Donnie Yen Tops Chinese Propaganda Film
It wasnâ€™t the fact that kung-fu star Donnie Yen topped Chinaâ€™s box office that was surprising. The surprise was what it pushed aside on the charts.
The martial-arts movie â€œWu Xiaâ€ starring Mr. Yen powered to the top of Chinaâ€™s box office last week by overtaking â€œBeginning of the Great Revival,â€ a heavily promoted, government-supported propaganda epic about the early days of the Communist Party.
â€œWu Xia,â€ which opened July 4, pulled in 101 million yuan ($15.6 million) for the week ending July 10, according to Beijing-based media-research firm EntGroup Inc., more than three times the 31.3 million yuan earned by No. 2 â€œRevival.â€
That film, whose all-star cast includes Chow Yun-fat, Fan Bingbing, Andy Lau, Liu Ye and Daniel Wu, covers Chinaâ€™s history from the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911 to the founding of the Communist Party in 1921. Pushed hard by the government as part of the Communist Partyâ€™s 90th-anniversary celebrations, â€œRevivalâ€ has earned a total of 348.45 million yuan since opening on June 15. Movie chains in the country vowed â€œall-out effortsâ€ to promote it and nearly 30 other less-prominent films that were produced for the anniversary, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported last month.