BEIJING, Nov. 24-- The year-end looks set to ignite some fierce competition at the box office, with 7 films from home and abroad competing for supremacy. No matter who wins, it's no doubt audiences will be treated with a big film banquet and the domestic film industry will have its warmest winter yet.
Without a new release, director Feng Xiaogang, the former winner of the year-end film battle, will miss this year's competition. But audiences need not worry about limited choices. Instead, insiders say this New Year period will be one of the most prosperous film seasons of the past ten years. Gao Jun is the director of the Beijing Xinyinglian Film, a major distributor in China.
"I think this year's New Year period will be the best in ten years as the films on show, with a great variety and the best quality." Gao said.
Seven films are due to appear during the golden period and which one will be the box office winner? The musical romance"Perhaps Love", mega-budget fantasy epic"The Promise" and touching drama"Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles" are the three leading candidates.
"The Promise" and"Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles" are the latest works of two of China's renowned filmmakers Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou. Chen Kaige, who's been keen on making artistic films, has embarked on a more commercial, mainstream film"The Promise", while Zhang Yimou returns to the touching emotionalism of his earlier, smaller-scale dramas, now a long way from his splashy martial arts successes.
Zhang Weiping, the producer of"Riding Alone For Thousands of Miles" and Zhang Yimou's long-time partner says they are confident that the film is profitable as well as artistic.
"I decided to release this film during the New Year period as I have full confidence in it. When audiences are tired of seeing too many commercial films, Zhang Yimou's new film will give them a very different experience." Zhang said.
"The Promise" has already booked the best timing, to debut in the middle of December. And Zhang's new movie will be unveiled to audiences on December 22nd.
So,"Perhaps Love" will be the first movie to initiate the battle flames. It's said the distributor has advanced its release time to next Friday to avoid more fierce competition by this end of the year.
Directed by famous Hong Kong director Peter Chan,"Perhaps Love" is the first Chinese romantic film in 35 years to express its story through song and dance. Chinese mainland actress Zhou Xun, Taiwan actor Jin Takeshi, Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung and Korean actor Ji Jin-hee star in it.í@
No matter who wins, audiences and the domestic film industry will be the biggest beneficiaries.