$526 Million USD in box office revenue in the first four weeks of release… $430 million of that was reached in the first two weeks alone INSIDE of China. (Not Global). China is now officially the largest national movie market in the world. Step aside Hollywood… the action is now on the other side of the pacific!
The environmental romantic comedy, filmed in 3D, recounts the adventures of male and female mermaids planning to assassinate a ruthless real estate magnate who has bought a nature reserve and is killing its native dolphins.
“It’s good news that movies about the environment can arouse such public interest,” May Mei, China director of the NGO WildAid, told AFP.
The film, helped along by a star-studded cast, carries a political weight despite its many gags — a rarity for Chinese cinema, which tends to be geared towards pure mass entertainment.
“What I most wanted to depict wasn’t a love story, but man’s destruction of the environment,” its director told Phoenix TV.
“In the past 10 years, we’ve seen a growing public awareness on these sorts of issues,” Mei said, citing examples of controversy over shark fin, used as an ingredient in expensive dishes favoured by wealthy Chinese.
“In 2006, very few people knew the impact their consumption was having on the reduction of shark populations,” Mei explained.
By 2013, 96 percent of Chinese were aware of the environmental toll of the once-prized delicacy, according to a WildAid survey.
Former NBA star Yao Ming has taken part in high-profile advertising campaigns against shark fin consumption and ivory use, while the actor Jackie Chan appeared in a World Wildlife Foundation video clip to promote the protection of wild animals.
Zhang Yuanyuan, China head of the animal protection group ActAsia, described their efforts as “an important reflection of society’s progress”, and pointed out the “growing public demand” for environmentally-themed stories.
In 2015, a documentary about China’s toxic pollution called “Under the Dome” went viral — before disappearing from video sites — highlighting growing awareness of the issue and inspiring many in the country to consult indices measuring air pollution on their smartphones. Source: https://au.news.yahoo.com/entertainment/a/30912135/china-environment-film-smashes-box-office-records/
Links and excerpts to more source articles below:
From Hollywood Reporter:
“The quick record run by the movie, a timely fantasy about a group of modern mermaids battling a ruthless developer who threatens their habitat, was all the more impressive given that it faced off against two formidable rivals, both also directed by Hong Kongers: Cheang Pou-soi’s fantasy epic sequel The Monkey King 2 grossed a muscular $164.1 million during the holiday period, and Wong Jing’s gambling comedy From Vegas to Macau III earned $158.1 million. Together, the three titles are expected to climb toward $1 billion from China’s theatrical market alone.”
From GQ Magazine:
“As far as movie openings go, The Mermaid is one of the biggest of the year. In two weeks, it’s grossed a ridiculous $431 million. For perspective, that’s almost as much as the global gross revenue of another surprise hit, Deadpool—but The Mermaid made all that money in China alone.”
“For the record, the other six films are Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($928 million), Avatar ($760m), Titanic ($658m), Jurassic World ($652m), The Avengers ($623m), and The Dark Knight ($533m).
And for Hollywood, the only thing more interesting/terrifying than China surpassing America as the top moviegoing market is China doing so without relying on American tent poles.”