Hit Chinese film Us and Them picked up by Netflix after US$200 million takings at China box office

Blockbuster romance starring Jing Boran and Zhou Dongyu, shot by In The Mood for Love cinematographer and with hit Eason Chan theme song, is directorial debut of Taiwanese singer-actress Rene Liu

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2018, 5:32pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2018, 7:18pm

Netflix has acquired the worldwide streaming rights to Chinese blockbuster Us and Them, the internet entertainment service announced on Wednesday.

The romantic film was an instant box office hit in China, where it premiered on 28 April. It earned 290 million yuan (US$45.5 million) on its first day of release alone and has raked in well over 1 billion yuan in two weeks, making it the fourth highest grossing film of 2018 so far in China. Netflix said it had now earned nearly US$200 million.

“At Netflix we believe great stories transcend borders. We are always in search for great content that touches the audience’s hearts and we are thrilled to bring a beautiful film like Us and Them to the service,” said Rob Roy, vice-president of content (Asia) at Netflix.

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The film is the directorial debut of Taiwanese singer-actress Rene Liu Ruo-ying, whose nickname is “Milk Tea” and who starred in comedy drama The Personals (1998) and action film A World Without Thieves (2004).

In the movie, Chinese heartthrobs Jing Boran and Zhou Dongyu play Jianqing and Xiaoxiao, a couple who meet by chance on a train home. The duo work and live in Beijing and reunite on a flight a decade later. 

The film is shot by Taiwanese cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-bing, whose credits include Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000) and Hou Hsiao-hsien’s award-winning The Assassin (2015).

Its theme song, Us, sung by Hong Kong singer Eason Chan Yik-shun, is trending on YouTube, where it has had over 4.4 million views since being posted a month ago. 

Though the film’s commercial success was initially muddled by ticketing scandals (news media reported an usually high rate of ticket refunds), this was found to have been caused by miscommunication between cinemas and online ticketing platforms.