Summer slot besieged with domestic cinema

Xu Wei
More than 50 movies were squeezed into the golden summer slot, a popular screening time of the year for film buffs.
Xu Wei
Summer slot besieged with domestic cinema

It’s been yet another golden period for Chinese cinema at the box office with almost 31.1 billion yuan in revenue taken in the first half of this year. 

More than 50 movies were squeezed into the golden summer slot, a popular screening time of the year for film buffs.

Over the passing years the summer slot has seen huge commercial success with domestic movies, “Dying to Survive,” “Wolf Warrior 2” and “Hello Mr Billionaire.” And last year’s summer vacation saw five movies gross over 1 billion yuan each.

The most highly-anticipated movies coming this summer will be “Looking Up,” martial arts film “The Hidden Sword,” sci-fi feature “Shanghai Fortress,” Disney’s remake of “The Lion King,” crime-suspense drama “Remain Silent” and the animated flick “Ne Zha.”

“Looking Up,” a directorial collaboration between Yu Baimei and Deng Chao, is a heartwarming film about domestic education and parental affection. It will hit cinemas across China on July 18.

Set in 1980s and 90s China, the movie follows a father who spends only a month improving his son’s study. 

The film’s prescreenings in June won critical acclaim and moved many viewers to tears. It is expected to follow in the successful footsteps of fellow Chinese movie “Dying to Survive.”

“The Hidden Sword,” Xu Haofeng’s latest offering, is slated for national release on July 19. Xu is the screenwriter of Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmaster.” He is also the director of “The Master.” 

Based on Xu’s novel of the same name, the film is a brand new presentation of a Chinese martial arts story in the 1930s. 

Teng Huatao’s sci-fi feature “Shanghai Fortress” is another Chinese sci-fi blockbuster hoping to orbit the same solar system as “The Wandering Earth.”

Based on a novel by Jiang Nan, the film, set in the city of Shanghai, is a story about mankind’s joint efforts to fight alien invaders. Its release date is penned in for August 9.

It is the first time Teng, known for the hit romance “Love is Not Blind,” has tackled the sci-fi genre. 

During the Shanghai International Film Festival, he told movie buffs to have faith in domestic sci-fi cinema, which is still in an early phase of development. 

Disney’s live-action remake of the 1994 animated hit “The Lion King” started screening yesterday. Directed by Jon Favreau, the film is produced with avant-garde CG technology and caters for the whole family. 

Crime-suspense drama “Remain Silent,” starring Zhou Xun and Francis Ng, revolves around a lawyer who discovers the truth behind a murder. However, it also brings her into danger.

Animated film “Ne Zha,” a feature directorial debut of Jiaozi, will be released on July 26. 

The film depicts Ne Zha, a naughty boy in Chinese legend who never grows up. It took the director three years to make the film. A lot of visually stunning fight scenes will be featured in the movie. 

Alex Zhang, a 30-something administrative manager and movie buff, said the summer slot is another important period for Chinese cinema in addition to the Spring Festival.

“Many ‘black horse’ films will emerge, especially those telling touching real-life stories,” he said.

He is also looking forward to the National Day holiday slot when many mega-productions will be offered, including “The Climbers,” “The Chinese Pilot” and “Mojin Returns.”

Summer slot besieged with domestic cinema

"The Lion King"

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