Weekly Chinese Box Office Preview: Can 'Lost in Hong Kong' Top 'Lost in Thailand'?
on September 22, 2015
Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice
Snagging a prime release date on the Friday before Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节) which this year piggybacks onto the National Holiday Golden Week (国庆节), Lost in Hong Kong (港囧) will look to replicate the huge success of its predecessor Lost in Thailand ($208M) which held the title of highest-grossing Chinese language film from January 2013 up until this summer.
Xu Zheng (徐峥) returns to the director's chair and also co-writes this third installment in the Lost... comedy series; following 2010's Planes, Trains, and Automobiles-esque Lost On Journey and 2012's Lost in Thailand which both starred Xu and actor Wang Baoqiang (王宝强) as comedic foils bumbling through absurd situations, Hong Kong introduces a new location, new story, and new cast in Vicky Zhao (Hollywood Adventures) and Bao Bei'er (So Young).
Whether or not Hong Kong can top Thailand will depend if it can recreate the social phenomenon that allowed Thailand to attract a wide range of demographics from elementary-school aged children in Beijing to dancing grannies in Jingzhou. We believe Hong Kong will surpass Tiny Times 4.0 with the highest percentage of opening-day screens ever for a Chinese language film, and it will top Jianbing Man for the highest-grossing opening day for a 2D film, but Hong Kong will run into pretty stiff competition on September 30 with Saving Mr. Wu (解教吾先生), Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe (九层妖塔) and Goodbye Mr. Loser (夏洛特烦恼) all opening. Therefore, we see a shorter run for Hong Kong, explosive in its first few days but losing ground over the National Holiday, and ending with close to $150M.
Western audiences curious to see what they're missing can thank Well Go USA which is releasing Lost In Hong Kong in select US and Canadian cities day-and-date with China.
Among holdovers this weekend, look for Minions -- a strong weekend family film -- to hold better than Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. However, the Hollywood trio that has dominated the past two weekends will lose many screens and Pixels' dismal run will come to an end shy of $16M.