|The Xu Zheng (right) directed LOST IN THAILAND heads for 700 million yuan RMB|
|Wang Baoqiang dreams of a girlfriend like Fan Bingbing|
|The Zhou Xun and Vicki Zhao Wei starred PAINTED SKIN: THE RESURRECTION is threatened to be dethroned|
courtesy of mingpao.com
Mainland film LOST IN THAILAND this year was the holiday surprise hit. As of the morning of the 24th, after 12 days its box office reached 680 million yuan RMB. With its strong momentum it might exceed the 730 billion yuan mark of PAINTED SKIN: THE RESURRECTION (WAT PEI 2) to become the highest grossing domestic film in Chinese film history and the most profitable as well.
LOST IN THAILAND was Xu Zheng's first as a director. He also starred with Wang Baoqiang and Huang Bo to create the legend, with the cost of 30 million yuan they earned almost 700 million yuan at the box office. As of Christmas Eve, the film has only been in release for 12 days and it already made 680 million yuan. As everyone expected it to exceeded PAINTED SKIN: THE RESURRECTION's 730 million yuan, some even thought that it would easily make 1 billion yuan and the target might even be AVATAR's 1.32 billion yuan box office. After 3 days CZ12 (SUP YI SUN CHIU)'s box office was 250 million yuan, currently only it has been able to steal viewers from LOST IN THAILAND.
LOST IN THAILAND is a purely commercial comedy. The audience accepted the comedy in the film very much as viewers have been drawn in by it. In the story Xu Zheng and Wang Baoqiang ran into each other in Thailand, with a successful career Xu Zheng looked down upon Wang Baoqiang. Yet they ran into transvestite and beauty together and comedy ensued. With Huang Bo entangled with them, the trio not only had an adventure but also almost lost their lives.
Xu Zheng called in many favors as he invited Fan Bingbing to guest star. Fan Bingbing did not even take a cent to play the grass root Wang Baoqiang's goddess. Because viewers dreamed that they would be in love with their goddess, they related to this scene.
Xu Zheng said that he did not stumble upon the success of the film. He knew long ago that his place was comedy commercial films, but such a hit was due to the existence of luck; he planned to make a sequel, right now he would first rest. However the industry already predicted that films next year would not be far from this film, perhaps before Xu Zheng's sequel the subject might already be ruined!
LOST IN THAILAND is a sequel to LOST ON JOURNEY from two years ago. At the time the film's producer was Manfred Wong (Man Jun), director was Raymond Yip Wai Man and the stars were Xu Zheng and Wang Baoqiang. It made 50 million at the box office. With a cost of 6 million the film made money. However, this time the sequel abandoned its Hong Kong workers. Also, Gordon Chan Ka Seung made PAINTED SKIN (WAT PEI) for Huayi but the sequel abandoned him in favor of Mainland director Wuershan and the box office was again better than predecessor.
Right now Hong Kong filmmakers have an increasingly difficult time with Mainland work. One Dollar Production boss Stephen Shiu Jr. yesterday said that Hong Kong filmmakers in order to survive in the Mainland must be certain of their own position. "Some Mainland companies would ditch the monk after the ceremony. It is the best for Hong Kong filmmakers to make subjects that (the Mainland) doesn't know how to make like police films like INFERNAL AFFAIRS (MO GAN DOH) and COLD WAR (HONG JIN), or some with strong personal styles like Tsui Hark, Wong Kar Wai and (Johnnie) To Kei Fung. They have to maintain the Hong Kong specialties, only then will Hong Kong filmmakers have room for survival in the Mainland."
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