Lost in Hong Kong, actor-writer-director Xu Zheng’s long anticipated sequel to his 2012 smash hit comedy Lost in Thailand, set new box office records on Friday for locally made Chinese films, with a $1.8 million gross for its midnight screenings and a $32 million opening day. The latter figure gives the picture the third biggest debut overall in China behind Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Debuting with an unprecedented 100,000+ first-day screenings on nearly 20,000 screens—undoubtedly the widest release in global cinema history—the madcap adventure comedy crushed all comers by snaring an 87 percent share of the day’s box office receipts. New release The Third Way of Love took in $2.5 million, while American holdovers Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Minions earned $800,000 and $580,000 respectively. This week will bring the beginning of the end in the PRC for the latter two films, which have performed reasonably well given their mediocre early September release dates, but which have nevertheless fallen short of analysts’ expectations.
Even though comedy superstar Huang Bo—China’s highest grossing actor of the past several years—didn’t return to join his Lost in Thailand cast mates Xu Zheng and Wang Baoqiang in the follow-up film, there was still plenty of cast firepower to attract fans of the Lost series, now in its third installment after Lost on Journey and Lost in Thailand. Box office diva Vicky Zhao (Dearest) appeared in the role of Cai Bo, the wife of Xu’s character, and a host of Hong Kong actors like Sam Lee and Wong Jing appeared in cameo roles to enliven the proceedings.
With reasonably good reviews and a primo release date at the beginning of the Harvest Moon Festival holiday, Lost in Hong Kong should pile up a mountain of cash before several local competitors pile in during the start of the upcoming October Golden Week holiday, typically one of China’s biggest movie-going weeks of the year.
Lost in Hong Kong appears likely to match or beat the $208 million take of Lost in Thailand–China’s record for local a film since 2012 until Monster Hunt nearly doubled that figure this summer–but will run into stiff competition when Saving Mr. Wu, Goodbye Mr. Loser, and Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe all open on September 30th.