Wolf Warrior 2 beats The Mermaid to become China’s biggest ever hit at the box office
Patriotic action movie breaks Hong Kong fantasy romance’s record for takings in mainland cinemas just 12 days after release
A patriotic China-made movie that tells the story of the rescue of Chinese nationals caught up in an African revolution has become the country’s highest-grossing film ever 12 days after its release.
The action movie Wolf Warrior 2, the release of which coincides with the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army, had taken 3.4 billion yuan (US$505.9 million) at the mainland box office by the end of Monday, beating the 3.39 billion record set by the Hong Kong fantasy romance The Mermaid last year.
The film, which stars martial artist Wu Jing, who also directed and co-wrote it, has proved to be a hit since its release on July 27 thanks to a screenplay that promotes nationalism and features Hollywood-like production values, local audiences say.
It has also made history with box office takings of over 200 million yuan every single day since the release.
In previous interviews with mainland media, Wu explained its success by saying: “Patriotism has been hidden inside the audience for a long time, and this sentiment needs to be released via a film and a role.”
Domestic films have been suffering a box drought since Lunar New Year. Some analysts argue that the high quality and crowd-pleasing film has come just in time for the industry.
The first Wolf Warrior, released in 2015, grossed US$89 million in China. With similar nationalistic messages, it tells the story of a special forces officer, played by Wu, fighting foreign mercenaries hired by a drug lord in Xinjiang.