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Stephen Chow’s “Journey to the West” Opens to 78 Million RMB

By on February 12, 2013

Stephen Chow’s “Journey to the West” Opens to 78 Million RMB thumbnail

Even though Hong Kong viewers gave a lukewarm response to Journey to the West <西遊‧降魔篇>, mainland Chinese audiences received it warmly, contributing to the film’s opening-day record of 78 million RMB, beating  Painted Skin: The Resurrection’s <畫皮2 > opening day sales of 70 million RMB last summer.

Stellar Cast Plus Stephen’s Unique Comedy Style

While the absence of Stephen Chow (周星馳) in the movie itself may have caused the shortfall in earnings in Hong Kong, the casting of uprising China actors such as Wen Zheng (文章) and Huang Bo (黃渤) may have helped boost its mainland draw. Add in Taiwanese singing sensation, Show Luo (羅志祥) and sexy sirens, Shu Qi (舒淇) and Chrissy Chau (周秀娜), Stephen seemed to find a winning formula to woo mainland viewers. On its Lunar New Year opening day, it easily beat New Year films, Better and Better <越來越好之村晚> and Love Retake <愛情不NG> by leaps and bounds.

Since the opening of the film, Shu Qi who portrayed the lovelorn demon hunter, received much acclaim and recognition, proving Stephen Chow’s unique eye for casting.

Hong Kong Reception

Comedies have always enjoyed a good viewership over the Lunar New Year periods. However, in Hong Kong this year, the Hollywood sequel, A Good Day To Die Hard starring Bruce Willis beat local comedies, Hotel Deluxe <百星酒店>, I Love Hong Kong 2013 <2013我愛HK恭囍發> and Journey to the West at the box office. Hotel Deluxe, which stars several comedy heavyweights such as Raymond Wong (黃百鳴), Sandra Ng (吳君如), Teresa Mo (毛舜筠) and Ronald Cheng (鄭中基) brought in $3.85 million HKD.  I Love Hong Kong 2013 which stars Bosco Wong (黃宗澤), Kate Tsui (徐子珊), Alan Tam (譚詠麟) and Veronica Yip (葉玉卿) brought in $4.07 million HKD. Though A Chinese Odyssey Journey to the West surpassed the two, bringing in $7.27 million HKD in Hong Kong, the sum is inconsequential compared to its success in China.

Source: Ming Pao 

This article is written by Karen for JayneStars.com.

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  • Readers' Comments (12)

    1. stephchow says:

      HAHA I knew he was gonna bomb with his HK fans. wtf is the point of him making a movie if he is not in it? I grew up watching his movies to the point where I could memorize the lines but now ever since his last few movies he is dead to me! Without his entourage he is NOTHING, besides a billionare, but that’s besides the point!!!!

    2. gold says:

      shu qi looks the same in pix.. boring, isn’t her hair style similar to chow seng chee?

    3. Primrose says:

      The movie has no plot whatsoever. Like previous Stephen Chow’s movies, it relied heavily on special effects and crude slapstick comedy.

      • Funn Lim says:

        It has a plot. It is JTTW, but revised. Any decent Chinese should know the basics of JTTW, then throw away the usual JTTW plot, and this is it.

        • TVBaddict says:

          Agreed ^

          If you haven’t read/watched JTTW in previous adaptions it’s hard to understand if this is your first JTTW…

          I thought it was a wonderful film :) Def worth the watch

        • Primrose says:

          Nah, I am no DECENT Chinese.

    4. Jen says:

      Shu Qi should stick to serious roles. I watched this movie and she’s just as annoying in it like she was in her older goofy movies. She sucks big time in comedies. She’s not funny. She’s such a pain in the butt. Oh dear!
      IF she has ANY talent as an actress it’s the acting roles where she has to cry and scream, being depressive. LOL.

    5. Funn Lim says:

      Just saw the movie. The dubbing was fantastic. Whilst I was wondering where the movie was heading in the first 15 minutes of the movie, the action sequences were nonetheless scary and very entertaining to watch. I may hate deviations from JTTW but I love how the demons are portrayed; as they should be portrayed. Sun Wu Kung is not some lovable monkey. Here we see the sinister, evil side. I would have wished Stephen played monkey king himself but all the actors, mostly from Kung Fu hustle were a good team. Story development is admittedly almost too sudden at the end but ignore that, just focus on the characters backed with your basic knowledge of JTTW and thi is one entertaining funny scary and sometimes visually stunning movie. To those who says CGI is crap, let me defend Stephen Chow by saying his CGI is never about realism, but more about proposing and advancing a fantasy like quality, and this movie did abundantly well, such as the very scary and sinister intro of Pig. Oh I love Pig. So handsome and yet beneath that handsome oily smiling face is a scary sinister demon. I do agree the characters are not well developed enough so maybe there will be a sequel (or maybe not since Kung Fu Hustle took forever and no sequel in sight). I thought it was funny, not crude at all. There are more cruder and worser movies released in HK.

      I love Stephen Chow, even during his years with Wong Jing and crude humours and he took a big risk being behind the camera but I can still see the Stephen Chow trademark. Not his best movie but definitely entertaining. But if you know zero about JTTW, then you won’t like this movie. If you know JTTW, you might be shocked in this reintrepretation of the ideas of the demons.

      The actors were wonderful led by the Nick Cheung lookalike actor. However I do wonder what is Shu Qi doing in here but she wasn’t annoying.I waited so long for Monkey to appear and I realise this isn’t his movie.

      Watch! Watch! Fantasy like, funny, scary, heart stopping moments.. what not to like?

      • Funn Lim says:

        Wow how did he ever convince foreign investors to invest in this movie that probably works best if you are Chinese speaking audience?

        • Funn Lim says:

          Still can’t get the image of Pig’s intro out of my head. Images stick in my mind!

          By the way Jayne, don’t know where to comment but..

          Who is the ultimate Diamond Bachelor at TVB now?

          Ron Ng is past the bachelor diamond thing, Jason Chan is not yet. A diamond bachelor is someone handsome, rich, successful. Jason Chan in my book is not yet successful. Ron is past his prime as successful.

      • TVBaddict says:

        I totally agree with what you said above. I think alot of viewers thought the plot and characters were not deep enough… Probably due to their lack of knowledge of this classic tale. Without doubt, the comedy was once again entertaining- definitely his signature comedies!

        I look forward to his future works- hopefully he can portray Monkey King next time! I miss the “naughty” and childish Monkey King!!

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