China Box Office: Hong Kong Action Film 'Firestorm' Blazes to Top Spot
Firestorm, a Hong Kong police action film starring Andy Lau and Gordon Lam Ka-Tung, had a tempestuous opening in China, taking $27 million in its first four days of release.
According to box office data from Entgroup, the movie is showing on 126,787 screens and has racked up 4.327 million admissions. The $20-million project, produced by Bill Kong and Lau, is the directorial debut of Alan Yuen, previously known for penning several of Hong Kong director Benny Chan’s action blockbusters, including New Police Story and Shaolin.
The movie focuses on a hardboiled police inspector (Lau) who must confront, and cross, moral lines in order to hunt down a crew of seasoned criminals.
Rounding out the cast are Lam Ka-Tung (Infernal Affairs), Hu Jun (Bodyguards & Assassins) and Yao Chen (Caught in the Web).
The Chinese box office total this year already has passed the 20 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) milestone and is gearing up for a busy holiday season, which looks set to be dominated by local fare, as the Hollywood movie quota has been filled for the year.
Feng Xiaogang, one of China's most bankable directors, returns to comedy with the highly anticipated Personal Tailor on Dec. 19, while Hong Kong star Jackie Chan will premiere the action blockbuster Police Story 2013 during the holiday season.
Meanwhile Ning Hao's No Man's Land, which was banned for nearly three years before its release, continued its strong run, taking $13.62 million in its second week in China.
The movie, which stars Xu Zheng, Huang Bo and Yu Nan and was produced by China Film Group, with DMG Entertainment and Beijing Galloping Horse, has notched up a cume of $35.92 million in its first 10 days of opening, with 2.65 million admissions on nearly 135,099 screens.
Hong Kong director Gordon Chan's 3D martial arts movie, The Four 2, maintained a strong presence in its first full week, taking $10.7 million to give a cumulative total of $25.22 million.
Benny Chan's action thriller The White Storm took $7.3 million over the week to give a cumulative total of $35.45 million.
Alfonso Cuaron's sci-fi epic Gravity took another $2.96 million during the week to give a Chinese cume of $70.12 million, while Epic took $1.26 million to give a total of $7.36 million.
Hunger Games: Catching Fire took $770,000 in the week to Dec. 15, for a total of $27.75 million in 25 days at the Chinese box office.