“The Battle at Lake Changjin” — commissioned by the Chinese government — has grossed an estimated 1.85 billion yuan ($287 million) since its release on Thursday, according to ticketing app Maoyan. It beat the previous record for the same Chinese holiday set by “My People, My Country,” which grossed more than 1.5 billion yuan ($233 million) over five days in 2019.
It tells the story of the brutal 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. The Chinese side claims it as the most critical victory of the conflict, known in China as the “War to Resist American Aggression and Aid Korea.”
“The Battle at Lake Changjin” was commissioned by the Chinese government’s powerful central propaganda department and the country’s top movie regulator. It received huge support from the government from script development, production and publicity, to using serving soldiers among the movie’s 70,000 extras.
It was produced by a group of major studios, led by Bona Film Group and the Chinese military-owned August First Film Studio.
Many of the movies screened so far are old propaganda that were popular during the time of Mao Zedong, who led Communist China from its founding in 1949 until his death in 1976. They highlight themes of patriotism and were specifically created to educate viewers about the history of the Party.
The movie regulator emphasized a desire for “young people” to “grow their affections” of the Party and socialism by watching the movies.
For the “The Battle at Lake Changjin,” Yu said he wants “young audience today to like it, as well as the young audience 50 years from now,”
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