Chinese teen drama "Better Days" unsurprisingly met people's high expectations by earning 600 million yuan (85 million U.S. dollars) at the box office and wide acclaim four days after its release on big screens amid a jungle of strong competitors.
Starring award-winning actress Zhou Dongyu and popular singer and actor Jackson Yee, the film has captured attention both for its content and fate.
As a brave touch on several hot topics of school bullying, teenage crime, and family education, the film follows an elite candidate of college entrance examination Chen Nian, who is unwillingly involved in a school accident. The heroine meets teenager hooligan Xiaobei at a desolate situation, and the two support each other as they grow up in an indifferent environment and eventually change each other's fate.
Echoing its intriguing plots, the screening of the film was also full of twists and turns. At the beginning of the year, it entered the Generation unit of the Berlin International Film Festival, but was abruptly withdrawn by canceling its screening. Originally set to be released on June 27, it was suddenly postponed only three days before its release date.
Around curious speculations, the film's release itself became a topic. The frequent exposure of the much talked-about film throughout the year now seems to have successfully turned such attention into a big box office.
The hot screening spurs a new round of discussion on the passing of anti-school bullying laws in recent years, which further attracted moviegoers and received a relative high score of 8.4 out of 10 on Douban, a leading Chinese film review platform.
Although inspiring, it is shadowed by looming clouds. The film is adapted from a novel written by internet writer Jiu Yuexi, which some netizens accused of plagiarizing works by Japanese mystery writer Higashino Keigo. Whether the controversy will affect its performance, time will tell.
Looking down to this week's ranking list, Disney's new live-action movie "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" was beaten by the newcomer to rank second after six consecutive days of reigning as a single-day champion.
National Day Holiday week winners "The Captain" and "My People, My County" kept the momentum to head to the 3-billion mark after a month-long run to rank third and fourth. And Ang Lee's technology experiment "Gemini Man" proved to be too avant-garde for the today's audience and slid to fifth place this week.