Donnie Yen Tops Chinese Propaganda Film
It wasn’t the fact that kung-fu star Donnie Yen topped China’s box office that was surprising. The surprise was what it pushed aside on the charts.
The martial-arts movie “Wu Xia” starring Mr. Yen powered to the top of China’s box office last week by overtaking “Beginning of the Great Revival,” a heavily promoted, government-supported propaganda epic about the early days of the Communist Party.
“Wu Xia,” 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 “Revival.”
That film, whose all-star cast includes Chow Yun-fat, Fan Bingbing, Andy Lau, Liu Ye and Daniel Wu, covers China’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 Party’s 90th-anniversary celebrations, “Revival” has earned a total of 348.45 million yuan since opening on June 15. Movie chains in the country vowed “all-out efforts” 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.