A patriotic scene from "Wolf Warrior 2".
Patriotic action film "Wolf Warrior 2" has become the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time, raking in more than 3.4 billion yuan (500 million U.S. dollars) in ticket sales.
It took only 12 days for the film to clinch the title, beating the previous record set by "The Mermaid", directed by Stephen Chow, which earned 3.39 billion yuan in 2016.
Wu Jing, director and actor of the blockbuster, said on his official Weibo account that he will endeavor to produce better films for Chinese audiences in response to a congratulatory post from "The Mermaid".
Industry insiders estimate "Wolf Warrior 2" could finally reach 4 billion yuan and higher in total revenue.
Directed by and starring martial arts expert Wu Jing, "Wolf Warrior 2" tells the story of a former Chinese Special Forces officer reprising his role as a rescuer and protector of civilians after getting involved in a war in an African country.
The movie's plot echoes the Chinese navy's evacuation of Chinese nationals from war-torn areas in Africa years ago.
The film has ignited patriotic sentiment among moviegoers, but also controversy with some questioning if Wu's character in the film was too individualistic.
"When you watch those foreign movies, the hero can kill hundreds of enemies with a single rifle. I've practiced martial arts for many years, why do I have to die in front of a dozen of mercenaries? The American heroes can get their credits, why can't we Chinese be heroes?" Wu asked during an interview, slashing the "too individualist" theory.
Give it all
Born in Beijing in 1974, Wu Jing began practicing martial arts at the age of 6. He then joined the Beijing Martial Arts Team at 25 for professional training and won a national prize at 30.
He began his acting career in 1996 in action film "Tai Chi Boxer". He wrote, directed and starred the first "Wolf Warrior" movie in 2015.
"I never thought the film would become a hit," said Wu, "I used to spend 18 months in the military, training, eating worms. I think that kind of life is really satisfying and shooting a film about our soldiers has always been the thing I want to do."
Wu gave his all during the action scenes, often coming off set limping. He also spent 10 hours a day in the sea for half a month in order to film a 6-minute underwater scene.
Speaking of his plans for the future, Wu Jing said he will take some rest to recover from the injuries sustained during filming and spend more time with his family.
"My son barely knows me now," Wu said.
But the good news is that planning is already underway for "Wolf Warrior 3".