BEIJING, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- A film telling the story of an earthquake that devastated a Chinese city in 1976 had raked in a record 532 million yuan (79.4 million U.S. dollars) at the Chinese mainland box office as of Sunday, the film's distributors said Monday.
"Aftershock," directed by Feng Xiaogang, became the highest-grossing Chinese-made movie in less than three weeks after its national premier on July 22. It surpassed the takings of "The Founding of a Republic," which earned 420 million yuan, a statement from Huayi Brothers Media Corporation said.
"The Founding of a Republic" was a movie marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China that screened in 2009.
"Aftershock" tells the story of a mother's three-decade journey to an emotional reunion with the daughter she thought she had lost in the Tangshan earthquake.
The 7.8-magnitude quake hit the northern China city on July 28, 1976, killing more than 240,000 people.
The movie took in 36.2 million yuan on its opening day -- the highest ever box office for a mainland movie on its opening day.
Prior to the movie's release, director Feng Xiaogang repeatedly said the film's would take in 500 million yuan, a mark no Chinese movie had ever achieved.
Though commercially successful with the war epic "Assembly" (2007) and the period thriller "The Banquet" (2006), the prolific 52-year-old director is better known for his comedies, such as "A World Without Thieves" (2004) and "If You Are the One" (2008).
The film was jointly produced by Huayi Brothers, China Film Group and the municipal government of Tangshan and is the first Chinese movie to be released in the IMAX format.
The film had a budget of 150 million yuan (22 million U.S. dollars).
At popular Chinese art website douban.com, 43,103 users have given the film a respectable rating of 7.5 out of 10, with 21.5 percent rating it 10 out of 10.