"Flowers of War" Failed to Take All-Time Record from "Let the Bullets Fly"

Zhang Yimou’s $100M “Flowers of War” looked like it might have a chance to break China’s all-time record for a Chinese film. The film it had to beat was Chow Yun Fat’s “Let the Bullets Fly,” which grossed $103M in 2010. It was the first Chinese film to break through the $100M barrier.

Flowers of War

“Flowers of War” had already taken in $93M by mid-January. With the Lunar New Year holidays just about a week away, I had thought it could catch up to “Bullets.” That didn’t happen. By the following week, it had already dropped off the top 10. Since “The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” occupied the tenth spot on that list and had only grossed $0.8M for that week, “Flowers of War” had probably topped out at around $94M.

That means not only did it not break the all-time record, it couldn’t even manage to beat the $96M taken by second place holder “Aftershock.”

Consequently, “Flowers of War” nows ranks third on the all time list in China for Chinese films. Sure, no records were broken, but $94M is nothing to complain about. Third on the all time list is not bad either.

Tsui Hark’s “The Flying Swords Dragon Gate” starring Jet Li is fourth with $84.4M. It can at least claim to be the highest grossing martial arts epic of all time in China. (I guess “Flowers of War” can make a similar claim too - China’s highest-grossing war epic of all-time!)

Since Zhang Yimou alone couldn’t set a new box office record in China, maybe Chow Yun-Fat and Donnie Yen together can in July with the $63M budgeted “The Monkey King 3D.” I doubt Jackie Chan can do it with “Chinese Zodiac.” The guy’s 57!

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