Week 35 Preview: Hong Kong-based Johnnie To’s ‘Office’ Dances Off Against ‘Terminator'
China’s getting a 3-day holiday this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory over Japan in World War II, and China’s box office will be hoping for a boost as its summer movie season comes to an end. This frame sees 14 new films enter cinemas running the gamut in terms of budget, star power, genre, and quality. Only one is really worth mentioning while the rest will be squeezed out by Terminator: Genisys and The Dead End.
Hong Kong master Johnnie To (Drug War, Election), best known to Western audiences for his crime and gangster genre pics, tries his hand at the musical with Office which is based on a popular play penned by Chang and performed in front of sold out theaters across Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and mainland China in 2009.
The story revolves around a ruthless CEO (also played by Chang) who intends to take her company public after the global banking crisis. The formidable cast also includes the “King of Asian Pop”, Eason Chang and Tang Wei (Lust, Caution). To’s films have seen mild success on the Mainland with his Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 earning $32.5 million last year and Blind Detective grossing $34 million in 2013. However, both of those films were romantic comedies, a genre which has a lot more mileage with Mainland moviegoers than the musical. Despite garnering the highest level of awareness, intent to purchase, and word of mouth out of this weekend’s new releases based on EntGroup’s EFMT Index, look for this one to make about $10 million total.
Jonathan Papish of Boxoffice.com contributed to this article.
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