Director Zhao Yiyang's The Assassins looks stunning on Blu-ray. Combine the beautiful visuals with a commanding lead performance from Chow Yun Fat and you get a must-own for any fan of Chinese cinema.
Synopsis: During the Three Kingdoms period, Cao Cao stands as the last pillar of power preventing the collapse of the Han throne. Emperor Xian, who sits on that throne, cares more about music and poems than his own power. But behind the Emperor's disinterest, rumors that Cao Cao wants the throne for himself have driven Emperor Xian to plot Cao Cao's assassination, a plan that's been years in the making. An ancient prophecy states that when the four elemental start to align, a new dynasty will arise, and in 221 A.D., they do. With the weakened government and impending omen, Cao Cao has enemies everywhere, and they all want him dead. Someone has been abducting the children of Cao Cao's dead enemies and training them to be assassins. In 221, they are grown, and sent to infiltrate Bronze Sparrow Tower. When the four stars align over Bronze Sparrow Tower, the struggle for Cao Cao's life begins ...
China Lion reports that Back to 1942, a drama about an overlooked Chinese famine, has grossed $308,781 in North America. Back to 1942 is currently playing at only one location, down from a peak of 11.
Back to 1942's total in China is $57.4 million.
Lost in Thailand easily finished in first place during the 12/24-12/30 frame. The comedic sequel added another $42.2 million, pushing its haul to $150.9 million. Lost in Thailand will soon pass Titanic 3D's $155.3 million haul in China to become the #3 film of all time. The top two spots belong to Avatar ($203.8 million) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($172.3 million).
CZ12 finished in second with $41.3 million for a total of $76.5 million after 11 days of release. CZ12 now ranks in 13th place on China's all-time highest grosses list.
The Last Tycoon finished in third with $8.1 million for a cume of $11.7 million.
The Flying Guillotines landed in fourth with $3.7 million, pushing its total to $7.9 million.
In fifth place, Bleeding Mountain grabbed $520,000 for a total of $820,000.
SARFT estimates that the Chinese box office will total $2.7 billion (16.8 billion yuan) in 2012. Domestic films will account for $1.8 billion, or slightly less than half. That marks the first time in four years that foreign films (read: mostly Hollywood) have represented more than 50 percent of the box office.
China Film Biz reports that 20th Century Fox had the best year with a total box office haul of $376 million in China.
Wednesday Update: Lost in Thailand has passed Painted Skin 2 in order to become the highest grossing domestic film of all time in China. As of December 25, EntGroup reports that Lost in Thailand's haul is $122.2 million (762 million RMB). Painted Skin 2 set the domestic record this past summer by grossing $114.5 million (720 million RMB).
The top three films on the Chinese all-time list are still from Hollywood: Avatar ($203.8 million), Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($172.3 million), Titanic ($155.3 million).
Tuesday Update: The Chinese box office is booming thanks to two homegrown flicks.
Lost in Thailand finished in first place during the week of 12/17-12/23 with a staggering $59 million. The comedy has grossed $107 million in 12 days, which already puts it in 5th place on China's all-time highest grosses list. Lost in Thailand will have no problem passing Painted Skin 2's $114.5 million haul to become China's #1 domestic hit.
Jackie Chan's CZ12 is also off to an incredible start. The action flick has $35 million in the bank after only 4 days.
Life of Pi finished its run in China by adding another $4.7 million last week. Reports from Fox put the film's total at $90.8 million.
The Flying Guillotines opened in fourth place with $4.2 million after 4 days.
The Last Tycoon rounded out the top five with $3.6 million after 3 days.