Headlines from China: Hong Kong Selects ‘Operation Red Sea’ as Academy Award Entry

Hong Kong Selects ‘Operation Red Sea’ as Academy Award Entry

Dante Lam’s action war film Operation Red Sea has been selected as Hong Kong’s Oscar contender for the foreign-language category, according to an announcement made on the film’s official Weibo account. Starring Zhang Yi, Huang Jinyu and Hai Qing, the film morphs into an account of a hostage rescue after a coup in the fictional Middle East country Yewaire. Operation Red Sea was released in China early this year on February 16 and went on to make 3.6 billion yuan ($530 million) at the box office,  overtaking Detective Chinatown 2 to become the second-highest grossing film of all time in China. As of now, China hasn’t announced its Oscar entry. Taiwan’s entry is The Great Buddha +. Read more on Mtime

Jia Zhangke’s Films in the China Market 

Jia Zhangke‘s latest film Ash Is Purest White, which opened in China on September 21, has make 48 million yuan ($7 million) after four days in release and became the director’s highest-grossing film of all time. However, as Jia Zhangke spent 80 million yuan ($11.67 million) on the production, the film still needs to generate about 192 million yuan ($28 million) in ticket sales in order to breakeven through box office income. Over the past 20 years, Jia has made over 10 feature films. However, only 5 of them were theatrically released in China. According to data from Maoyan, The World made 2 million yuan in China; Still Life made 0.3 million yuan; 24 City made 1.1 million yuan;  and Mountains May Depart made 32.25 million yuan. Some criticize that Jia Zhangke has been showing increasing desire for commercial success, especially given the recent news that his next film Zai Qinchao (In Qing Dynasty), which will be executive produced by Johnnie To, will add more commercial elements. Meanwhile, some argue that Jia Zhangke’s films have always been able to breakeven or even make a profit through international sales. Therefore, it’s more likely the director is just trying to experiment with different styles instead of pursuing commercial success. Read more on baijiahao

Stan Lee Will Be Absent From His Upcoming China Comic Con

Last year, Stan Lee revealed in an interview that the first Stan Lee China Comic Con was set to take place in 2018 from October 1 to October 3. On September 20, Stan Lee released a video, in which he announced that he would not be able to attend his Comic Con in Shanghai. Chinese comic fans were disappointed by the news but understood that traveling to China might be challenging for the 95-year-old legendary comic-book writer. While Stan Lee will not attend, Chinese sing-songwriter and actress Deng Ziqi (stage name: G.E.M.) will attend to support the event, according to sources familiar with the matter. Previously, Deng posted a photo of her and Stan Lee on Instagram, which made many speculate that the two would collaborate. It’s also rumored that Stan Lee plans to create a comic character based on Deng. Read more on Mtime