At 58, Jackie Chan Still Kicks Ass at the Box Office: "Chinese Zodiac" Takes in Massive $34.6M After Four Days in China

Chinese Zodiac

It won’t be released in the States until next Spring or Summer, but Jackie Chan’s latest action comedy “Chinese Zodiac” (a.k.a. CZ12) has already become his highest grossing film ever in China, taking in $34.6M in just four days, according to EntGroup. His previous best were “Shaolin” and “The Forbidden Kingdom,” which made $33.8M and $27M, respectively, in their entire theatrical runs.

Chinese Zodiac’s opening day box office of $7M is a record in China, besting the previous record set by “Lost in Thailand,” a Chinese comedy that had just become the highest grossing Chinese film of all time, making $122.2M in only a couple weeks.

“Chinese Zodiac” is also only the third Chinese film ever to gross over 200 million yuan ($32M US) in its first week of release. The other two are “Lost in Thailand” and “Painted Skin 2: Resurrection,” the top two highest grossing Chinese films of all time. So “Chinese Zodiac” is in good company and could possibly gross over $100M at the end of its run in China. I don’t think it can catch up to “Lost in Thailand” though, which isn’t slowing down much after two weeks in release.

With a production budget of $37M, huge in Chinese standards, “Chinese Zodiac” should make a decent profit for Huayi Brothers, the production company that funded it. It re-establishes Chan as the top action star in China, even though he’s already 58 years old.

Another past-his-prime action star worth mentioning is Jet Li, who has been Chan’s friend and box office rival. Li also received his box office due in China when “The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” took in $87M last year. The two were able to extend their careers during China’s booming film market in recent years.

Chan’s next film will be “Police Story 2013,” another addition to his “Police Story” franchise. Remember when there was word out of Cannes about “Chinese Zodiac” being his last action film? Well, the fact that he’s already working on “Police Story 2013” pretty much puts that rumor to rest. And with “Chinese Zodiac” already a huge hit in China, the guy’s not quitting action movies anytime soon.

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