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Curse of the Golden Flower Sets New Box Office Record
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The Chinese film Curse of the Golden Flower directed by Zhang Yimou was given a chance to reach new heights at box offices throughout China over the three-day New Year's holiday. According to an official from a cinema chain, the film has grossed 270 million yuan (US$34.5 million) in domestic ticket sales and breaks the record set by Hero several years ago.

Zhang Yimou and his film crew of Curse of the Golden Flower

Gao Jun, general manager of Beijing New Film Association Cinema Circuit Co. Ltd., who own the largest number of cinemas in China, said the total box office income of the film had reached 270 million yuan. This is 20 million yuan (US$2.56 million) more than Hero, a 2002 blockbuster also directed by Zhang Yimou, which was then the top grossing Chinese film on the mainland.

He said Curse still has great box office potential because it took only three weeks to surpass Hero's record which had required six weeks to hit the 250-million yuan (US$32 million) figure.

Curse of the Golden Flower, starring veteran movie stars Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li and pop star Jay Chou, grossed 43.6 million yuan (US$5.58 million) at New Film Association's cinemas. Gao said the exciting box office figure indicated that Zhang's brand is recognized by Beijing audiences.

He also expected Curse, which is already the biggest selling film in 2006, would break the box office record held by Titanic, which earned 350 million yuan (US$44.8 million) in 1997 and is still the highest grossing film ever in China.

Gao Jun revealed that he had talked to Beijing New Picture Film Co. and planned to hold a grand celebration party and invite Jet Li and Jay Chou to be present.

But according to Box Office Mojo, Curse's America box office result wasn't good enough and grossed only US$1,692,346 since its release in 60 theaters on December 21, 2006.

Confession of Pain, Curse's greatest rival at the moment, also got a fairly satisfactory box office figure with 60 million yuan (US$7.68 million) in 10 days. The film has been well received and cinema managers have increased the number of screens showing it. 

(China.org.cn by Zhang Rui January 5, 2007)


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