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Aftershock closes in on all-time record

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Aftershock, the Feng Xiaogang-directed Chinese blockbuster tale based on the lives of survivors of the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, is on course to become the highest grossing Chinese film of all time.

Producer and co-distributor Huayi Brothers confirmed that the film had grossed $58.9 million in the first 11 days of its release, but could not give a more precise figure or elaborate on the breakdown between conventional theatre and IMAX grosses.

“Everyone is so concerned about the box office takings of Aftershock, it has become a very sensitive subject for us,” a Huayi spokesman told Film Business Asia.

As long as a year ago, the film was touted by director Feng as the first Chinese movie likely to pass the symbolic RMB500 million ($73.7million) milestone. The movie appears to be right on course.

Opening day takings came to a total of $5 million, and rose to $23.5 million over the first weekend. Revenues from the 12 IMAX screens, for which the film had been specially converted, amounted to $640,000 over the opening weekend.

Aftershock looks set to leapfrog the takings of The Founding of a Republic, which was released last year to mark the 60th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Founding of a Republic made an estimated RMB400 million, making it the previous most recent highest-grossing film in China.

So far however, Aftershock’s takings are dwarfed by James Cameron’s Avatar, which stands as China’s all-time box office champion grossing a total of RMB1.3 billion.

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