Train to Busan becomes top-grossing Asian film in Hong Kong history, passing Cold War 2

Zombies-on-a-train thriller from Korean director Yeon Sang-ho has taken HK$66.3 million in 34 days – more than any Chinese-language film ever – also putting it top of the undead-movie charts

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 September, 2016, 10:32am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 September, 2016, 11:12am

The undead have come spectacularly alive in Hong Kong cinemas: Train to Busan has taken more than HK$66.3 million in its first 34 days in cinemas, making it the most watched Asian cinema release in the city’s history – beating every Chinese-language film ever shown. Not only that, it has become the biggest-selling zombie film in Hong Kong history, eclipsing World War Z , which took in HK$46.2 million.

Film review: Train to Busan – Yeon Sang-ho’s inventive zombies-on-a-train thriller is just the ticket

Having opened on August 25 after weeks of sold-out “preview” screenings, the zombies-on-a-train thriller by South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho broke the Hong Kong box office record for a Korean-language film – previously held by the 2002 release My Sassy Girl (HK$14 million) – on just its fourth day of general release.

Train to Busan has now eclipsed the HK$66.2 million box office takings of Hong Kong crime thriller Cold War 2 to become the highest-grossing Asian film in Hong Kong cinema history, and sits at 16th on Hong Kong’s all-time box office chart.

Cold War 2 breaks Hong Kong box office record for a Chinese-language release

Train to Busan premiered to positive reviews at the Cannes Film Festival in May, before proving a box office hit in South Korea and across Asia. A bidding war among Hollywood and European studios for its remake rights was reported by The Hollywood Reporter in early August. On September 13, lead actor Gong Yoo announced on Twitter that a sequel is in the works.

In response to Train to Busan’s unprecedented success, the film’s Hong Kong distributor Edko Films swiftly opened Seoul Station, an animated “prequel” also directed by Yeon, at 17 cinemas on September 22 – to, so far, a mostly lukewarm reception.

Film review: Seoul Station – animated prequel to Train to Busan is a message-driven horror flick

Rounding out the five highest-grossing Asian films in Hong Kong, after Train to Busan and Cold War 2, are You Are the Apple of My Eye (HK$61.9 million), Kung Fu Hustle (HK$61.3 million) and Shaolin Soccer (HK$60.7 million).

The 15 highest-grossing films in Hong Kong box office history

1. Avatar (HK$178.2 million)

2. Avengers: Age of Ultron (HK$133.1 million)

3. Titanic (HK$115.3 million)

4. Captain America: Civil War (HK$113.5 million)

5. Iron Man 3 (HK$106.4 milion)

6. Transformers: Age of Extinction (HK$98.2 million)

7. The Avengers (HK$96.7 million)

8. Jurassic World (HK96.3 million)

9. Toy Story 3 (HK$89.4 million)

10. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (HK$84.7 million)

11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (HK$81.8 million)

12. The Dark Knight Rises (HK$80.3 million)

13. Minions (HK$78.4 million)

14. Monsters University (HK$77.4 million)

15. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (HK$76.8 million)

Box office takings are those released by the Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association.