Lunar New Year 2017: "Hanky Panky" Narrowly Wins the Box-Office Seesaw Battle among Chinese-language Films
Lunar New Year 2017: "Hanky Panky" Narrowly Wins the Box-Office Seesaw Battle among Chinese-language Films - Taipei Film Commission
On the 6th day of the Lunar New Year, Taiwanese people started to resume their works. However, six days seemed rather short compared to the 9-day New Year holiday in 2016; even though the holidays had wrapped, there’s still a tough battle for the three Taiwanese New Year films to fight. The three films, released one day before the holidays (Jan. 26), include top Taiwanese comedian Jhu Ge-liang’s Hanky Panky, director Chen Yu-hsun’s NTD 300-million project The Village of No Return, and director Wei Te-sheng’s first experimental Chinese-language musical comedy, 52Hz I Love You. During the holidays, the three films each reported positive box-office growth, boosting confidence in local cinema industry in the face of overwhelming Hollywood blockbusters. Up to yesterday (Feb. 1), Hanky Panky has been leading the box-office battle ahead of The Village of No Return and 52Hz I Love You with NTD 30 million in revenue.
Since the box-office battle for the Year of Rooster broke out on the night before New Year’s Eve (Jan. 26), the three Taiwanese films have engaged themselves in a seesaw fight, each claiming to have made the best performance. The Village of No Return first announced topping the box-office of Chinese-language New Year films and grossed about NTD 3.3 million in total thorough Taipei City on New Year’s Day (Jan. 28). Yet, as the holidays went on to the 5th day of the New Year (Feb. 1), all three films released cheering news about achieving NTD 20 million in national box-office revenue, followed by a different ranking. Hanky Panky, with a best performance of NTD 1.68 million in Taipei and NTD 24 million thorough Taiwan, surpassed 52Hz I Love You (22.8 million) and The Village of No Return (22 million) and garnered the box-office championship among other Chinese-language New Year films.
Starring Jhu Ge-liang, Hanky Panky is currently the champion of Chinese-language New Year Films. (Still/ Hualien Media Intl. Co. Ltd.)
The seesaw battle finally came to an end when Hanky Panky distanced itself from others after the holidays had concluded. This afternoon (Feb. 2), Hanky Panky announced having sold NTD 1.2 million in Taipei in one single day, accumulating more than NTD 30 million throughout the country, and thus became the winner of the box-office battle of Chinese-language New Year Films. Hanky Panky is Jhu Ge-liang’s second collaboration with director Huang Chao-liang after the New Year blockbuster The Wonderful Wedding (NTD 250 million) in 2015, and also his second time acting against Blue Lan after the box office success Night Market Hero (NTD 140 million) in 2011. Yet, compared with the impressive performance of Jhu’s David Loman 2 (NTD 170 million) last year, whether Hanky Panky will renew Jhu’s own box-office record remains uncertain.
The Village of No Return is a NTD 300-million project of the production team behind the New Year blockbuster, Zone Pro Site, which grossed about NTD 300 million in 2013. The Village of No Return features director Chen Yu-hsun, producers Lee Lieh and Jufeng Yeh, and actress Shu Qi; the production spanned nearly two years in Hengchun Township, where realistic film sets were constructed. Though The Village of No Return is confident about its box-office, the result still depends on the audience’s reaction. In addition to the two familiar New Year film casts, director Wei Te-sheng also joined the competition this year with his latest musical comedy, 52Hz I Love You. 52Hz I Love You marks Wei’s second comedy since he amazed Taiwanese film industry with the “box-office miracle” Cape No. 7 (NTD 530 million) in 2008. The film stars four vocalists from independent bands and the cast of Cape No. 7, wishing to recreate the latter’s marketing strategy of boosting box-office through online recommendations. 52Hz I Love You is said to have sold nearly NTD 50 million in advance tickets, while people are still expecting it to turn the table.
The Village of No Return features Shu Qi and the production team behind Zone Pro Site (still/ Activator Marketing Company)
52Hz I Love You, director Wei Te-sheng’s latest musical comedy, wishes to boost its box-office through online marketing (still/ Ars Film Production)
During the Lunar New Year holidays, Taiwanese audience enjoyed a variety of films in theaters as usual, especially foreign blockbusters. Following Deadpool’s overwhelming success last year, Hollywood action thriller Resident Evil: The Final Chapter easily triumphed at the box-office, becoming the first film to gross over NTD 100 million during the same period. La La Land, released last December and then triggered a trend among Taiwanese people, also announced reaching NTD 100 million in box-office revenue recently. Besides, xXx: Return of Xander Cage starring Vin Diesel, Moana, Disney’s latest musical fantasy animation, Hidden Figures, based on real stories of NASA scientists, and Manchester by the Sea, starring Oscar’s Best Actor Award nominee, Casey Affleck, all the above-mentioned western films demonstrated impressive results in box-office. (Article/ Sophie Wong)