China has quickly risen in the world to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest market for movies there is after the US. Let’s take a look at 5 movies that have made a huge impact at the Chinese box office.
1. Wolf Warrior 2 战狼2
Wolf Warrior 2 in 2017 is a direct sequel to the action movie Wolf Warrior. The story follows a former member of the Chinese Special Forces named Leng Feng. He ends up having to save civilians from local armed rebels when a bloody war erupts in the African country that he’s in. He faces off in adrenaline pumping battles against both the region’s terrorists and foreign arms merchants as he tries to bring an end to the chaos.
It is directed by lead actor Wu Jing and also stars Celina Jade and Hans Zhang Han. The movie is known for its explosive action scenes and Hollywood level special effects, so it comes as no surprise that Wolf Warrior 2 is China’s highest grossing movie of all time, raking in 5.68 billion yuan. That’s roughly $806 million USD.
2. The Wandering Earth 流浪地球
The Wandering Earth is a science-fiction movie adapted from the novel of the same name written by Liu Cixin. It tells the story of a distant future where our sun has begun to transform into a red giant star with the potential to end all life. Countries band together and come up with a daring plan to move the entire planet out of harm’s way. A team of astronauts are tasked with piloting the now free floating Earth. Everything doesn’t go as planned as the team is forced to deal with unforeseen complications, making for some very exciting moments that highlight the strong spirit of human beings to overcome any obstacle.
It stars Wu Jing, Qu Chuxiao and Li Guangjie. Incidentally, Wu Jing became a producer of The Wandering Earth after its director Frant Gwo approached him for help. Given that sci-fi hasn’t really been a popular genre, The Wandering Earth was the dark horse among the Spring Festival movies in 2019 to earn 4.65 billion yuan, an equivalent of over $660 million USD.
3. Avengers: Endgame 复仇者联盟4
The much-awaited conclusion to Avengers:Infinity War really needs no introduction. It follows the Avengers after they suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Thanos in the previous film. While the rest of the world moves on from the loss, the remaining Avengers, some of whom have become demoralized are given a second chance at stopping Thanos and undoing the havoc that was left in his wake.
Endgame is the probably most successful Marvel Disney movie of all time. It boasts the biggest all-star ensemble that includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and many other familiar faces in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Avengers: Endgame raked in a total of 4.23 billion yuan (over $600 million USD) in the Chinese box office.
4. Nezha 哪吒之魔童降世
The animated film Nezha is the rising star that keeps on rising as it is still airing in cinemas. It brings an unconventional take on the classic novel Investiture of the Gods and follows the hero Nezha who is born as the reincarnation of the devil after an unfortunate mistake. Because he is a demon and not a hero, life for Nezha has become much harder than it should be. Nezha sets out to fight the prejudice against him to prove to everyone that he has the makings of a great hero.
Audiences loved it so much that it quickly became China’s highest grossing animated film. However, it didn’t stop at being the most successful animated film because it has already surged its way into the top 5 highest-grossing films in China. As of Aug 19, the film has grossed over 4.14 billion yuan (around $587 million USD).
5. Operation Red Sea 红海行动
The action movie Operation Red Sea tells story of the Jiaolong special forces as they are ordered to evacuate Chinese citizens from Yemen when a civil war erupts. Terrorists are later revealed to be planning on making a radioactive bomb. The Jiaolong team moves to neutralize the terrorists but are faced with drawbacks which result in several casualties. After rescuing the last remaining hostages from the terrorist’s hands, the remaining Jiaolong members make haste to stop the delivery of the dirty bomb materials while trying to bring down the terrorist leader.
Operation Red Sea is based on a true story about the rescue of Chinese civilians from the port city of Aden during the Yemeni Civil War in 2015. It stars Zhang Yi, Hai Qing and Johnny Huang. Operation Red Sea was released in 2018 and became the top grossing Spring Festival movie at the time, smashing its rivals and earning 3.65 billion yuan in China, roughly $518 million USD.
I have no doubt you guys have seen at least one of these movies. If you’re curious about the others, I suggest you find time to watch as they are, in fact, quite good.