Despite the Chinese government’s claims to hate depictions of obscene displays of wealth, Hello Mr Billionaire, a comedy loosely based on the 1985 Richard Pryor film Brewster’s Millions, dominated the box office in China this weekend with a stellar $130.77 million opening.
With Mission Impossible: Fallout still to secure a China release date, Chinese audiences have been flocking this week to see the comedy from the directing duo behind 2015’s $228 million-grossing comedy hit Goodbye Mr Loser, Yan Fei and Peng Damo.
Hello Mr Billionaire tells the story of an underachieving soccer player’s attempt to reasonably spend 1 billion yuan ($147 million) in a month as a condition of inheriting the 30 billion yuan ($4.4 billion) assets of his late Taiwanese uncle. The audience lapped up the farce, earning the film $47 million on Saturday alone, and a 9.3/10 score by moviegoers on the ticketing platform Maoyan. Reviewers on aggregator Douban were more reserved, with some slamming the “class clash” in the film and others applauding the comedic elements and the performance of lead Shen Teng, earning the comedy an average rating of 6.9/10.
Brewster’s Millions was itself based on the 1902 book of the same name by American author George Barr McCutcheon and Hello Mr Billionaire becomes the 13th cinematic adaptation.
Hello Mr Billionaire‘s impressive $131 million three-day takings more than tripled the performance of second-placed Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings, which took $43 million.
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