Christian Bale-Led The Flowers of War Takes Top Spot at Chinese Box Office
12.21.11 by BJSprecher
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows took the top spot at the domestic box office this past weekend, while Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol dominated in most international markets. In China, however, the big winner was The Flowers of War, acclaimed director Zhang Yimou's (Hero) new Christian Bale-led historical drama, which took in $24 million in its first four days in theaters. With a production budget of $90 million, The Flowers of War is the most expensive movie in Chinese cinema history, but its powerful opening — surpassing what the #2 movie at the US box office earned — puts it well in line to make a profit within a matter of weeks.
The Flowers of War is based on the fact-based novel The 13 Women of Nanjing by Yan Geling, which tells the story of a group of survivors of the bloody "Nanjing Massacre," a six-week period in the Second Sino-Japanese War in which thousands of unarmed Chinese soldiers and civilians were slaughtered by the invading Japanese Imperial Army. Here's the synopsis of the movie, followed by the domestic trailer:
Inspired by true life events, The Flowers of War tells a genuine story of hope, love and sacrifice. Set in 1937, Nanking stands at the forefront of a war between China and Japan. As the invading Japanese Imperial Army overruns China’s capital city, desperate civilians seek refuge behind the nominally protective walls of a western cathedral. Here, John Haufman (Bale), an American trapped amidst the chaos of battle and the ensuing occupation takes shelter, joined by a group of innocent schoolgirls and thirteen courtesans, equally determined to escape the horrors taking place outside the church walls.
Struggling to survive the violence and persecution wrought by the Japanese army, it is an act of heroism which eventually leads the seemingly disparate group to fight back, risking their lives for the sake of everyone. With nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, fate always has a way of bringing the most unlikely heroes together.
The Flowers of War opens on December 21st in New York City and December 23rd in San Francisco and Los Angeles.