'Founding' now top Chinese film


BEIJING -- "The Founding of a Republic" is now the highest-grossing Chinese film in China's boxoffice history, earning 406 million yuan ($58.4 million) since its Sept. 16 debut, a China Film Group spokesperson told the Xinhua News Agency.

"Founding" overtook Feng Xiaogang's "If You Are The One," released less than a year ago. However, unlike Feng's film, "Founding," which tells the story of the Chinese civil war and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, has enjoyed release on the largest number of screens in Chinese film history, no competition from Hollywood product, an extended national holiday period and massive promotion, including a trailer for the film running before every movie in the country prior to its release.

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

The film was also helped by 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 get its first non-domestic challenges when Hong Kong and Los Angeles-produced "Astro Boy" bows on Chinese screens Oct. 23, followed by the Michael Jackson concert film "This Is It" on October 28.