Chinese film: Hero英雄 ~ Chinese Movies&TV


If you want to pick up a film that has ushered the entire Chinese film industry to a new era, it must be Zhang Yimou’s 2002 assassination-themed blockbuster “Hero.” Following Hollywood’s production process, the film cost a whopping US$30 million to make, becoming the most expensive Chinese film at that time. It rejuvenated China’s then weak film market by drawing crowds back to theaters. The mega-hit took in more than US$30 million at the box office. It was the first film to hit such a high mark in several decades.

Internationally, the film was brilliantly received. Film critics highly praised its dazzling visuals. Distributors were obviously confident of its potential returns. In North America, the film opened as No. 1 in weekend box office in over 2,000 theaters. Overall, it earned more than US$120 million in international markets.

The film set standards for subsequent big budget productions in casting and production, but unfortunately not in storytelling. The consequence of ignoring the story has resulted in other excessively financed, substandard productions which insult the viewer’s intelligence, like Chen Kaige’s ill-famed “The Promise” (2005).

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