Independent Hong Kong film “Ten Years” surpassed the HK$5 million mark in box office takings last weekend, after a month in cinemas.

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The film, showing in theatres since mid-December, predicts how Hong Kong may look in a decade’s time. It offers scenes such as attacks by uniformed army cadets on shops accused of selling banned materials, Mandarin as the dominant language and an activist self-immolating in a fight for Hong Kong’s independence.

In late January, China’s state newspaper Global Times criticised the film as “ridiculous”, saying that it was spreading desperation. However, the movie recently won a best film nomination at the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards.

A still of Ten Years.
A still from Ten Years. Photo: Ten Years.

It grossed HK$717,955 at the box office during the January 28 to 31 weekend, making a total of HK$5,377,915, according to Box Office Mojo, which is owned by the international film site IMDB.

The film was only shown at the Broadway Cinematheque in its early days, but it at its peak it could be viewed at eight cinemas. It is still being shown at three venues, namely Ma On Shan Classics Cinema, UA MegaBox and the Metroplex.

Chow Kwun-wai, one of the directors of the film, said on social media that the recent hike in box office takings was due to a decision made by the Metroplex cinema in Kowloon Bay to use its largest house, which can hold 430 people.

“HK$500,000 in cost, and more than HK$5 million in box office – ten times – can that be said to be a miracle?” Chow asked.

A still of Ten Years.
A still from Ten Years. Photo: Ten Years.

Chow added that if cinemas continue showing the film, it may pass the HK$10 million mark. Though he also noted that independent filmmakers have less bargaining power to keep films showing in cinemas.

The film also took HK$230,000 at the box office in a single day last Saturday, a daily record for the film.

Chanvinci, one of the producers of the film, told HKFP that he had not imagined that the film could break a new record after a month of showing.

 “We are a group of people who studied film making, and the support from Hong Kong people made our dream come true; our film made it to the real big screen,” he said.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.