Chinese movie about military victory over America trounces new Bond film’s $119m opening weekend
Chinese movie about military victory over America – commissioned by Beijing – trounces new Bond film’s $119m opening weekend by taking a massive $203m
- The Battle of Lake Changjin is China’s most expensive film ever made at $200m
- It was commissioned by the government who had a hand in its production
- It aims to inspire love for China and the party and comes amid culture crackdown
The creators of the hit new James Bond film will have been left shaken and stirred by the news that they were trounced at the box office on their opening weekend by a Chinese war film commissioned by the Communist Party.
The Battle at Lake Changjin has raked in a whopping $203million, far eclipsing No Time To Die’s $119million and Marvel’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage which took receipts of $90.1million.
The three-hour epic revels in a rare Chinese victory over the US-led United Nations forces during the Korean War.
The Battle at Lake Changjin has raked in a whopping $203million, far eclipsing No Time To Die’s $119million
No Time To Die is the first film since Covid to debut with more than $100million without the Chinese market since the Covid pandemic.
But it pales in comparison to the Chinese juggernaut which is the country’s most expensive film ever made with a budget of $200million and was commissioned by the government’s powerful central propaganda department.
Some claim the film’s remarkable box office success could be due to the government organising cinema trips for its extensive workforce.
The Battle at Lake Changjin stars seasoned war film actor Wu Jing and popstar Jackson Yee.
The blockbuster depicts the killing of Americans and was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party.
It tells the story of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in 1950, which China claims as the most important victory of the Korean War and forced a US retreat.
Wu said it is a ‘film that celebrates life — a story of how young warriors are willing to risk it all to protect our homes and defend our country’.
No Time To Die is the first film since Covid to debut with more than $100million without the Chinese market since the Covid pandemic
The mammoth project took five years in script development, with support from the government, who also supplied serving soldiers for the film’s 70,000 extras.
It glorifies Chinese heroism and is in line with the cultural crackdown imposed by Beijing in recent months to promote traditional values and eschew celebrities, pornography and effeminacy, which the government deems to be Western vices.
Data from local provider Ent Group showed it was watched by an estimated 25.5million people between Friday and Saturday alone, and was screened 157,000 times a day.
The state-run People’s Daily said the film has ‘implications for today’s China-US competition’ and showed how Chinese ‘soldiers held their ground amid fierce cold and the enemy’s more advanced weapons during the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53)’.
The newspaper quoted an anonymous viewer who said they were left with the ‘feeling that Chinese people are not, and have never been, afraid of the US’.
The blockbuster depicts the killing of Americans and was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party
The People’s Liberation Army’s official newspaper has condemned any criticism of the film, saying people who question China’s victory ‘are once again falling into the trap of fearing the US and worshipping the US’.
One film review site, Deep Focus, dared to criticise the special effects and characters in the film.
The online article has since been deleted and the reviewer’s account on Chinese messaging app WeChat has been suspended.
Experts predict The Battle at Changjin will be one of China’s biggest ever box office successes and could rival 2017’s Wolf Warrior 2, also starring Wu Jing, which grossed a total of $785billion.
Beijing has ordered China’s cinemas to spread propaganda through films to inspire love for the Communist Party on its 100th anniversary.
Films were ordered to focus on ‘loving the Party, the country and socialism’, the China Film Administration said.
The regulator said they want young people to ‘grow their affections’ for Communism and China.