Chinese military action film "Operation Red Sea" was released in the U.S. cinemas on Friday, looking set to become another blockbuster after smash-hit "Wolf Warrior 2" in 2017.
With over 7.8 million U.S. dollars investments, Bona Film Group's "Operation Red Sea" is directed by Dante Lam and stars Zhang Yi, Huang Jingyu, Hai Qing, Du Jiang and Prince Mak.
The film is loosely based on the evacuation of hundreds of Chinese citizens and foreign nationals from Yemen's southern port of Aden during Yemeni Civil War in late March in 2015. Lam is also the director of 2016's action hit "Operation Mekong."
"Operation Red Sea" tells the story of the Chinese Navy's elite special forces, Jiaolong Assault Team, who saved Chinese and foreign nationals in the war and foiled a terrorist plot to obtain nuclear materials to make dirty bombs.
Chinese language "Operation Red Sea" is released in the United states with English subtitles.
"It's a Hollywood-style movie in terms of its scale and technical level. China's film industry is learning from Hollywood and closing the gap," said a Chinese American woman named herself Huang, who came to see the movie with her family in an AMC theater in Monterey Park, one of the majority Asian American cities in Los Angeles County.
"We love to see the films with Chinese culture background or Chinese elements," she added.
"I come specially here to see this movie," said a student of University of Southern California (USC) who named herself Liu. "It has been so acclaimed by people on WeChat and other social medias."
"This film actually supposed to be really well for us," said Samantha Kershner, general manager of AMC theater at the Atlantic Times Square, Monterey Park.
"Our attendance estimates for this one is the same as if not better than 'Wolf Warrior 2' which is a very large film for us," she told Xinhua.
"A total of 1,172 audience come to our theater on Friday to see the movie," said Kershner, adding that there is an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 audience for the film this weekend alone in the theater.