Patriotic Film ‘Home Coming’ Heads Overseas as Domestic Box Office Dries Up

Patriotic Film ‘Home Coming’ Goes Overseas as China’s Cinemas Struggle

The Chinese film ‘Home Coming’ is getting a limited international release after four weeks of easily-earned dominance in domestic theaters

5 2
1:45 PM HKT, Mon October 31, 2022 1 mins read

China’s latest patriotic film Home Coming has gone international. On October 21, the film opened in select North American locations and has since headed to the U.K., Australia, Singapore, Netherlands, and several other countries.

The film follows two diplomats who brave a war-torn region to rescue fellow Chinese citizens. It stars TFBoys’ member Karry Wang and veteran actor Zhang Yi, the latter of whom has appeared in many other patriotic movies, such as The Founding of a Party, My People, My Country, and My People, My Homeland.

Home Coming is the highest-grossing film currently screening in Chinese theaters. However, it seems to be only doing well compared to other movies released for China’s National Day holiday at the beginning of October.

Besides Home Coming, six other films premiered around the same time: Ordinary Hero, Steel Will, Come Back Home, New Happy Dad and Son 5: My Alien Friend, Cinderella and the Spellbinder, and The Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The second highest-grossing film of the aforementioned titles, Ordinary Hero, has only tallied 26.4 million USD, far short of Home Coming’s 201.2 million USD.

zhang yi plays a diplomat in home coming movie 2022

Zhang Yi plays one of the two Chinese diplomats in Home Coming

However, Home Coming’s box office revenue dulls compared to past hits. This summer’s sci-fi comedy Moon Man performed much better, earning 310 million USD in just its first two weeks in theaters.

The lackluster state of the Chinese box office may be due to the increased number and predictable nature of patriotic movies. A dearth of new films post-National Day could also be a factor: only one new flick — Team Leader — was released on October 21.

Of course, cinemas in many Chinese cities have once again been impacted by rolling lockdowns as China continues its arduous battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

french actor vincent matile plays a libyan politician in home coming movie  2022

French-Swiss actor Vincent Matile as a Libyan politician in Home Coming

Now, with Home Coming released internationally, the film’s Beijing-headquartered film distributor CMC Pictures is presumably hoping for a revenue boost. The release is concentrated on “cities with a large overseas Chinese population,” according to the state-backed news outlet China Daily.

However, Chinese films have historically struggled to attract foreign viewers. Groundbreaking sci-fi film The Wandering Earth (2019), based on the namesake short story by Liu Cixin, made 700 million USD at worldwide box offices — but less than 2% of that haul came from audiences outside the Chinese mainland.

It remains to be seen whether Home Coming can break this trend.

All images via IMDb

Join the Conversation
Write comment

Frustrated? Maybe stop looking at a screen and go outside