China Box Office: Local Blockbuster 'Monster Hunt' Unseats 'Furious 7' as Highest Grossing Film Ever

Monster Hunt Still 1 - H 2015
Courtesy of Edko Films

Monster Hunt Still 1 - H 2015

The fantasy epic's triumph marks the first time in over two decades that a Chinese film has held the country's all-time box office record.

Local Chinese blockbuster Monster Hunt has unseated Universal's Furious 7 as the highest-grossing film ever in China.

As of Saturday (Sept. 12), the CGI/live action fantasy epic from Hong Kong director Roman Hui had grossed 2.428 billion yuan (about $380.87 million at today's exchange rate) since its release in July, surpassing Furious 7's 2.426 billion yuan ($380.57 million) haul, according China's state-run Xinhua news agency, which cited the country's media regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

Furious 7 connected with modern China's car-loving culture in a big way when it was released there in April. The film grossed an astonishing $325.8 million in 15 days, unseating prior China box office champ, Transformers: Age of Extinction, which pulled in $319 million in 2014.

Monster Hunt is produced by Hong Kong's Edko Films and cost $40 million to make. It features a stellar cast of Hong Kong and Chinese actors, including Bai BaiheJiang Wu, Eric Tsang, Elaine Jin, Tang Wei and Sandra Ng. The professional polish of the film's effects have set a new standard for the Chinese industry. 

Set in a world where monsters and humans co-exist, the movie tells the story of Wuba, a monster born to be king. Wuba becomes the central figure in stopping an all-out monster civil war.

Last week, China's box office topped $4.71 billion (30 billion yuan), racing past the full-year total of 29.6 billion yuan for 2014, as the country's film market continues its rapid expansion.

The Chinese movie market is now widely expected to overtake the North American box office within three years to become the largest film market in the world.

In the face of stiff competition from Hollywood, local Chinese films have pulled in 60 percent of total box office in the country so far this year, according to SARFT. In 2014, Chinese films accounted for 54.5 percent of box office.