Chinese filmmaker Jiang Wen’s Chinese Western-styled action film Let the Bullets Fly became the fastest Chinese-language film to break RMB100m mark ($15.15m) in Chinese cinemas, in only two and half days.
Released on Dec 16, the film’s opening day gross reached $4.5m (RMB30m), which did not break the opening day record set by Feng Xiaogang’s Aftershock. However, word of mouth spread out fast on Chinese websites, blogs and social media. On Saturday, the film’s accumulated grossed reached $19.52m (RMB130.18m) and it became the fastest local film to break the RMB100m mark.
Its box-office taking on Saturday alone reached $9m, which has also made a new record for single-day box office gross, surpassing the record of Avatar ($8.63m).
Until midnight Sunday, Let the Bullets Fly made around $25.49m, which also surpassed the first-weekend gross record set by Feng Xiaogang’s Aftershock in July.
Set in the 1930s, starring Chow Yun-fat, Ge You, Jiang Wen and Carina Lau, the film is adapted from Chinese novelist Ma Shitu’s short story, which depicts the war between a corrupt government official, local gang leader and a bandit chief who seeks revenge with the gang leader.
With the current popularity, Beijing-based cinema owners estimated that the film will likely to reach $75.76m (RMB500m).
The film’s success has also set up the first commercial success of the Beijing-born Jiang Wen’s films in his home market. Jiang’s first film In the Heat of the Sun (1995) was released only in a few cities in China. His second, Cannes-winning Devils on the Doorstep was banned in China. And his third film 2007 film The Sun Also Rises was a box-office flop taking in around $3m in mainland China market.
Hong Kong’s Emperor Motion Pictures in a main investor in the film and it also handles the film’s international sales.