Kung Fu Film 'The Forbidden Kingdom' a Hit in China

By: Min Lee
By: Min Lee

HONG KONG (AP) -- Jackie Chan and Jet Li's first movie together is a hit in China.

There were concerns whether "The Forbidden Kingdom" would appeal to Chinese because its script is geared toward American audiences.

The movie is about an American teenager who's magically transported to ancient China, where he teams with a drunken fighter (Chan) and a monk (Li) to help free a mythical monkey king.

But the Hollywood-Chinese co-production made $21.4 million in 10 days since its April 24 debut, Tang Jingting, a spokeswoman for Chinese movie company Huayi Brothers, one of the film's investors, said in a phone interview Thursday.

The $75 million movie received a wide release of 1,228 copies, Tang said. China has more than 3,400 screens.

A movie that makes more than $14 million in China is considered a hit and $29 million a major hit.

"The Forbidden Kingdom," which was dubbed in Mandarin for Chinese audiences, achieved the strong results despite its Western interpretation of popular Chinese mythical characters from the classic Chinese novel "Journey to the West."

Hong Kong's Next magazine called the story "unbelievably weird." Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post said it "hardly offers a progressive understanding of the multifarious aspects of Chinese culture as it rehashes the themes of kung fu classics."

In the U.S., "The Forbidden Kingdom" has performed solidly, earning $45.7 million since its release on April 18, according to the box office tracking Web site Box Office Mojo.


On the Net:

Movie site: http://www.forbiddenkingdommovie.com

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