October 21, 2009 / 3:29 AM / 9 years ago

Historical drama sets box-office record in China

BEIJING (Hollywood Reporter) - “The Founding of a Republic” has become the highest-grossing Chinese film in China’s box-office history, earning 406 million yuan ($58.4 million) since its September 16 debut, a China Film Group spokesperson told the Xinhua News Agency.

“Founding,” which tells the story of the Chinese civil war and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, overtook Feng Xiaogang’s romantic comedy “If You Are the One,” released less than a year ago. But unlike Feng’s film, “Founding” has enjoyed release on the largest number of screens in Chinese film history, no competition from Hollywood movies, an extended national holiday period and massive promotion that included a trailer for the film running before every movie playing in the country before its release.

It will now set its sights on “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “Titanic,” the current and former all-time Chinese box-office champions, respectively.

The film also benefited from the appearance of most of China’s top film stars, many in bit parts, including Jackie Chan, Jet Li, director Chen Kaige and Zhang Ziyi.

“Founding” will face its first challenges from non-domestic films when Hong Kong- and Los Angeles-produced “Astro Boy” bows on Chinese screens Friday, followed by the Michael Jackson concert film “This Is It” on October 28.

Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters

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