The character comedy and love story, set on Taiwan's southern coast, revolves around the forming of a local warm-up band to support a touring Japanese musician. It opened the Taipei Film Festival in June where it took the jury's top prize and audience award.
Cape No. 7 has a strong chance of becoming the highest grossing local film of 2008 in Taiwan. After ten days on release it has secured $287,000 in Taipei and $570,000 nationwide. Box office in its second weekend was 118% up on opening weekend numbers as the film became a local talking point.
The highest-grossing local film to date this year is Kevin Chu's Kung Fu Dunk which scored approximately $500,000 in Taipei. But the basketball action-comedy, which opened during Chinese New Year, saw its box office drop by 70% on its second weekend on release.
Following Kung Fu Dunk, Cape No. 7 is the second local film to secure a bank loan guaranteed by the Taiwan government. Director Wei raised half of the film's $1.6m budget from the loan for which he is only personally liable for 20% if the film does not break even.
Cape No. 7 has received the support of superstar Jay Chou and veteran director Hou Hsiao-hsien who have urged local audiences to support the film. Chou acted in Kung Fu Dunk and directed fantasy romance Secret, the highest-grossing local film of 2007.
As part of an increasing trend for local films to work with US majors, Cape No. 7 is distributed by Good Day Films in partnership with the local office of Buena Vista. Another local film, Gilles Yang's Orz Boys, opens with the support of Warner Bros on Friday.
Cape No. 7 is scheduled to screen at festivals in Hawaii, Hong Kong and Pusan next month after premiering this weekend in Japan. Internationally, it is handled by Good Films Workshop who will launch sales of the film at Pusan's Asian Film Market.