Stephen Chow Breaks His Own Box Office Record with “The Demons Strike Back”
The Year of the Rooster is starting off great for Stephen Chow (周星馳), who released his film Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back <西遊伏妖篇> on Lunar New Year.
The film, sequel to 2013’s Conquering the Demons <西遊降魔篇>, grossed over 360 million RMB (approximately $406 million HKD) on its opening day, putting it as the biggest single day and opening day for a local Chinese film. The previous film to hold this record was last year’s The Mermaid <美人魚>, which grossed 270 million RMB on the first day. The Mermaid was directed and produced by Stephen.
The biggest opening day for a film in China, however, is still headed by the Hollywood action flick Furious 7, which opened to 391 million RMB in 2015.
Also opened on Lunar New Year was Wang Baoqiang’s (王寶強) directorial debut Buddies in India <大鬧天竺>, which grossed 308 million RMB, and Jackie Chan’s (成龍) Kung Fu Yoga <功夫瑜伽>, which grossed 269 million RMB.
In Hong Kong, The Demons Strike Back grossed $5 million HKD on the first day, topping the Lunar New Year box office. Hollywood’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter grossed $2.8 million HKD, while local Hong Kong film Yuppie Fantasia 3 <小男人週記3之吾家有喜>, which opened on January 26, grossed $1.7 million HKD. Award-winning musical film La La Land, which also opened on Thursday, grossed $2.05 million HKD to full houses on Lunar New Year.
The Demons Strike Back, produced and written by Stephen but directed by Tsui Hark (徐克), is based on the literary classic Journey to the West and tells the story of a Buddhist monk Tang Sanzang (Kris Wu 吳亦凡), who recruits Zhu Bajie, Sha Wujing, and Sun Wukong—also known as the Monkey King—to go on a journey to the west—though all for their own reasons.
Source: Oriental Daily
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
I wish Stephen would go back acting … I miss the 90’s when I grew up watching him =/
Stephen Chow is overrated as a director. He’s still coasting along his reputation as a comedy king to venture into making films. But his films really aren’t that good even with the big budget.
@coralie I agree that he’s an overrated director, but I have different reason. I enjoyed most of his directed films. What irks is that I see much of his own acting from the actors he used. It’s like him on the screen with different body. I like his acting style so I don’t mind as much. However, that hinders the actors in putting in their own spin and creativity. They’re just mere puppets. I wonder if that’s why he used so many green actors. Any seasoned ones will tell him to stick it and go do their own way, which can be a success or flop but at least it’s in their own style.
@jjwong his style is very “mo liu tao” (full of nonsense.) i agree with you – he imparts his acting and previous acting experience into all of his films and onto his actors. it’s what he’s used to. the difference is that when he used to be the actor, the script was written by someone else and directed by other people. it was better. his own stuff is reminiscent of his older works but lacks the comical essence. i think that just means he’s not a really funny guy in real life.
@coralie I respectfully but wholeheartedly disagree. As much as I like his acting works in the 90s. The best Stephen Chow films or shall I say most consistently directed ones are the movies directed by Chow himself, even in the 90s (From Beijing with love, god of cookery, king of comedy…). Most of his older comedy movies directed by other people, as funny as they are, are unevenly directed at best (All for the winner, Fight back to school, Flirting Scholar…) and absolutely annoying at worst (most of his collaborations with Wong Jing). I do still have a soft spot for them because of nostalgia, however. They may be trash but they’re entertaining trash.
Whether you enjoy the humor in his directorial efforts is subjective but from an objective directorial standpoint, I have yet to see a movie starring (but not directed by) Stephen Chow that has better directing than, let’s say, Shoalin Soccer.
Take his latest directorial effort ‘The Mermaid’ for example: it’s far from his best work mostly due to a lackluster script that is very flawed but is entirely saved by the sharp directing. I enjoyed it quite a bit, more than I did, let’s say, ‘Mad Monk’ or ‘Fight back to school 2’.
@peanutbutterjelly I meant better as in funnier. Nothing to do with SC’s directing. I can’t stand watching his newer works. They’re not up to par on the comedy level even if they were directed better. But to each their own.
@coralie I guess that’s fair, sense of humor is a pretty subjective thing.
But honestly I think he’s making much better movies as a director than he ever did as an actor alone. I mean as funny and entertaining a movie as ‘Tricky Brains’ is, it would never be as acclaimed and an instant classic like ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ is.
Again, sense of humor is subjective but I think it’s safe to say that Chow is a much better director than Wong Jing, Lee Lik Chi or Raymond Wong (all use to be frequent collaborators with Chow) and the likes.
I do however love his collaborations with Jeff Lau, they are a great combo. Bless the ‘Chinese Odyssey’ movies.
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