Chinese Box Office: Feng Xiaogang's "Back to 1942" (Adrien Brody, Tim Robbins) Debuts with Solid $21.3M

Adrien Brody in "Back to 192"

China’s Box Office titan Feng Xiaogang’s latest film “Back to 1942,” about the devastating famine during World War II and starring American actors Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins, debuted last week in China.

It grossed $21.3M, according to EntGroup. Although not record-breaking, it’s still a solid opening. That’s what Donnie Yen’s films tend to do, on average, after their entire run.

“Back to 1942” is produced by Huayi Brothers for $33M. With their take of ticket sales at 44%, the film would have to gross $75M for them to break even at the box office. Word of mouth would have to be great for that to happen.

Feng Xiaogang’s previous two films, “Aftershock” and “If You Are The One 2,” did $96M and $72M, respectively. Both films had bigger debuts though.

Unlike American films, I don’t think China’s home video revenue and foreign sales are nearly as much as its theatrical because of rampant piracy and regional stories that aren’t as appealing to foreign countries.

Like Zhang Yimou’s “The Flowers of War,” which has Christian Bale in a predominantly Chinese cast, the presence of Brody and Robbins will likely not benefit “Back to 1942”’s box office much here in the States.

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