(Variety) “The Battle at Lake Changjin 2: Water Gate Bridge,” the sequel to China’s highest grossing film of all time, will debut on Feb. 1, the first day of the lucrative Chinese New Year holiday.
The weeklong vacation is typically China’s biggest box office period of the year and thus is subject to intense competition. This year, “Lake Changjin 2” is set to go up against 10 other hotly anticipated titles. The sequel currently ranks third in popularity based on votes from the “want to watch” metric from the Maoyan database.
Its top competitor is “Nice View,” the next feature from “Dying to Survive” director Wen Muye, which currently has the highest number of people indicating they “want to watch” the film on the Maoyan platform, with 447,000 votes. (Typically, films with more than 100,000 “want to watch” votes can expect a strong box office showing.)
Trailing “Nice View” in popularity is director Han Han’s “Only Fools Rush In,” with 389,000 votes. The comedy “Too Cool To Kill” from director Xing Wenxiong currently clocks in as the fourth most-anticipated with 344,000 votes, followed by the annual installment of the animated “Boonie Bears” franchise “Back to Earth” (225,000 votes) and then “Sniper,” from director Zhang Yimou (79,000).
The other titles debuting that Tuesday so far include Olympic winter sports film “Breaking Through” and four other children’s animations.
Last year, China raked in a record $1.2 billion (RMB7.8 billion) in ticket sales over the Chinese New Year holiday, making a tenth of the global 2020 box office in just six days. The period marked the first time that the country’s single-day box office exceeded RMB1 billion ($155 million) for five consecutive days.
The top films last year were “Detective Chinatown 3” and family dramedy “Hi, Mom.”
“The Battle at Lake Changjin” has been in Chinese theaters since its National Day holiday debut in late September, grossing a whopping $907 million (RMB5.77 billion) so far.
Source: Variety by Rebecca Davis