"Life of Pi" has been knocked out of the top spot at the Chinese box office by "Lost in Thailand," a homegrown comedy that bears a striking resemblance to "The Hangover" films.
"Lost in Thailand," distributed by Enlight Media and produced for under $5 million, has taken in $72 million since its Dec. 12 opening and is heading for $100 million, a rare feat for a Chinese film. It set several records in its first days of release, including: best opening, single day and week in December; best opening week for a local film and best first week for any 2D film.
"This is significant for a couple of reasons," BoxOffice.com vice-president and chief analyst Phil Contrino told TheWrap. "It shows the growing strength of the Chinese industry, but also that they are willing to adapt films with very American sensibilities. The fact that a comedy is this popular there is unusual, too."
Ang Lee's epic "Life of Pi," the last U.S. film of the year to open in China, on Sunday finished its five-week run there with a whopping $90 million. In all, "Pi" added $23 million from 46 overseas markets this weekend, and has now brought in $160 million internationally – more than double its U.S. haul to date of $76 million.
Chinese comedian Xu Zheng directed and stars in "Lost in Thailand," in which three guys go to Thailand, get lost and hilarity ensues. For those who don't recall, the plot of Universal's "Hangover 2" involved three guys jetting to Thailand, where things go awry and hilarity ensues.
The "Hangover" films were never released in China.
Here's the trailer for "Lost in Thailand":