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Thread: 1921

  1. #1
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    1921

    From the makers of Jianguo-Daye-(Lofty-Ambitions-of-Founding-a-Republic)

    Jun 27, 2021 7:52pm PT
    China Box Office: Propaganda Flick ‘1921’ Hits No. 1 Off Previews

    By Rebecca Davis


    "1921"
    Star-powered propaganda flick “1921” hit number one at the Chinese box office this week, bringing in $11.6 million from pre-screenings ahead of its July 1 debut, according to Maoyan data.

    The historical drama debuted earlier this month as the opening night title of the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival. Backed by Tencent Pictures and Shanghai Film Group, the film was created as a tribute to the country’s ruling Communist Party on the July 1 occasion of the 100th anniversary of its founding.

    The drama is co-directed by Huang Jianxin (“The Founding of a Republic,” “The Founding of a Party”) and Zheng Dasheng. It features a long list of some 100 celebrities who star or appear in cameos as key figures in Communist party history, including Liu Haoran (“Detective Chinatown 3”), TFBoy idol Wang Junkai, Ni Ni (“The Flowers of War”), and many others.

    The second most popular title this weekend was the holdover Taiwanese rom-com “Man in Love.” It grossed a further $5.35 million to bring its cume up to $27.6 million. Starring Roy Chiu and Tiffany Hsu, it is an adaptation of a 2014 South Korean film of the same name. It depicts the story of an uneducated debt collector who falls in love with the daughter of an ill man he is trying to collect money from, and gives her the chance to pay off her father’s debt with dates.

    In third was new release “Between Us,” a Chinese music-themed romantic drama that opened to a $5.06 million three-day debut weekend, according to Maoyan. Directed by Zhao Yu, it stars Song Ningfeng and singer-songwriter Kelly Wenwen Yu, who was born in China but moved to Canada as a teen.

    Columbia Pictures’ “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” hopped into fourth with a $3.5 million weekend, off just 9% for a local cume of $22 million, according to Sony.

    Not far behind was comedic Chinese sports drama “On Your Mark,” directed by Malaysia’s Chiu Keng Guan and starring Wang Yanhui and Zhang Youhao. It grossed $3.3 million this weekend, according to Maoyan.

    Disney’s “Cruella” grossed a further $1.93 million to hit sixth, with Maoyan noting its China cume is now up to $20.8 million of a predicted $23.6 million run.

    Patriotic drama “Island Keeper,” inspired by a real-life couple who lived for decades alone on a inhospitable island to help maintain China’s territorial claims there, grossed $1.71 million this weekend to come in seventh.

    Meanwhile, “A Quiet Place: Part II” grossed a further $1.06 million this weekend, bringing its China cume up to $38.6 million, and Oscar winner “The Father” grossed around $805,000 this weekend, bringing its China sales up to $2.82 million, according to Maoyan.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
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    $13 m

    Jul 1, 2021 12:46pm PT
    Chinese Propaganda Film ‘1921’ Has $13 Million Opening Day, Outperforming Hollywood Releases


    By Rebecca Davis


    "1921"
    Chinese propaganda film “1921” grossed $13 million on its opening day Thursday, outperforming debuts from Hollywood releases like “Cruella,” “A Quiet Place Part II” and “Peter Rabbit 2.”

    Patriotic titles “1921” and “The Pioneer” kicked off China’s summer season with a nationalist splash with Thursday premieres. Both films were created as tributes to China’s ruling Communist Party on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.

    Top earning “1921” is expected to be one of China’s biggest films of the year. It notched a $13 million (RMB84 million) opening day, according to Maoyan. Its cumulative box office has already reached twice that — $24.6 million (RMB159 million) — thanks to extensive preview screenings.

    Its standalone opening day sales are nearly eight times that of the China debut for Disney’s “Cruella” ($1.7 million), more than 13 times that of “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” ($968,000) and more than three times that of “A Quiet Place Part II” ($3.9 million), to name a few American films that have opened there in the past month or so.

    Of course, “1921” is the beneficiary of special attention from the local film authorities, who cannot allow it to become a box office failure. In the past, other patriotic films have been boosted significantly by purchases from civil servants and schoolchildren ordered to attend, favorable scheduling, manipulated ratings, longer runs and other measures to save the government from the unacceptable political embarrassment of a flop.

    Popular on Variety
    Given a lack of competition, “1921” actually topped the Chinese box office last weekend with $11.6 million off previews alone. Conveniently for a country fond of numerology, the 100th anniversary film managed to break the RMB100 million ($15.5 million) mark in pre-sales on Wednesday afternoon, with hours to go before its official debut.

    Backed primarily by Tencent Pictures and co-directed by Huang Jianxin and Zheng Dasheng, the film employs a battalion of popular young celebrities to tell the story of the Party’s founding. It premiered as the opening night gala of the Shanghai International Film Festival, despite past nationalist blowback over the appropriateness of certain stars playing venerated political figures like Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai.

    “1921” contributed 70% of the national box office Thursday and accounted for 39% of all screenings. Attendance rates for its 127,000 total screenings were moderate at 12%.

    As points of comparison, “Godzilla vs. Kong” had the same attendance rate across 196,000 screens for its $21 million opening day in China, while “F9” had an attendance rate of 22.2% for 228,000 screenings on its $49 million opening day.

    The audience for “1921” skews heavily female, with women accounting for more than 72% of ticket purchases — almost certainly due to the strong female fan bases of many of its viral male idol stars.

    Unsurprisingly, the film has been most popular in China’s less-developed cities than in its cosmopolitan metropolises. Some 44% of viewers hail from fourth-tier cities, but less than 11% from tier-one urban centers.

    While viewer ratings have kept up an appearance of favorability on the Maoyan and Taopiaopiao ticketing platforms, they grew so perilously low on the more discerning site Douban that the ratings function has been shut off.

    Meanwhile, competitor “The Pioneer” lagged quite far behind “1921” although it rehashes similar subject matter, grossing just $2.56 million on opening day. Produced by Guan Hu (“The Eight Hundred”) and directed by Xu Zhanxiong, it stars frequent Lou Ye collaborator Zhang Songwen (“Spring Fever,” “The Shadow Play,” “Saturday Fiction”), who plays the titular intellectual “pioneer,” Chinese Communist Party co-founder Li Dazhao.

    Although the film was programmed for a healthy 29% of total nationwide screenings (95,000), it had low attendance rates, at less than 3%. Its viewers also skewed heavily female and towards smaller cities, with women purchasing more than 62% of tickets and fourth-tier city residents more than 44%.

    China’s propaganda blockbuster season is set to continue next week with the July 9 release of pandemic-themed “Chinese Doctors,” another tribute film.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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