Friday, March 4, 2011

Night Market Hero Breaks NT$100 Million Barrier

Taiwanese comedy drama Night Market Hero (鸡排英雄) has become just the third local film to earn over NT$100 million (US$3.4 million) at the Taiwanese box office. The film is the debut work of director Yeh Tien-lun and stars several actors who although largely unknown outside Taiwan are familiar faces from Taiwanese television. They include TV host Chu Ko-Liang, model turned actor Blue Lan Cheng-Lung, Ke Jia-Yan, and TV presenter and surprise pop star Lotus Wang.

Night Market Hero was released during the Spring Festival holiday period which would have boosted its ticket sales, although it also opened up against the formidable presence of Jay Chou's Green Hornet. The movie's producers, which include the Taiwan branch of 20th Century Fox, were clearly hoping to emulate the success of the Hong Kong Spring Festival comedies which are almost an institution in that city. However unlike the lightweight Hong Kong froth usually served up for New Year, Night Market Hero also contains a harder edge with a storyline that targets political and bureaucratic corruption.

Night Market Hero has in the period up to the end of February earned over NT$110 million, making it the third highest grossing local film ever at the Taiwan box office. Those takings still fall well short of the record box office return from the 2008 romance Cape No.7, which earned NT$530 million, and the gangster hit of last year Monga (NT$258 million).

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