Stephen Chow’s “The Mermaid” Breaks Records, Wins 2016 CNY Box Office

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.

the mermaid posterThe Mermaid is well on its way to break Stephen’s own box office record with Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons <西遊·降魔篇>, which is the highest-grossing Chinese-language film in the world.

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.

Source: IHKTV, China Times

This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Saw this movie. Not Stephen’s best but it really was hilarious in places. Recommend to watch the Mandarin version. Somehow the cantonese dialogue is off putting and at times very crude. Some words won’t have the equivalent meaning in Mandarin so maybe mandarin is more poetic. I don’t get the hate on CJ7 though which many said this is better than CJ7. Nope. CJ7 was touching and emotional and a very good and grown up movie. Although The Mermaid was fine of course, in that context. Frankly as against all other CNY movies, The Mermaid is the one that looks like it was made seriously. Anyone seen JTTW? Was Aaron good? At least was he sexy monkey?

    1. @funnlim CJ7 was too much of a family movie in a way that other Chow movies weren’t. I liked it a lot but I can see why some people won’t feel the same way. It also came after Kung Fu Hustle so the expectations were sky high.

      How is the CGI in the movie? From what I can see in the trailer it’s pretty bad…

      Because the CGI used in shoalin soccer and kung fu hustle worked for me for visual gags but I find it honestly ugly in Journey to the west conquerring demons and I’m afraid it will be the same here. Not that it would be such a big problem for me because I know I’d still enjoy the humor and storytelling but honestly with such a big budget I really expect better CGI in Chinese movies.

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