LOS ANGELES & BEIJING--()--Village Roadshow Pictures Asia (VRPA) released “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” and “Say Yes!” to a powerful China opening during last week’s Chinese New Year holiday, marking an impressive debut of VRPA in the world’s fastest-growing film market.
“We feel privileged to be able to work in China’s vibrant market with such incredible talent.”
Village Roadshow Pictures Asia is the Greater China film division of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.
The Stephen Chow-helmed “Journey to the West” shattered several records, achieving the biggest opening day for a local production, grossing RMB 76.85m (US$12.3m) on February 10, the biggest single-day gross for any film released in China, grossing RMB 122m (US$19.6m) on February 14, and the highest weekly gross for any film released in China with its opening week gross of RMB 583m (US$93.5m). “Journey to the West” was also the fastest film in China to reach US$100m in box office, taking just eight days to exceed this mark.
“Journey to the West,” a whimsical prequel to the famed “Monkey King” story, was written, produced and directed by Stephen Chow, with VRPA, Bingo Movie Development, Chinavision Media Group, and Edko Films jointly financing and co-producing.
VRPA’s second release, “Say Yes!,” a Chinese-language remake of the hit 1991 Fuji Television drama “101st Marriage Proposal,” set a new China record for a romance film screening on Valentine’s Day, earning RMB 47m (US$7.5m). Valentine’s Day has become the highest-grossing day in China’s annual box office and this year was no exception, with total box office hitting RMB 200m (US$32.1m), a new single-day record for the industry. “Say Yes!” was jointly financed and co-produced by VRPA, New Classics Media, Fuji Television Network and Asia Times Cultural Media.
With the success of its two film releases in the same week, VRPA captured the lion’s share of the Chinese New Year holiday box office, peaking at 85% on Valentine’s Day and becoming the first foreign co-producer to capture the #1 and #2 spots in China at the same time.
“We are thrilled by the box office success of our debut films in China,” said Greg Basser, CEO of VREG. “With the launch of Village Roadshow Pictures Asia in 2011, we set out to make engaging films for the growing audience in China. This is a remarkable validation of our strategy and we look forward to our next release, “Man of Tai Chi,” directed by and starring Keanu Reeves.”
“Strong partnerships are the cornerstone of our strategy, and we are extremely fortunate to have partnered with great filmmakers, co-producers and distributors on our first two releases,” remarked Ellen Eliasoph, President and CEO of VRPA. “We feel privileged to be able to work in China’s vibrant market with such incredible talent.”
About Village Roadshow Entertainment Group
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group is a leading independent global entertainment company in the business of building leading, content-rich companies within the entertainment industry. It employs innovative strategies to develop, acquire and deliver intellectual property rights with timeless appeal, while taking advantage of group-wide strategic and operational efficiencies. VREG is the holding company of Village Roadshow Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Concord Music Group.
About Village Roadshow Pictures Asia
With a particular focus on the Chinese film industry, Village Roadshow Pictures Asia was established in 2011 to undertake the development, financing, production, marketing and distribution of films for Greater China.
Village Roadshow Pictures Asia works closely with creative talent and producers, co-financiers and distributors throughout the Greater China region to identify, develop and co-produce films for release in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and, through VRPA affiliates, in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The majority of VRPA’s projects are structured as Sino-foreign co-productions and filmed in Greater China.