Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"The Founding of a Republic" become the box-office champion

The all-star film, "The Founding of a Republic", has become the box-office champion of China's domestically-made films after taking 406 million yuan (US$59.47 million) since its premiere on September 16.

"It has far exceeded our expectations," Weng Li, spokesman with the state-owned China Film Group Corporation (CFGC), said Monday.

"We initially expected the box office to hit 200 million," he said.

The movie recounts Chinese history from 1945 to 1949. About 200 established Chinese actors and directors, including Jet Li and Chen Kaige, participated in the film.

It was made to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), said director Han Sanping, also the chairman of the CFGC.

"We are planning to bring the prints of the film to poor and mountainous areas to accommodate people there," Weng said. "And they will enjoy it free of charge."

The previous champion in the Chinese film box office is "If You Are the One" directed by Feng Xiaogang, released on December 18, 2008, which took in about 340 million yuan as of January 24.

Weng attributed the success of the epic film to the blend of mainstream political values and marketing.

"The gathering of stars played the historical roles vividly," he said.

Prof. Yin Hong, of the School of Journalism and Communication of Tsinghua University, said the film could be considered as an example of politically-themed movies attempting to reach a wider audience through marketing.

"More stars mean more attention, which will attract the public," he said.

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