The holidays are an important time for China’s movie market, with many releases scheduled for week of the Mid-Autumn Festival. This year, one film in particular made waves during the National Day vacation. The body-swapping sports comedy Never Say Die took home $286 million at the box offices, making it the highest grossing single-market comedy of all time, a title previously held by Home Alone.
It took the film, about a male UFC boxer who switches bodies with the female reporter responsible for exposing his dirty dealings, just 17 days to match the box office earnings Home Alone accrued over the course of its 200 day run.
In addition to the timing of the release, the story’s anti-corruption subtext may have helped the film become a hit among Chinese audiences. Cracking down on corrupt party members and public figures who take bribes has been a major storyline since Xi Jinping assumed power in 2012, and the issue remains a salient topic of conversation.
While Never Say Die ruled Chinese theaters over the Golden Week holiday (according to Mtime, it made more than every other movie playing in theaters during that time combined), a pair of new flicks is threatening its perch atop the box office: The Kingsman – The Golden Circle debuted to $40.3 million over the weekend, with the Thai drama Bad Genius also emerging as a favorite among Chinese moviegoers.
By Máté Mohos
[Images via Supchina]