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China Box Office: Local Animation ‘Nezha’ Now China’s Fifth-Highest-Grossing Title

  • Variety
Chinese animation “Nezha” continues its meteoric ascent to become one of China’s top-performing titles of all time, leading the weekend box office for the third week in a row thanks to a $66.5 million haul — still more than double that of its closest competitor, despite already having been in theaters for 18 days.

Its success has been boosted by a serious lack of other contenders: Every film below the top four grossers earned less than $700,000 this weekend, not even 1% of “Nezha’s” takings. The uneven performance highlights the struggles facing China’s box office this summer, as the pipeline of popular local titles dries up because of regulatory changes and a highly sensitive political anniversary coming up in October that has sent censors into overdrive.

With a total gross so far of $503 million (RMB3.55 billion), “Nezha” is already the fifth-highest-grossing title in Chinese film history, falling just behind last year’s “Operation Red Sea,
See full article at Variety »

Contemporary Chinese Cinema: Herman Yau follows the Drug War to its Dead End in "The White Storm 2"

Contemporary Chinese Cinema is a column devoted to exploring contemporary Chinese-language cinema primarily as it is revealed to us at North American multiplexes.Twenty minutes into The White Storm 2, one of the biggest movie stars in the world, Andy Lau, is shown a detention facility for drug addicts in Manila. Looking strikingly like the horrifying conditions under which the United States is housing refugees at its borders, Lau nods approvingly as a Filipino police officer describes the anti-drug war led by his nation’s president, Rodrigo Duterte. It’s a striking bit of propaganda, or at least it would be in the hands of a director other than Herman Yau, among the most out-spoken and consistent opponents of authoritarianism in mainstream Chinese language cinema, albeit one who has maintained his position in the mainstream by temporizing his activism within certain generic smokescreens. In this case, he’s taken an ostensibly conservative scenario,
See full article at MUBI »

China Box Office: ‘The Lion King’ Pounces as Ticket Sales Slump

  • Variety
China Box Office: ‘The Lion King’ Pounces as Ticket Sales Slump
Disney’s “The Lion King” has pounced on the China market — a week ahead of its U.S. release — with a $53.8 million three-day debut that gave it pride of place at the Chinese weekend box office. But the win came against a field of competitors so dismal that the fourth top-performing title hasn’t even had its official premier yet, and amid a drop of nearly 5% in the country’s total year-to-date box office compared to last year.

The downward slide in theatrical earnings is part of an increasingly sluggish overall economy, with official data revealing Monday that Chinese economic growth slowed to its weakest pace in nearly three decades in Q2. Chinese Gdp expanded by just 6.2 %, down from 6.4% in Q1 and from 6.6% in 2018.

“The Lion King” saw a China opening day of $13 million (RMB89.5 million) and $490,000 (RMB3.4 million) in midnight screenings, according to the Maoyan data app — exceeding the
See full article at Variety »

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ nears $850m at global box office, ‘The Lion King’ roars in China debut (update)

Disney’s Toy Story 4 sets record debuts in Japan, Hong Kong.

July 15 Update: Spider-Man: Far From Home remained atop the Hollywood pile at the weekend and will cross $850m at the global box office on Monday (15), as Sony executives said a confirmed $97.2m international weekend propelled the tally to a franchise record $569.8m.

Disney’s Lion King roared in China in a $54.2m three-day bow, while Toy Story 4 used record debuts in Japan and Hong Kong to surge to $427.3m. Universal’s The Secret Life Of Pets 2 crossed the $150m international mark and stands at the cusp of $300m worldwide.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Film Review: ‘The White Storm 2: Drug Lords’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘The White Storm 2: Drug Lords’
Shootouts and car chases are interrupted only by brief bouts of middling melodrama in “The White Storm 2: Drug Lords,” an in-name-only sequel to the 2013 hit about cops involved in the war on drugs. Vigorously directed by prolific veteran Herman Yau (“Shock Wave”) and well served by an all-star cast headed by Andy Lau and Louis Koo, this Hong Kong action-thriller isn’t deep but is certainly not dull. Mainland audiences have gone wild for “Drug Lords,” with 1.8 million admissions and a $105 million gross in 7 days since its July 5 release, which suggests the potential for relatively strong returns in the U.S., U.K. and other territories as well. Hong Kong release is set for July 16.

In an extended 2004-set prologue, Tin (Lau) and Dizang are low-level hoods working for Tin’s uncle, Yu Nam (Kent Cheng), a triad boss with a strict “no selling drugs” policy. When Dizang breaks the rule,
See full article at Variety »

The White Storm 2: Drug Lords gets a UK trailer

Following its bumper $62 million opening in China this past weekend, where it knocked Spider-Man: Far From Home into second place, the Hong Kong action thriller The White Storm 2: Drug Lords opens in the UK and North America tomorrow; check out the UK poster and trailer for the film here…

In Hong Kong, a former triad member-turned-property tycoon publicly offers a $100 million bounty to eliminate the notorious, number one drug dealer in the city. Causing a ripple effect throughout the underworld, the bounty sets off an escalating rivalry with devastating consequences between the two titans.

The White Storm 2: Drug Lords is released in UK cinemas on July 12th from Cine Asia.

The post The White Storm 2: Drug Lords gets a UK trailer appeared first on Flickering Myth.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The White Storm 2: Drug Lords review – triad sequel makes a hash of its plot

Triad violence ripples through Hong Kong society in a second-rate import that brings frustration, agitation and fleeting highs

This sequel-in-name-only to 2013’s action-thriller The White Storm brings over from its predecessor the Hong Kong-set crime milieu, a tri-protagonist structure and just one actor for another bout of serviceable but so-so drama peppered with violence. Several of the participants are major names in Asian cinema but the actor Andy Lau will likely be the best known to western audiences, having played the underworld mole planted with the cops in the immortal Infernal Affairs trilogy, the template for Martin Scorsese’s The Departed.

Here Lau, working up his best mournful expression of melancholy (or perhaps just constipation), plays Yu, a mid-level gangster in a triad gang when the action starts in 2004. He is compelled by the big boss to cut off three fingers of his colleague/friend Fung (Koo), for disobeying orders
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Film Review: The White Storm 2: Drug Lords (2019) by Herman Yau

In 2013, the veteran director Benny Chan gave us the spectacular action film “The White Storm” which honored the best heroic bloodshed films Hong Kong madein the 80s and 90s. This year the sequel: “The White Storm 2: Drug Lords ” arrives, at the hands of Herman Yau, another veteran director who does not need any introduction.

The White Storm 2: Drug Lords is released in UK cinemas 12th July from Cine Asia

As is usual in some franchises of this type, the continuity is different, which is why it has nothing to do with the previous one. Louis Koo repeats his part in this installment, and he is accompanied by Andy Lau, Michael Mui, Chrissie Chau, Kent Cheng and Kar Yan Lam among others.

The story begins in 2009 in Hong Kong, where the criminal gang of Ching Hing controls much of the city. This criminal gang, led by Yu Nam (Kent cheng
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

New York Asian Film Festival chief Samuel Jamier: ‘You’re only as good as the films you’re showing’

Festival to close on July 14 with The White Storm 2: Drug Lords.

In the New York Asian Film Festival’s 18th year, executive director Samuel Jamier disussses the line-up, why programmers need to work harder, and what might lie ahead for the event.

The festival opened on June 28 with Bernard Rose’s Samurai Marathon and will close on July 14 with Herman Yau’s The White Storm 2: Drug Lords. Japan’s Nama Komatsu and South Korea’s Ryu Jun-yeol are this year’s Screen International’s Rising Star Asia Award recipients. For details of this week’s screenings, click here.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘The White Storm 2: Drug Lords’ to close New York Asian Film Festival

‘The White Storm 2: Drug Lords’ to close New York Asian Film Festival
July 14 screening caps off lively Hong Kong component.

Hong Kong thriller The White Storm 2: Drug Lords, which grossed $59.7m in China at the weekend, has been unveiled as the closing night film at the New York Asian Film Festival (Nyaff).

Veteran director and 2013 Nyaff guest Herman Yau teams up with Andy Lau (who also produced the film) and Louis Koo in a cat-and-mouse story of drug barons and corrupt tycoons. Michael Miu, Karena Lam, and Cherrie Ying also star.

The July 14 screening will cap off a Hong Kong component to the festival that included a masterclass by Star Asia
See full article at ScreenDaily »

China Box Office: ‘White Storm 2’ Dominates as ‘Spider-Man’ Loses Grip

  • Variety
China Box Office: ‘White Storm 2’ Dominates as ‘Spider-Man’ Loses Grip
The Andy Lau- and Louis Koo-starring Hong Kong action film “White Storm 2: The Drug Lords” was the third highest grossing film in the world this weekend thanks to a strong $62.4 million China opening. It far outstripped other Chinese and U.S. content in Chinese theaters.

Directed by Herman Yau and produced by Lau, the film tells the story of the chaos that ensues after a former triad member turned philanthropist offers a large bounty in exchange for the life of Hong Kong’s top drug dealer. Though it shares a name with 2013’s “The White Storm,” which also starred Louis Koo, it is a standalone story. That earlier film was directed by Benny Chan and went on to earn around $35 million (RMB238 million) in China.

This installment’s three-day haul more than doubled the second weekend performance of Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” which came in second with $29.8 million,
See full article at Variety »

“The White Storm 2: Drug Lords” is released in UK cinemas 12th July from Cine Asia

Following the success of the critically-acclaimed box office hit The White StormDrug Lords is a thrilling new story in this highly cinematic, action-packed franchise. 

Starring Hong Kong cinema legends Andy Lau and Louis KooThe White Storm 2: Drug Lords is released in UK cinemas from 12th July, on the same date as the USA and just one week after China. 

Synopsis: In Hong Kong, a former triad member-turned-property tycoon publicly offers a $100 million bounty to eliminate the notorious, number one drug dealer in the city. Causing a ripple effect throughout the underworld, the bounty sets off an escalating rivalry with devastating consequences between the two titans.

Boasting a stellar cast and directed by Herman Yau, The White Storm 2: Drug Lords is an epic and electrifying new action-thriller which demands to be seen.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

China’s Bona Film Group Lines Up Big Movies Through 2020

  • Variety
Distributors and producers frequently bemoan the difficulty of understanding fast-moving audience trends in China. Affecting the outcome is the scale of country and all are affected by word of mouth driven by ubiquitous social media.

For the tech giants encroaching on the film sector, such as Tencent, the response to such uncertainty is to draw on big data for insight and help in making production, distribution and marketing decisions. For more traditional distributors, such as Bona, the problem is how to strike a balance between having a slate wide enough that it stretches across different genres, and one that has enough tentpoles for the Chinese calendar’s four or five main holiday periods.

Box office in January this year dragged along at levels below 2018’s take. But the Chinese New Year holiday in February was highly competitive and produced the biggest B.O. numbers on record. Bona scored strongly with “Pegasus,
See full article at Variety »

China Box Office: ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’s’ Mainland Tally Bolsters Dismal U.S. Figures

  • Variety
“X-Men: Dark Phoenix” may have notched the worst opening weekend in the franchise’s history in the U.S., but it led China’s box office with $32.1 million over the country’s three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday weekend, debuting last Thursday, a day before its U.S. release.

The film’s China opening is nearly on par with its $33 million bow in the U.S., and accounts for almost 30% of its global box office so far – highlighting just how dependent Hollywood tentpoles have become on the Middle Kingdom.

The film has been panned by Western critics, who have given it a dismal 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. In China, it received just 7.7, 7.2 and 6 out of 10 on the key user review platforms Maoyan, Tao Piaopiao and Douban, respectively. Many fans expressed disappointment despite their love of an imagined bromance between characters Magneto and Professor X. The film’s marketing team nonetheless put out
See full article at Variety »

Film Review: ‘Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch’
The current wave of Hong Kong nostalgia continues with “Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch,” an entertaining if superficial and heavily fictionalized glimpse into the final days of notorious 1990s kidnapper Cheung Tze-keung, aka “Big Spender” and renamed Logan Long here. Starring dependable veteran Tony Leung Ka-fai as the master crook and Louis Koo (Johnnie To’s “Drug War”) as an undercover cop tasked with taking him down, this old-school entry co-directed by Jason Kwan and prolific Hong Kong mainstay Wong Jing moves along briskly but never gets beneath the skin of its intriguing characters. Connected solely by its retro crime theme to the 2018 Kwan-Wong hit “Chasing the Dragon,” “Bunch” should do solid business when it opens in China and Hong Kong on June 6, and on limited North American screens on June 7.

Wong and Kwan scored an impressive $87 million theatrical gross in China for “Chasing the Dragon,” starring Donnie Yen
See full article at Variety »

Chasing The Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch: Tony Leung Triggers an Explosive Birthday Bash in Exclusive Clip from Wong Jing's Triad Sequel

Legendary director Wong Jing reteams with Jason Kwan once again to bring Hong Kong movie fans a second dose of gangland action in Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch, which opens in selected cinemas across North America on 7 June.  In 2017's Chasing the Dragon, Donnie Yen starred as legendary '60s drug lord Crippled Ho, clashing heads with Andy Lau, who reprised his role of the equally notorious corrupt cop, Lee Rock. Two years later, Chasing the Dragon II fast forwards to Hong Kong in the 1990s, where Tony Leung Ka Fai plays the leader of a human trafficking ring, whose gang is infiltrated by undercover cop (Louis Koo - Election 2, Drug...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Louis Koo Keeps It Low Key

  • Variety
Louis Koo Keeps It Low Key
After Louis Koo, Hong Kong A-list actor and producer, presented Anthony Wong with the best actor award at this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards, he smiled awkwardly as Wong referred to him in his acceptance speech as “movie mogul of the new generation.” But as Wong continued to sing Koo’s praises, the handsome actor jumped in, telling Wong to stop talking about him.

In public, Koo maintains the image of a star, appearing in blockbusters such as action-thriller “Paradox,” which won him best actor awards at both Hong Kong Film Awards and Asian Film Awards last year. His pretty face is often attached to commercial and lifestyle products as their brand ambassadors.

But behind the scenes, the 48-year-old has quietly assumed a role as one the key driving forces behind Hong Kong cinema. One Cool Film Production, which he founded in 2013, has produced a slate of commercial hits
See full article at Variety »

Film Review: A Home With a View (2019) by Herman Yau

Prolific director Herman Yau’s contribution to this year’s Lunar New Year releases, “A Home With a View”, is an adaptation of a stage play by comedian Cheung Tat-ming. In the best of the Lunar New Year traditions, “A Home With a View” is about family and getting together but maybe not in the way you would expect.

“Home With a View” screened at Udine Far East Film Festival

The Lo family is a typical Hong Kong family, in a lively and crowded neighborhood. The father Wai-man (Francis Ng) has spent all the money he could possibly put together, including the pension of his own disabled father (Cheung Tat-ming) to buy a flat with a 20-year mortgage in a noisy tower block. As anybody living in cities knows, buying a flat is a big achievement but life doesn’t get any easy after the purchase; possibly even worst! The
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

China Box Office: ‘Wonder Park’ Fails to Impress While ‘P Storm’ Rages On

  • Variety
China Box Office: ‘Wonder Park’ Fails to Impress While ‘P Storm’ Rages On
Even on one of the quietest weekends of the year, new U.S. animated release “Wonder Park” failed to inspire Chinese audiences as much as Hong Kong and Indian movies already in their third weekend in theaters.

Starring the voice talents of Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, and Ken Jeong, among many others, the film tells the story of a young girl who has adventures when the amusement park she thought only existed in her imagination comes to life. It is the directorial debut of Dylan Brown, an animator who had worked on films like “Monsters Inc.,” but who was fired by Paramount in January 2018 due to allegations of inappropriate conduct with women and is thus uncredited.

Wonder Park” came in third with just a $3.3 million debut weekend, according to figures from consultancy Artisan Gateway. The film opened March 15 in the U.S.

With movie choices made up of holdovers and weak new releases,
See full article at Variety »

China box office: 'P Storm' top again as 'Avengers: Endgame' breaks advance booking records

The Marvel film has become became the fastest ever to hit RMB100m.

After a brief rebound thanks to the Qingming (‘tomb sweeping’) long weekend in the first week of April, the Chinese seven-day box office period of April 8-14 shrank by 42% week-on-week. This made it the second quietest week in 2019 so far, behind the pre-Chinese New Year period.

Hong Kong anti-corruption thriller P Storm was the highest-grossing film for the second film with a seven-day gross of $35.1m for a cume of $85.4m to date. The fourth installment of the Storm franchise is the most successful yet. All four
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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