerker.
Back to 1942
Ironic, big-budget drama about a real-life famine in WW2 China defies expectations.
Caught in the Web
Chen Kaige's superbly crafted drama about internet and media abuse has a cast at the top of its game.
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Entertaining but throwaway whodunit set in Ancient China.
Standard, rather old-fashioned, martial arts mystery generates no real drama.
The Great Magician
Classy period comedy with meaty roles for its name cast.
If You Are the One II
Sequel is more melancholy, but gets by with film technique and on-screen chemistry.
Painted Skin: The Resurrection
Slick fantasy vehicle for three Mainland stars is in a different league to the 2008 film.
Light action-adventure works OK as family fare but not much more than that.
So Young enters China's all-time top ten
Local films take 7 of 10 top spots
Cold War freezes out rivals at HK Awards
Police action drama dominates proceedings
Berlin File opens 15th Udine
Films from China, Japan and South Korea dominate
Journey to the West conquers China
Comedy secures opening day record for a local film
Bullet, War lead HK Awards nominations
Close race for top titles
China BO exceeds RMB17 billion
Local production surges
China loses ground as BO surges
Local films' market share slips below 50%
Huayi, Honto and Atom partner up
Strategic partnerships across the Strait
Feng's 1942 joins Rome competition
First of two Chinese films added to festival
Confucius lands Xposure, Feng Shui
North American film event secures top premieres
Resurrection takes China BO record
Bunshinsaba remake makes $5m in first week
Taichi goes 3-D
Steampunk martial arts films releasing back-to-back
China box office crosses $1.2bn in H1
Market grows 42% year-on-year; local films have 35% market share
Resurrection maintains box office lead
Chen Kaige's Caught in the Web also opens strong in China
Shanghai premieres are Skin deep
Upcoming films promoted on red carpet, not with screenings
Resurrection set as Shanghai opener
Fantasy action film gets red carpet treatment
Speaking a new language: Chinglish
English-language movies as a new meeting point for China and Hollywood
Asia to have subtle market influence
Economic trends flow in region's favour; yet to be reflected in market
Huayi boards Showbox's Mr Go
3-D creature movie is now in production
Asia offers rich menu to Cannes' selectors
Will the new-look Directors' Fortnight seize its chance?
Unspoiled Brats and Fresh Wave define Udine
To, Pang and Zhang return for 14th edition of Italian festival
General Yang gathers troops
Big-budget Yu picture ready for end of year
Taichi Zero finds US berth
Martial arts film sold by Huayi
Chinese movie channel to launch from March
Edko, We, Huayi joint venture takes to the air
Taiwan distribs queue for China quota
Flowers, Skin and 1942 among likely recipients
Legendary East funding deal collapses
China-Hollywood joint venture in disarray
Simple Life, Seediq Bale ride off with Golden Horse prizes
Mainland Chinese films sidelined at Taiwan award show
Legendary East details ambitious plans
New firm "not a Chinese film-maker"; Huayi has weighty responsibilities
Huayi, Bona invest in China Lion
Chinese studios back North American distributor
Seediq and Bullets head Horse race
Taiwan talent recognised in local and Mainland films
Huayi expands film to TV
Series to start shooting this month
Great Wall marks Legendary East debut
New production venture unveils first project
Huayi still confident on theme park
Early days of response to government ban
Legendary East receives $220 million injection
Hollywood-China JV wins ambitious HK corporate backing
Yu's Yang epic cranks up
Big-budget historical adaptation shoots in Hunan
Legendary, Huayi in production pact
Big budget Chinese pictures to be delivered by JV
China quartet finds Singapore distribution
Emperor package includes The Great Magician and The Last Supper
Emperor slate delivers five fold attractions
Diversity and top directors on offer
Huayi has high hopes for hefty slate
Production lineup includes prequels, 'greater China' talent
Love in Space blasts off
Fox-backed sequel starts shooting in HK
Fox to release Butcher in Hong Kong
Hollywood studio sets April release date
Clover Films claims dozen deals
New Singapore distributor pounds acquisition trail
Detective Dee heads for N American release
Huayi signs AFM deal for period action fantasy
Bee flees Huayi hive
Int'l sales head handled key titles