'The Mermaid' ends theater run as top grossing Chinese film

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, June 12, 2016
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Stephen Chow's "The Mermaid" ended its theater run on June 8, earning 3.39 billion yuan (US$517.3 million) to become the highest grossing Chinese film ever.

A poster for Stephen Chow's "The Mermaid." [File photo]

The comedy fantasy hit Chinese screens on lunar New Year's Day on Feb. 8 and immediately began breaking a series of domestic box office records, including the biggest opening day and biggest single day gross for a Chinese film. It took the crown from "Monster Hunt" as the top Chinese film, and then created a new milestone as the first Chinese film to break the 3-billion-yuan ceiling.

It also performed well in Asia, and received rave reviews and decent box office income for a limited release in North America. Its worldwide box office has reached US$553.8 million, becoming the world's biggest grossing Chinese film.

But most of the box office earnings came in February and March. Data shows that, after April 1, its domestic box office take totaled just 2.41 million yuan (US$367,525) domestically, though it extended its theater run to a rare four months until June 8.

Normally a film in China will have just one month in first-run theaters. Sometimes the film authorities will grant a two-month release if a film is obviously enjoying great popularity. Film industry insiders said the overlong theater run extension is meaningless because one or two months will be enough for a film in China; after that, many new films will take over.

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