Golden Harvest allowed no mishaps with the release of Jackie Chan's latest title, The Accidental Spy. Teddy Chan's US$25m action-comedy, which opened over the highly competitive Chinese New Year period on 49 screens, has proved Chan's biggest opener in four years, taking US$1.78m in its first week on release. January has proved successful for Chan in the past. In 1997 Mr Nice Guy, the last Chan film to gross more than Spy in its opening week, pulled in $2,073,601 from 48 screens.
Golden Harvest, whose last Chan vehicle Gorgeous was runner-up to King Of Comedy in 1999, has been promoting Spy in theatres for five months, introducing a generous US$5 two-for-one offer in a tie-in with a local bank.
At a time when even Hong Kong's highest-grossing film of 2000, Needing You, is considered straight-to-video material in other markets, The Accidental Spy marks Chan's first attempt to actively court the Korean market. Employing Seoul as a location, the film casts Korean actress Kim Min alongside Taiwan's Vivian Hsu. The film opened to a respectable US$400,000 in Seoul on simultaneous release and has performed solidly across the region.
Runners-up over the Chinese New Year period in Hong Kong were China Star Entertainment's period comedy Wu Yen, taking US$1.3m on 37 screens, and Edko Columbia TriStar's Vertical Limit, taking US$0.8m on 31 screens. In an unusual move, as competition for screens intensifies in the territory, the release of Intercontinental's 102 Dalmations and Fox's Cast Away were staggered by six days taking US$0.9m and US$0.5m respectively over their first four days on release.
JACKIE CHAN RECENT HONG KONG BOX OFFICE
Title (Release date) (Screens) Opening gross in $ (Total gross in $)
The Accidental Spy (Jan 2001) (49 screens) 1,733,216 (Still on release)
Shanghai Noon (June 2000) (36 screens) 1,192,499 (1,985,527)
Gorgeous (Feb 1999) (28 screens) 1,105,089 (3,531,269)
Rush Hour (Oct 1998) (37 screens) 866,401 (1,681,253)
Who Am I' (Jan 1998) (11 screens) 1,115,560 (4,981,134)
Mr Nice Guy (Jan 1997) (48 screens) 2,073,601 (5,823,136)