The Mermaid,’ the latest release from director Stephen Chow, has now become the biggest box office hit in Chinese history, taking an estimated 2.49 Billion yuan – approximately £265 million, or $382 million – since opening on 8 February.
This, Deadline reports, beats the existing box office record held by another Chinese movie, ‘Monster Hunt,’ which earned a reported 2.43 billion yuan last year (although it is noted that there were allegations of box office manipulation surrounding that earlier film).
The third biggest hit in China was another 2015 release, ‘Fast & Furious 7.’
‘The Mermaid’ director Stephen Chow is best known in the west for his energetic martial arts comedies ‘Shaolin Soccer’ and ‘Kung Fu Hustle.’ He also came close to directing and co-starring in Seth Rogen’s ‘The Green Hornet.’
A fantasy comedy with an environmentalist theme, the film centres on a mermaid (Yun Lin) who is sent by the merpeople to assassinate a businessman (Deng Chao) whose company are threatening the sea – but the two fall in love instead.
‘The Mermaid’ opened in select UK cinemas this weekend.