Low-cost Chinese film sets new record

Laffer becomes highest-grossing local pic

BEIJING

In a year in which Hollywood movies dominated China’s box office, low-budget laffer “Lost in Thailand” has become the best performing local film of all time, breaching the 1 billion yuan ($160 million) threshold since its Dec. 12 bow.

“Lost” outstripped the year’s best earner, James Cameron’s 3D version of “Titanic,” and the previous biggest domestic record holder, “Painted Skin: The Resurrection,” which earned $116 million, the state-backed Xinhua news agency reported.

Pic is a “Hangover”-esque tale of two businessmen who go looking for their boss in the north of Thailand and link up with a tourist eager to explore the country. It is filled with slapstick humor and action scenes.

The cast of debut helmer Xu Zheng’s $4.8 million-budget movie includes Wang Baoqiang, Huang Bo and Xu Zheng.

The Chinese B.O. hit $2.3 billion in the first 11 months of 2012 with domestic films accounting for less than half of the total. The best-selling movie ever in China was Cameron’s “Avatar” in 2010, which took in nearly $220 million, per Xinhua.

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