It is again written and directed by Chen Sicheng, stars Chinese actors Wang Baoqiang, Liu Haoran, Xiao Yang; Japanese actors Satoshi Tsumabuki, Masami Nagasawa, Shôta Sometani, Honami Suzuki, Tadanobu Asano, Tomokazu Miura as well as Thai kung fu star Tony Jaa.
It topped the list of most-anticipated holiday films compiled by major movie-ticketing platforms Maoyan and Taopiaopiao, with nearly four million clicks on Maoyan and more than seven million users on Taopiaopiao regarding willingness to watch the film during the week-long holiday.
Such enthusiasm is unprecedented in the recent decade. It also topped the list of most-anticipated Chinese-language films for 2021 compiled by popular review platform Douban.
The story is set in Tokyo, where the movie franchise’s Chinese detective duo (played by Wang Baoqiang and Liu Haoran) and their friends are embroiled in new challenges and dangers. In this latest film, the will unite with Japanese detectives to solve new mysteries and the movie will finally reveal the identity of the mysterious mastermind Q.
The film features diverse and appealing elements of comedy, action and suspense, which will definitely meet Chinese audiences’ expectations for family entertainment during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.
The film was set to open during last year’s Spring Festival, but with the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, it was delayed to the 2021 holiday window, starting on Feb. 12, which is the lucrative movie screening season in China.
The first “Detective Chinatown” surprisingly grossed 823 million yuan in 2015, so the second installment was upgraded in scale — it had a production budget of over 400 million yuan and eventually grossed a staggering 3.4 billion yuan in 2018.
Now the threequel has been upgraded again to another level, entirely shot with the revolutionary IMAX digital cameras, with a budget at around 1 billion yuan and expecting a box office gross of an all-time record.
But as the dream is bigger, the risks are more severe. The investors might not be able to take another hit by a reviving COVID-19 outbreak, as there are some resurgent cases in recent weeks in some parts of China, leading to worries of partial or even total cinema shutdown again.
Last year’s shutdown bankrupted many cinemas and film companies. Before the shutdown last year, “Detective Chinatown 3” actually took in more than 200 million yuan just in presales, another unprecedented record.
Though its marketing and promotion was more low-profile this year, its momentum and people’s anticipation have never faded. Distributors announced on Thursday that they will also release the film in 25 countries in the Middle East and Africa, such as Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arab, The UAE, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Egypt, South Africa, Senegal and more.
However, there’s no word yet on its release in North America and Europe, which are dealing with the still raging pandemic and only a small number of cinemas are open.
Source: china.org by Zhang Rui
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