Tuesday, February 21, 2023





courtesy of mingpao.com

As the pandemic eased and the social distancing measures fully lifted, many Hong Kong films have been successful and repeatedly set box office records. The Dayo Wong Tze Wa starred A GUILTY CONSCIENCE (DUK SIT DAI JONG) even passed the HK$ 100 million mark. In the Mainland, many Spring Festival film releases also were big successes, including the Zhang Yimou directed costume film FULL RIVER RED. Since its release it has made over 4.4 billion RMB. The Andy Lau Tak Wa and Jason Wu Jing starred THE WANDERING EARTH II made 3.8 billon RMB. The Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Mainland artist Wang Yibo starred SILENT BLADE made 900 million RMB. The Deng Chao and Sun Li starred PING PONG: THE TRIUMPH earlier retreated from the Spring Festival slot and opened again on the 17th, reportedly to an average box office performance. All 4 Mainland films would open in Hong Kong. Ultimately the Hong Kong and the Mainland audience had different tastes in movies, their box office performance would be difficult to predict.

THE WANDERING EARTH II opened in Hong Kong on February 9th. As of Monday (the 20th) after 12 days in release its box office was HK$ 4.5 million, a less than ideal performance. However many who have seen it has praised the special effect as well done, but minded the 3 hour run time being too long. The story revolved around the first film. The sun would soon be destroyed. Humanity on the surface of Earth constructed a large drive engine to find a new home, but danger lurked on the journey around the universe. In order to save Earth, Wu Jing, Lau Tak Wa and other rose up and fought for survival.

FULL RIVER RED would open on March 2nd, previews on February 4th made HK$ 480,000. Perhaps because the subject was not able to attract local viewers. In the story during the Southern Song Dynasty, four years of Yue Fei's death, traitorous minister Qin Hui led his army to the border for talks with a Jurchen mission. The night before the meeting the Jurchen missionary died and his confidential documents vanished. Zhang Yimou cut into a legendary story with an unique angle, started with a mystery, told the story with visuals. The actors in the film Shen Teng, Jackson Yee, Zhang Yi, Lei Jiayi, Wang Jiayi and Yue Yunpeng each carried a secret mission that no one would guess, bringing sensory stimulation and requiring viewers to burn their brains.

The spy war SILENT BLADE will open on March 9th. The Chinese Communist Party began its struggles in Shanghai in the 20s, led an underground organization against various forces. In the process of marching toward victory, the irreplaceable contributions of those anonymous heroes deserved the credit. Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Wang Yibo starred.

PING PONG: THE TRIUMPH would open on March 16th. Between 1992 and 1995, Cai Zhenhua, who was sent to coach a table tennis team in Italy, was hired to return and lead players new and old to strike back and rescue the men's table tennis team. The film was based on the real story behind the 1995 Tianjun table tennis world championship. Den Chao directed and starred in the film. From not knowing how to play ping pong at all, he trained until he was able to even play with his left hand. Sun Li played Deng Chao's wife, supporting her husband on and off camera.

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