Chinese Box Office: "Chinese Zodiac" Uncovers $76.5M; "Lost in Thailand" Sails Pass "Titanic 3D" Towards Avatar's Record

Lost in Thailand

Like last year at the box office in China, there are only room for two big event films during the Christmas and New Year holidays. In 2011, Zhang Yimou’s “The Flowers of War” (Christian Bale) and Tsui Hark’s “The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” (Jet Li) were the two dominant films, claiming the top two spots for weeks. “The Flowers of War” eventually finished with $95M and “The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” with $87M, the 5th and 6th highest grossing Chinese films of all time, respectively.

This year, it’s “Lost in Thailand” and Jackie Chan’s “Chinese Zodiac.” For the week ending December 30th, the two record-breaking films were neck-and-neck, grossing $42.2M and $41.3M, respectively. They also occupied the the top two slots last week.

“Lost in Thailand’s” cumulative gross is now at $150.9M, by far the highest grossing Chinese film of all time. Of all films released in China, including those from Hollywood, it ranks 4th, behind “Avatar” ($203.8M), “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” ($172.3M), and the 3D re-release of “Titanic” ($155.3M).

By today, “Lost in Thailand” should have already sailed past “Titanic,” and in a few weeks, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” I’m not sure if it has enough steam to take down “Avatar.” We shall see in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Jackie Chan’s “Chinese Zodiac” has retrieved a total of $76.5M in box office gold, passing “If You Are The One 2” to become the 7th highest grossing Chinese film of all time. It has a good chance of catching up with “Painted Skin 2: Resurrection” to become the 2nd highest grossing film.

Chan had said that “Chinese Zodiac” would be his last large scale action movie. But after it broke box office records all over Asia, he’s now reconsidering that statement.

It’s a pretty good year for the Chinese film market when the year ends with what could potentially be the top three Chinese films of all time: “Lost in Thailand,” “Painted Skin 2: Resurrection” (released in June) and “Chinese Zodiac.” It’s also the year it surpassed Japan as both the second largest film market in the world and the second largest market for Hollywood films.

Here’s a list of the top grossing Chinese films of all time in China:

1. Lost in Thailand $151M
2. Painted Skin 2: Resurrection $114.5M
3. Let the Bullets Fly $103M
4. Aftershock $96M
5. The Flowers of War $95M
6. The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate $87M
7. Chinese Zodiac $76.5M
8. If You Are The One 2 $72M
9. The Founding of a Republic $65M

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