Stephen Chow’s (周星馳) mysterious new comedy The Mermaid <美人魚> is king of the 2016 Chinese New Year box office. The Mermaid, which was released on February 8, Lunar New Year, grossed $668,176 HKD in midnight views and $4,941,139 HKD on the first complete day, marking the biggest opening day record for a Chinese-language film in Hong Kong. It has grossed $5,609,325 HKD thus far, successfully putting The Mermaid as the top-grossing Hong Kong film in the first two days of the holiday week.
In Mainland China, the film achieved a record-setting 276 million RMB debut, setting a new single-day record for local films. The Mermaid is only beaten by Hollywood’s Furious 7, which scored a 401 million RMB opening when it was released in China last April.
Produced, written, and directed by Stephen Chow, The Mermaid stars Deng Chao (鄧超) as a playboy billionaire who wants to build a marine park over an ocean gulf. His plan is hindered by a mermaid, portrayed by newcomer Jelly Lin (林允), who attempts to assassinate him.
Like most of Stephen’s past films, the plot of The Mermaid was kept under wraps until its release. There was no advanced screening or red carpet premiere to market the film. Reviews that came in after the midnight showing were positive.
Following The Mermaid in the CNY opening day box office is the Wong Jing (王晶) film From Vegas to Macau III <賭城風雲III>, starring Chow Yun-fat (周潤發), Andy Lau (劉德華), Nick Cheung (張家輝), and Jacky Cheung (張學友). The action sequel scored 178 million RMB on the first day. This is closely followed by the Cheang Pou-sui (鄭保瑞) 3D epic The Monkey King 2 <西遊記之孫悟空三打白骨精>, starring Aaron Kwok (郭富城) and Gong Li (鞏俐). It grossed 170 million RMB.
The box office from the three CNY films secured 94.5 percent of the Mainland market, with The Mermaid taking 41.8 percent.
Unlike The Mermaid, both From Vegas to Macau III and The Monkey King 2 opened in Hong Kong two days before the Chinese New Year, on February 6.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.