CINEMA

Patriotic movie Monster Hunt passes Furious 7, becomes first Chinese film to take domestic box office crown in two decades

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 September, 2015, 5:23pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 September, 2015, 11:13am

Share

The patriotic Chinese movie Monster Hunt has toppled Hollywood blockbuster Furious 7 as China’s biggest grossing film of all time, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, as global studios tussle with locally-made films for the country’s fast-growing box office.

The Chinese flick has taken in 2.428 billion yuan (US$380.95 million) since its July debut, overtaking Furious 7’s 2.426 billion yuan, making it the first local film in two decades to hold the top spot, Xinhua said, citing the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

Praised by Variety for its technical wizardry and Hollywood-influenced storytelling, the movie revolves around Woba, the last of the monster kings, and his struggle to end the generations-long war between humans and monsters.

The allure of China’s moviegoers has become increasingly difficult to resist for global film-makers from Sony to Walt Disney, despite the challenges of navigating the country’s censors as well as getting one of the coveted 34 spots allowed for foreign films each year.

But while foreign films have traditionally dominated the country’s box office, locally-made films are posing an increasing challenge. Chinese movies have accounted for around 60 per cent of total ticket sales so far this year.

China’s cinema takings are over 30 billion yuan (US$4.71 billion) over the first eight months of 2015, already overtaking the total for the whole of last year.

In contrast, box office receipts in the United States and Canada, the world's top film market, fell last year.

Last November, the vice president of the China Film Producers’ Association, Wang Fenglin, said the Chinese film market would overtake the United States to become the largest in the world within three years.