Welcome to China Film File, a weekly brief on the business of movies in China. In today’s news: Gravity surges past Hunger Games: Catching Fire in China, director Ang Lee calls out mainland media for a fake interview, and producers ride the success of Finding Mr. Right.
Continuing through the release of Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Alfonso’s Cuaron’s outer space thriller Gravity has pulled in a reported 35.76 million in its first 6 days in the mainland. Playing to more than twice as many screens in China than the latest Hunger Games installment, and with higher ticket prices, Gravity has eclipsed the $12.95 million opening earnings of Catching Fire.
November 24th’s box office numbers via Chinafilmbiz:
Looks like Beijing is coming back to Seattle. Due to the success of Finding Mr. Right, Xue Xaolu’s Sleepless in Seattle-inspired romantic comedy, China’s DMG entertainment is crystallizing plans to shoot a TV drama for the mainland in Washington State.
Ang Lee claims that a recent “interview” with him by Chinese media has been doctored. Apparently conducted by Chinese website New Culture News, the falsified “Summary Report” has Lee talking trash about Taiwanese movies and filmmakers Tsai Ming-Lang and Hsiao-hsien. “Is ‘summary report’ another way to say they just made it up?” said Lee at the celebration of a film center in Taipei, repudiating the accusation that he is happy about the media attention from the fake interview. However, his criticisms of the Taiwanese film industry were vastly misinterpreted. Painted as looking down on Taiwan’s film industry, Lee has attempted to correct the false interview by offering words of encouragement to Taiwan’s local film establishment.
Variety reports the Juliette Binoche film A Thousand Times Goodnight will be coming to China’s screens. The film features Binoche playing a war photographer caught between her dangerous work and stressed family life.
The Hollywood Reporter features an interview with Dan Mintz, the CEO of Chinese based DMG Entertainment. Co-producing hits like Looper and Iron Man 3 from his Beijing office, Mintz maintains strong relationships with both the government-run China Film Group and integral players in Hollywood, making his perspective on the Chinese film industry increasingly vital.