ARTS / FILM
Box office of Chinese film 'Hi, Mom' surpasses $630 mln, helping Jia Ling step closer to world's highest grossing independent female director
Published: Feb 23, 2021 02:49 AM

Poster of Hi, Mom in a cinema in Shanghai Photo: CFP


The Chinese film Hi, Mom, released during the Spring Festival holidays, has seen a steady growth in box office revenue surpassing 4.1 billion yuan ($630 million) and ranked first among synchronous movies. Its director Jia Ling has topped third in the chart of world's highest earning independent female directors.

Shi Wenxue, film critic and professor at the Beijing Film Academy, predicted that the movie will gross over 5 billion yuan because it does not have strong competitors in the future weeks. The prediction is similar to results from some institutions and the box office revenue might help Jia become the world's highest earning independent female directors.

The film was adapted from a comedy skit inspired on a real story from Jia and her mother. It is a comedy about a time-traveler going back in time to have another chance to stay with her younger mother. However, after watching the movie, many left the cinema in tears.

The deep love and close ties between mother and daughter conveyed by the film moved audiences and received many positive reviews.

Some film industry insiders think that the film's success is that it approaches the audiences' emotional needs but the success cannot be repeated and sustained, which differentiates it from the series of Detective Chinatown.

"Jia's success is a little accidental as the work is special. She puts her love and memories about her deceased mother into the film and lets the audience feel her sincerity. Although the movie has reached such high box office, we cannot say Jia has better directing skills than other directors," Shi Chuan, deputy chairman of the Shanghai Film Association, told the Global Times on Monday. 

Besides compliments to the film as the box office grows, some worries appeared on social media, saying that Hi, Mom cannot compete with Hollywood movies and cannot promote the Chinese film industry abroad as overseas audiences might not be able to understand the values of Chinese people about family in the movie.

Film critics noted that the different voices are a signal of the growing ambition of the Chinese film industry. After topping in the world's film industry during the outbreak of COVID-19, film producers cannot be satisfied with just meeting the needs of domestic audiences but they aim their sights to the international market.


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