Domestic action film Wolf Warrior 2 topped the box office in an unprecedented number, grossing 3.4 billion yuan (roughly $506 million) in just 13 days.
The movie, directed and starring action star Wu Jing, is now China's top grossing film, breaking the record previously held by Steven Chow's fantasy comedy The Mermaid.
Wolf Warrior 2 tells the story of a former Chinese Special Forces operative's adventures journey to rescue compatriots and local friends in a war-torn region of Africa occupied by insurgents and mercenaries.
The success of the film has surpassed the anticipations of all, including the production team.
"Yu Shizhi once said: 'The audience is kind. They see all flaws, but don't tell.' I will continue to work hard to shoot great films for Chinese viewers," said director Wu.
The movie is shattering records at astonishing speed. Single-day earnings exceeded 200 million yuan for more than 10 days, breaking new grounds for China's box office records. The impetus has been strong right from start, as sales topped 1 billion yuan in just five days, 2billion in eight days and 3billion in 11 days, according to data released by Sina Entertainment.
Wolf Warrior 2 and the previous record-holder The Mermaid were released in similar number of theaters and both recorded similar attendance in the first eight days of screening. However, starting from day nine, the number of ticket sales for The Mermaid began to fall, whereas that for Wolf Warrior 2 continued to grow.
Despite kung fu being a familiar element in Chinese films, military action had a large void to fill in China's film market. Prior to Wolf Warrior 2, the highest earning action film in China was action comedy Kung Fu Yoga (2017) starring Jackie Chan, which earned 1.75 billion yuan. The box office record for out-and-out military action was held by Operation Mekong (2016) with 1.18 billion yuan in ticket sales.
功夫元素在中国电影中并不少见，然而军事动作片在中国电影市场中却很稀缺。在《战狼2》之前，中国票房收入最高的动作电影是成龙主演的喜剧动作片《功夫瑜伽》（2017），共获得17.5亿人民币的票房成绩。而此前军事动作片的票房纪录则由拿下了11.8亿人民币票房的《湄公河行动》 (2016) 保持。