'The Battle at Lake Changjin' becomes highest-grossing film in Chinese film history
Published: Nov 24, 2021 05:11 PM
A poster of the film the Battle at Lake Changjin. Photo: CFP

A poster of the film the Battle at Lake Changjin. Photo: CFP

Chinese film The Battle at Lake Changjin has beaten Wolf Warrior 2 to be the highest-grossing film in Chinese history on Wednesday. 

As of Wednesday night, the war epic had broken through 5.694 billion yuan ($891 million) in ticket sales, including presales, according to Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan. 

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian sent congratulations to Wu Jing, the actor who played leading roles in both films, on Weibo, saying "Congratulations to Wu Jing, he surpasses himself." 

Shi Wenxue, a film critic based in Beijing, told the Global Times that The Battle at Lake Changjin toppling Wolf Warrior 2, a film released four years ago, is a very "touching" moment for the Chinese film industry amid the challenge of the pandemic. 

"China deserves to be the world's largest film market," he said. 

He pointed that the achievement of The Battle at Lake Changjin also proved to the industry that the main melody of the film is the Chinese audience's favorite theme.

The film is set during the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53) and depicts the Chinese People's Volunteers soldiers' brave fight in a key campaign at Lake Changjin, or Chosin Reservoir, during freezing temperatures.

Hua Xia Film Distributor announced that Chinese war epic The Battle at Lake Changjin has given 20 percent of its box office profit since last Friday to domestic theaters.

Shi said it is a good move for the prosperous development of the Chinese film industry and conveys the spirit of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for the film industry released by China Film Administration in November.

"Due to the outbreak of the pandemic, all parties in the film industry should unite and work hard to overcome the current difficult period, which reflects the 'community with a shared future' for the film industry," Shi said.

In 2021, a total of 11 Chinese films including The Battle at Lake Changjin earned a 9/10 or higher score on Maoyan, which met the goal of the 14th Five-Year Plan for the quality of films. The plan fully takes into account the demands of the Chinese audience, according to a report Maoyan sent to the Global Times.

Huxia Film Distributor on Tuesday announced it will prolong the release of The Battle at Lake Changjin in theaters for another month, until December 30. 

Many Chinese netizens have commented that they will go to watch the film again on Christmas. 

"The decision is more likely to be made by the market as the films screened so far did not have a satisfying performance except the suspense comedy Be Somebody," said Shi.