|courtesy of on.cc|
|JOURNEY TO THE WEST made almost 100 million in the Mainland and broke the Chinese film opening box office|
|Shu Qi and Mainland actor Wen Zhang's JOURNEY TO THE WEST is well received|
|Chrissie Chau becomes a "Sing Girl" and will conceivably have more future film opportunities.|
courtesy of mingpao.com
With the start of the Year of the Snake, Stephen Chow Sing Chi remained the Lunar New Year box office legend selling point. In particular Mainland viewers took to his film JOURNEY TO THE WEST: CONQUERING THE DEMONS (SAI YAU GONG MOR PIN) very much. On the Lunar New Year's Day its Mainland release already grew to almost HK$100 million, with 78 million RMB it broke the highest Chinese film opening box office record that PAINTED SKIN: THE RESURRECTION (WAT PEI 2) created last year with 70 million RMB.
Although Sing Yeh only directed and did not star in JOURNEY TO THE WEST, which was somewhat disappointing to Hong Kong viewers for being unable to enjoy his Hong Kong style comedy, the film had two top Mainland stars Wen Zhang and Huang Bo, along with Taiwan's Show Luo (Law Chi Cheung) and two sexy goddesses Shu Qi and Chrissie Chau Sau Na. The film was very attractive to Mainland viewers.
JOURNEY opened on Lunar New Year's Day in the Mainland and reached 78 million yuan RMB, which broke the PAINTED SKIN: THE RESURRECTION's 70 million RMB old record to become the highest Chinese film opening box office champion in the Mainland. Opening on the same day, Lunar New Year films BETTER AND BETTER and LOVE RETAKE opened to 6.5 million RMB and 1.3 million RMB respectively. They were no match for JOURNEY at all.
However, without Sing Yeh's performance, JOURNEY's draw in Hong Kong was slightly weaker. After 4 days in release its cumulative box office was only HK$7.27 million. Although it was the top Chinese film as it defeated the Raymond Wong Pak Ming, Sandra Ng Kwan Yu, Teresa Mo Shun Kwan, Ronald Cheng Chung Kei and other comedy masters starred same day release HOTEL DELUXE (BAK SING JAU DIM, cumulative box office of HK$3.85 million) and the Alan Tam Wing Lun and Veronica Yip Yuk Hing guest starred, TVB all star performed I LOVE HONG KONG 2013 (2013 NGOR OI HK GUNG HEI FAT CHOI, cumulative box office of HK$4.07 million), it still was no match for the foreign film A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD, which with HK$9.17 million remained on top of the cumulative box office.
JOURNEY's Mainland success was due to the recently red hot Mainland actors Wen zhang and Huang Bo. Sing Yeh was able to maintain his personal style and Shu Qi's tough character was very well received and praised. Thus while THE GRANDMASTERS made Zhang Ziyi hot, JOURNEY TO THE WEST enabled Shu Qi's acting to elevate to another level.