Photo courtesy of mingpao.com
Photo courtesy of takungpao.com
The film CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH made over 150 million in the Mainland box office. After less than two weeks in release in Hong Kong, it also made an ideal 3 million. On the other hand the Feng Xiaogang directed IF YOU ARE THE ONE made 300 million in the Mainland and only 1.58 million in Hong Kong. Feng Xiaogang's other film THE ASSEMBLY also suffered the same fate, which made him earlier criticize the Hong Kong audience. However, CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH's decent box office dispelled Director Feng's comments. Although this film was shot in black and white it had great word of mouth. Johnnie To Kei Fung felt that the film showed Lu Chuan's persistence and perseverance. Andrew Lau Wai Keung praised the film's documentary style production. The black and white visuals not only did not reduce the visual effect but also added to the story's realism.
CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH's group booking response was also very passionate. Some schools even used it for history education purpose. Director Lu Chuan and the cast were very pleased to learn about the film box office and word of mouth. The director even treated the cast to dinner and drinks because the cast had a very tough time during the production. Now he was able to thank them and he truly wished that he could buy them drinks everyday.