Red Cliff, the most expensive film

The most expensive Chinese film has finally become the most lucrative.

John Woo’s battle epic “Red Cliff” has raked in 302 million yuan (US$44.04 million) as of Monday, setting a new record for Chinese films, Sohu.com reported.

It also became the only Chinese film so far to have crossed the 300 million yuan milestone, the report says.

Zhang Yimou’s Oscar-nominated 2006 film, “Curse of the Golden Flower,” was previously the most bankable Chinese film, earning 286 million yuan.

“Red Cliff” opened on July 10, and took only four days to earn 100 million yuan. It easily grossed 200 million yuan over ten days.

An unnamed representative from the China Film Group, which produced and distributed “Red Cliff,” told Sohu that he expected the film to continue its popularity and eventually exceed the domestic record created by “Titanic.” The 1997 American blockbuster, which grossed a total of 360 million yuan in China, is still unbeaten today.

The strong takings of “Red Cliff” also pave the way for its sequel, due out in December, the representative said.

“Red Cliff,” with a star-studded cast which includes Cannes best actor Tony Leung and heartthrob Takeshi Kaneshiro, boasts a budget of US$80 million, making it the costliest Chinese film ever.

It is based on a well-known historical battle in 208 AD in which thousands of ships were burnt. Magnificent battle scenes are one of its biggest features.

The film has been selected to open this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival, running from October 18 to 26.

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