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Stephen Chow's 'Odyssey' to break Chinese box office record


14:48, February 27, 2013

Poster of Stephen Chow's fantasy comedy "Odyssey" (file photo)

BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Stephen Chow's fantasy comedy "Odyssey" is poised to become the highest grossing domestic film in China.

It has earned 1 billion yuan (159 million U.S. dollars) in just half a month, becoming one of only two domestic films to generate more than 1 billion yuan in box office revenues on the mainland, China Film News said Monday.

It took 20 days for "Lost in Thailand," the current box office record holder, to bring in the same amount of money.

"Lost," a low-budget comedy, has earned gross revenues of more than 1.2 billion yuan since it debuted last December.

But many believe the film's record will soon be usurped by "Odyssey," as the latter will stay on Chinese theaters' "hit films" list for at least another 15 days.

Following the popularity of Chow's 1994 two-part film series "A Chinese Odyssey," the film is a retelling of the classic Chinese tale "Journey to the West."

"Odyssey" debuted on Feb. 10 and took in 80 million yuan on its first day, the biggest opening ever for a domestic film, according to figures from the film's producer, the Huayi Bros. Media Group.

It also reset the mainland's single-day box office record after taking in revenues of 122 million yuan on Valentine's Day. The previous single-day record was 112 million yuan earned by "Transformers III: Dark of the Moon" in 2011.

China is the world's second-largest film market. Its 2012 box office sales hit 17.07 billion yuan, surging 30.18 percent year on year.

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