Chinese filmmaker Feng Xiaogang’s disaster drama Aftershock has become the biggest Chinese-language film in Chinese film history, taking $78.47m (RMB532m) in box-office grosses. 

The record was set on the evening of Aug 8, 18 days after its release date, according to the film’s distributor Huayi Brothers Media.

Aftershock is also the first Chinese film in mainland China breaking the RMB500m mark. Previously, the biggest Chinese-language film was The Founding of A Republic, with its box office record set in October 2009, with $61.49m (RMB420m). It was also the first Chinese film breaking the RMB400m mark at the time.

Aftershock not only sweeps mainland China box office but also Hong Kong’s box office. In 18 days of release the film made $1.55m (HK$12m) in Hong Kong, and becomes the highest-grossing mainland Chinese film in Hong Kong.

According to Huayi Brothers, the film’s production company and distributor, Aftershock will be released in Taiwan on Aug 20 and in South Korea in October. CJ Entertainment will be handling the film’s distribution in Korea.

The record-breaking box office gross of Aftershock has not only set a new milestone for the Chinese-language films but also reaffirms Feng’s status as one of the most profit-making filmmakers in China. Among the top five biggest Chinese films in Chinese film history, Feng has two films on the list, including Aftershock. His previous film If You Are the One, a romantic comedy release in late 2008, took in $51.24m (RMB350m).

James Cameron’s Avatar remains the best-selling film ever in mainland China market, with $198.53m (RMB1.35bn).

Top 5 Chinese language films (through Aug 9, 2010)

Aftershock, by Feng Xiaogang, $78.47m*

The Founding of A Republic, by Huang Jianxin and Han Sanping, 61.49m (RMB420m)

If You Are the One, by Feng Xiaogang, $51.24m (RMB350m)

Red Cliff I, by John Woo, $45.68m (RMB312m)

Curse of the Golden Flowers, by Zhang Yimou, $42.46m (RMB290m)

*still on release

source: Screen International