The 2015 comedy mystery film Detective Chinatown <唐人街探案> directed by Chen Sicheng (陈思诚) has kicked off a new comedy franchise for fans to look forward to experiencing every year. From its 2018 film sequel to its TV series, Detective Chinatown has become China’s latest billion-dollar franchise.
Starring Wang Baoqiang (王宝强) and Turbo Liu (刘昊然), Detective Chinatown is about two unlicensed investigators who make it their duty to solve serious crimes in various Chinatowns in the world. The first film was set in Bangkok, while the second was set in New York City.
Big blockbusters, the first film grossed 800 million yuan, and the second film grossed over 3.4 billion yuan against a budget of over a million. One of China’s highest grossing filmmakers, Chen Sicheng’s latest produced film Sheep Without a Shepard <误杀>, which was released in December, also grossed nearly a billion yuan, currently at 900 million.
Detective Chinatown 3, the rumored last film in the franchise and this year’s Lunar New Year film for China, was reported to have had a budget of over 1.3 billion yuan, making it one of China’s most expensive films. This number was never confirmed by official reports, but the film’s star-studded cast—which continues to star Wang Baoxiang, Turbo Liu, and supporting actors from past films including Roy Chiu (邱澤), the lead actor in the TV adaptation—there is definitely no mistake that Detective Chinatown 3 is the franchise’s most expensive film.
There is also another surprise—on January 3rd, Andy Lau (劉德華) dropped a music video to promote the film. A remake of Andy’s single “Gong Xi Fa Cai” <恭喜发财>, the song is not only a celebration for the upcoming Lunar New Year, but also a song for the film. Wang Baoqiang and Turbo Liu also make appearances in the song.
Last October, China media reported that Andy had dinner with the Detective Chinatown cast and crew, leading to collaboration speculations. While Andy was not announced to be part of the main cast of Detective Chinatown 3, it is likely that the Hong Kong actor will make an appearance in the film.
Detective Chinatown 3 also stars Satoshi Tsumabuki (妻夫木聰), Tony Jaa, Tomokazu Miura (三浦友和), and Masami Nagasawa (長澤雅美). It opens January 25th, Lunar New Year.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.